With the beginning of the the lunar new year, Ulysse Nardin has introduced an ultra-design version of the Moonstruck.
Named the Blast Moonstruck, the new model that descended from the trilogy of astronomical watches created nearly 40 years ago by the master watchmaker Ludwig Oechslin proposes to set in motion the primordial elements of the visible celestial mechanism for a poetic understanding of the universe.
The Moonstruck, which is one of its historical astronomical complications, reproduces the moon’s rotation — the apparent movement of the sun around the globe as we observed it from Earth and a tidal chart. Designed to make this dance between the sun and the moon intelligible and intensely poetic, the geocentric display of the Blast Moonstruck is easy to understand, even for a beginner with no knowledge of astronomy.
Questioning the relevancy of an astronomical watch, the creator of the Freak watch Oechslin replies: “Everything that has regular cycles can be reproduced mechanically and so be read on a dial. Encapsulating time is the watchmaker’s art. Freeing it is that of the philosopher. In a way, the Black Moonstruck encapsulates… but above all it liberates the mind. It’s that simple.”
Like all watches incorporating elaborated astronomical information, the Blast Moonstruck seeks to be a miniaturised extrapolation of the formidable turret clocks from the end of the Middle Ages. With an easily readable and understandable display, it is the successor of the astronomical instrument of the past. Thanks to its sophisticated mechanism, the timepiece assumes the display of the time in a place chosen from among the 24 principal time zones used across the world.
In the heart of the Blast Moonstruck is a moonphase complication of precision, which combined with the complication that allows real-time following of the sun. It provides its brilliance while adding relief and life to the dial. This scientific representation of considerable oneiric potential will serve the cause of great leaders in search for the ultimate watch, but also that of sailors with whom Ulysse Nardin has an intimate relationship with since its establishment in 1846.
The complication is also pragmatic for explorers and navigators, who will be able to predict the dates of the spring tides at a glance by observing the sun and moon aligning on their respective ellipses.
Accentuating its three-dimensional effect, the domed crystal, with the land masses micro-engraved on the inside, is set in the protective sapphire crystal box. The box is encircled by an 18-carat rose gold ring engraved with 31 days of the month, which has for a pointer a small triangle loaded with luminescent material for extra appeal.
The tapering form ensures instinctive reading, even in total darkness. With god in the details, there’s a lot to appreciate on this timepiece. The 3D dimensional glide hands indicate the local time, set to the exact time zone with the names of corresponding cities displayed on the fixed flange of the dial. The 45mm astronomical watch also has a Dual Time mechanism, which allows the changing of the main display in leas of full hours. This can be done forwards or backwards, by means of a sophisticated mechanism very often used by Ulysse Nardin, which is easily activated by the two rectangular pushers on the left side of the case.
This highly efficient watch also fashions an aperture that bears the phases of the moon in a realistic manner — associating its course with a three-dimensional representation of the sun located at 12 o’clock on the time display for the said time zone.
While the Blast Moonstruck sports a complex look, it is easy to read and adjust as all the information can be set from the winding crown. With correct positioning of all the useful information, the automatic Manufacture caliber UN-106 will manage all the displays on its own as long as the watch is worn. And when it isn’t on your wrist, it just needs to be placed back in the box supplied, which contains an automatic winder designed to take care of the winding and keep its calendar information accurate.
(Images: Ulysse Nardin)
This story was first published on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.