With the launch of the Freak X and the Skeleton X last year, Ulysse Nardin has set a definitive trajectory for itself from which it means to build from. It is with this in mind that the manufacture is launching its newest addition to the X family, the Blast.

With the narrative of ice and fire set into motion with the launch of the Freak x Ice and Freak x Magma earlier in the year, the Blast now carries on the theme with two executions under the ice umbrella and another two under fire. The Blue Blast and White Blast make up for the Ice portion and then there is the Black and Rose Gold Blast, which form the Fire portion.

The Ulysse Nardin Blue Blast (ref. T-1723-400/03) on an alligator leather strap
The Ulysse Nardin Blue Blast (ref. T-1723-400/03) on an alligator leather strap
The Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a velvet strap
The Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a velvet strap
The Ulysse Nardin Black Blast (ref. T-1723-400/BLACK) on an alligator leather strap
The Ulysse Nardin Black Blast (ref. T-1723-400/BLACK) on an alligator leather strap
The Ulysse Nardin Rose Gold Blast (ref. T-1725-400/02) on a velvet strap
The Ulysse Nardin Rose Gold Blast (ref. T-1725-400/02) on a velvet strap

Themes and narratives aside, what is first and foremost impressive about the Blast is that it is a timepiece with a skeleton movement and case that were designed together to be integrated into one another. Meaning to say that the movement, the Caliber UN-172, was made for this case, and vice versa, from point zero of its development. It’s important to emphasize here that the movement for the watch wasn’t an existing movement that the manufacture took from its shelves and skeletonized. Rather that the UN-172 was designed to be a skeleton piece.

The Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a structured rubber strap (©Revolution)
The Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a structured rubber strap (©Revolution)
Caseback view of the Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a structured rubber strap (©Revolution)
Caseback view of the Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a structured rubber strap (©Revolution)

Given the name of the primary collection, the first thing that your eyes are drawn towards, when inspecting the Blast, is the X shaped bridge that seems to hold the entire movement in place. Next, of course, the 2.5 hertz flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock comes into focus, vividly showcasing Ulysse Nardin’s Silicium Technology, a knowhow they themselves pioneered with the original Freak alongside Mimotec and Sigatec. Specifically, for the UN-172, it is the escapement wheel, anchor, and balance spring, which are made from silicium. Important to point out here that the red balance wheel used in the Black Blast, is a first of its kind colored balance wheel for Ulysse Nardin.

Close look at the skeleton dial of the Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a structured rubber strap (©Revolution)
Close look at the skeleton dial of the Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a structured rubber strap (©Revolution)
The 2.5 Hz flying tourbillon of the Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a structured rubber strap (©Revolution)
The 2.5 Hz flying tourbillon of the Ulysse Nardin White Blast (ref. T-1723-400/00) on a structured rubber strap (©Revolution)
Seen on the Ulysse Nardin Black Blast (ref. T-1723-400/BLACK) a new for the manufacture, a red balance wheel (©Revolution)
Seen on the Ulysse Nardin Black Blast (ref. T-1723-400/BLACK) a new for the manufacture, a red balance wheel (©Revolution)

The point of interest at 12 o’clock, thereafter, takes a while to spot. But what you’ll realize is that the UN-172 has a dial-side mounted micro rotor, which makes this an automatic calibre. The rotor is in platinum, in accounting for maximal winding mass.

The mirco rotor of the UN-172 visible through the front of the Ulysse Nardin Blast (©Revolution)
The mirco rotor of the UN-172 visible through the front of the Ulysse Nardin Blast (©Revolution)

Next we come to speak about the case, which save for the round face of the watch itself, is mostly made out of all sharp angles. Case in point here is the horns of the watch that are decorated in alternating matt and polished surfaces. The techniques used to achieve these finishes in the four executions thereafter depend on the various combinations of materials they are in. Take for instance the Rose Gold Blast, where the “brushed” effect is achieved by means of a satin-treatment using a laser. A finishing, which according to Ulysse Nardin, would not be possible by hand, given the sharp angles; a treatment that apparently took the manufacture a year’s worth of development to correct, given the aggressively angular case design.

The Ulysse Nardin Rose Gold Blast (ref. T-1725-400/02) on a velvet strap
The Ulysse Nardin Rose Gold Blast (ref. T-1725-400/02) on a velvet strap
Close look at the finishing on the horns of the case of the Ulysse Nardin Rose Gold Blast (ref. T-1725-400/02) on a velvet strap (©Revolution)
Close look at the finishing on the horns of the case of the Ulysse Nardin Rose Gold Blast (ref. T-1725-400/02) on a velvet strap (©Revolution)
Caseback view of the Ulysse Nardin Rose Gold Blast (ref. T-1725-400/02) on a velvet strap (©Revolution)
Caseback view of the Ulysse Nardin Rose Gold Blast (ref. T-1725-400/02) on a velvet strap (©Revolution)

Next we come to speak about the case, which save for the round face of the watch itself, is mostly made out of all sharp angles. Case in point here is the horns of the watch that are decorated in alternating matt and polished surfaces. The techniques used to achieve these finishes in the four executions thereafter depend on the various combinations of materials they are in. Take for instance the Rose Gold Blast, where the “brushed” effect is achieved by means of a satin-treatment using a laser. A finishing, which according to Ulysse Nardin, would not be possible by hand, given the sharp angles; a treatment that apparently took the manufacture a year’s worth of development to correct, given the aggressively angular case design.

The self-deploying buckle used for the Ulysse Nardin Blast
The self-deploying buckle used for the Ulysse Nardin Blast

Technical Specifications

References

Blue Blast: T-1723-400/03; EUR 44,000; titanium middle case, blue titanium bezel

Black Blast: T-1723-400/BLACK; EUR 46,000; ceramic upper middle case and bezel; new red balance wheel

White Blast: T-1723-400/00; EUR 46,000; white ceramic upper middle case; titanium bezel

Rose Gold Blast: T-1725-400/02; EUR 54,000; DLC middle case and solid gold horns, black ceramic bezel

Movement

Self-winding skeleton Caliber UN-172; 2.5 Hz flying tourbillon with escapement wheel, anchor, and balance spring in silicium; 72-hour power reserve

Case

45mm in titanium with PVD/DLC coating; rose gold; ceramic; water resistant to 50m

Straps

Structured rubber strap; alligator leather strap; velvet strap

The Ulysse Nardin Blast will be limited by production to only 100 pieces per year, in each variation.