Ulysse Nardin

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Coordinates: 47°03′36″N 6°45′13″E / 47.06007°N 6.75361°E / 47.06007; 6.75361

Ulysse Nardin SA
IndustryLuxury watchmaking
FounderUlysse Nardin
HeadquartersLe Locle Switzerland
Area served
Key people
Patrick Pruniaux (CEO)[1]
ProductsWristwatches, Writing Instruments & Accessories

Ulysse Nardin SA is a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer founded in 1846 in Le Locle, Switzerland.[2][3] Since 2014, it has been a subsidiary of the French Kering Group.[2][4] Ulysse Nardin has operated out of the same building headquartered in Le Locle, Switzerland since 1865.

Ulysse Nardin is regarded as a top-tier Kering brand, and is best known for manufacturing highly accurate marine chronometers.[5][6][7][8] According to the last official report of Neuchâtel Observatory in Switzerland, Ulysse Nardin had won numerous awards and honors for its marine chronometers from 1846 to 1975, including 4324 certificates, 2411 special prizes and 10 gold medals at International Exhibitions. [2][3][9]


Early history[edit]

Before founding his company in 1846 at the age of 23, Ulysse Nardin first trained in horology under his father, Leonard-Frederic Nardin, and perfected his skills under the tutelage of Frederic William Dubois and Louis JeanRichard-dit-Bressel, two master watchmakers whose fame extended beyond the mountains of Neuchatel, Switzerland.[3] In 1846, Ulysse Nardin chose his birthplace of Le Locle in Switzerland to set up his company, with a focus on manufacturing marine chronometers.[2][3]

Rolf Schnyder and Ludwig Oechslin

At the 1862 International Exhibition in London, Ulysse Nardin was awarded the Prize Medal in the category of "complicated watches and pocket chronometers" .[3] The prize was the highest distinction for watchmaking in the United Kingdom. And in 1867, Ulysse Nardin obtained the first series of certificates from Neuchâtel Observatory for its marine chronometers.[3]

By the 1870s, Ulysse Nardin's marine chronometers were in service with over 50 navies and international shipping companies.[9] In 1876, Ulysse Nardin died at age 53, and his son Paul-David Nardin succeeded him as the head of the company.[2]

Recent development[edit]

Due to the quartz crisis, Ulysse Nardin faced significant challenges in late 1970s and early 1980s.[9] In 1983, the company was acquired by businessman Rolf Schnyder who, in conjunction with watchmakers such as Ludwig Oechslin, revived the brand.[2][3][10] Schnyder and Oechslin would aim to produce complication timepieces using modern materials and manufacturing techniques.[11]

In 2014, Ulysse Nardin was acquired by the Kering Group, formerly known as PPR.[2][3] In 2017, the company appointed Patrick Pruniaux, a previous executive of Apple, as its new CEO.[12]

Notable models[edit]

A Freak wristwatch


Ulysse Nardin introduced the Freak wristwatches in 2001.[2][11] The model contains a revolutionary 7-day carrousel-tourbillon, and has no (true) dial, crown or hands.[13] The movement contains silicon escapement components, and would rotate on itself to indicate time. [3][13] The watch model was named "Watch of the Year" in innovation category in 2002. [2][3]

The current Freak model includes two series: Freak Out and Freak Vision (introduced in 2017).[13][14]

Trilogy of Time[edit]

The first major advancement of the company after quartz crisis was the launch of "Trilogy of Time". This collection incorporated three different astronomical pieces starting in 1985 with the release of the Astrolabium Galileo Galilei, named after Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei.[15] The Astrolabium displays local and solar time, the orbits and eclipses of the sun and the moon and the positions of several major stars. It was named by the Guinness Book of Records in 1989 as the world's most-functional watch (with 21 distinct functions).[2][3]

Dr. Oechslin then followed the Astrolabium up with two other astronomical watches: in 1988 the Planetarium Copernicus (named after the stargazing theaters called planetariums and of astronomer Copernicus) and in 1992 the Tellurium Johannes Kepler (named after the Latin 'Tellus' meaning Earth, a Tellurian and astronomer Johannes Kepler).[2] The Cloisonné dial of the Tellurium takes fifty-four processes, twelve baking operations and more than fifty hours of work by a skilled craftsman to transform a draft sketch on a small metal disc into a unique work of art - each and every Tellurium is unique.[16]

Notable patrons and owners[edit]

A Ulysse Nardin wristwatch





In 2015, Ulysse Nardin announced its partnership with Team Artemis in the 2017 America's Cup.[23][24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bues, Jon (18 August 2017). "Patrick Pruniaux appointed CEO of Ulysse Nardin". Hodinkee Business News.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Nardin, Ulysse (2017-07-26). "Relevance of history". Ulysse Nardin. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "History - Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie". www.hautehorlogerie.org. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  4. ^ "Ulysse Nardin | Kering". www.kering.com. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  5. ^ Barber, Timothy (2018-03-24). "From Apple to Switzerland: Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  6. ^ "Ulysse Nardin – Sea dreams – FHH Journal". journal.hautehorlogerie.org. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  7. ^ "Ulysse Nardin". WatchTime - USA's No.1 Watch Magazine. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  8. ^ Doerr, Elizabeth. "Ulysse Nardin's Marine Torpilleur And Marine Tourbillon Torpedo Toward Value-Consciousness". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  9. ^ a b c "Ulysse Nardin, A Voyage Through Time". Ulysse Nardin. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  10. ^ "Portrait of Ludwig Oechslin". Ulysse Nardin. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  11. ^ a b May 2, Jack Forster; 2018. "Hands-On: The Ulysse Nardin Freak 'Freak Out' Full Black". HODINKEE. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  12. ^ Felder, Rachel (2018-01-15). "Putting Apple Watch Experience to Work at Ulysse Nardin". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  13. ^ a b c "Freak Collection". Ulysse Nardin. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  14. ^ Team, Trefis. "Morgan Stanley Looks On Course To Post Record Equity Trading Revenues For 2018". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  15. ^ July 20, Jack Forster; 2017. "In-Depth: A Ulysse Nardin Tellurium Johannes Kepler, One Of The Three Original Trilogy Of Time Watches From The 1990s". HODINKEE. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  16. ^ July 20, Jack Forster; 2017. "In-Depth: A Ulysse Nardin Tellurium Johannes Kepler, One Of The Three Original Trilogy Of Time Watches From The 1990s". HODINKEE. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  17. ^ Bernardo, Written byMark (2015-06-11). "Star Time: 13 Celebrity-Branded Sports Watches". WatchTime - USA's No.1 Watch Magazine. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  18. ^ "Watching Celeb Watches - Michael Jordan Sporting Some Rare Pieces". Monochrome Watches. 2014-08-22. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  19. ^ "The most expensive watches worn by 21 of the world's most elite athletes". Business Insider.
  20. ^ Living, Haute (2011-04-04). "Larry King Recognized by Ulysse Nardin as He Embarks on Post-Broadcast Career". Haute Living. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  21. ^ "Jeff Bezos, Style Icon". New York Times.
  22. ^ Chaparro, Frank. "These are the watches worn by the most powerful CEOs in the world". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  23. ^ "ULYSSE NARDIN PARTNERS WITH ARTEMIS RACING FOR THE 35TH AMERICA'S CUP". artemisracing.com. March 18, 2015. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  24. ^ "Ulysse Nardin's First Sponsorship: Artemis Racing, Iain Percy, And The America's Cup". Quill & Pad. 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2018-12-24.

External links[edit]