Speaking Innovation With Ulysse Nardin’s Stéphane von Gunten

There are progressive manufacturers, after which there may be Ulysse Nardin. Whereas it’s, in essence, a basic manufacture, it makes use of the Swiss watchmaking custom as a basis to innovate and push the envelope. This has resulted not solely in lots of progressive watches, with equally modern actions, but additionally in introducing new supplies on this planet of watchmaking. Haute Time sat down with Stéphane von Gunten, Ulysse Nardin’s Analysis and Innovation Director, to debate the newest developments.

Stéphane von Gunten, Ulysse Nardin's Research and Innovation DirectorStéphane von Gunten, Ulysse Nardin’s Analysis and Innovation Director

Ulysse Nardin has a really modern method to conventional watchmaking. What makes it that Ulysse Nardin is so totally different on this side from many different manufactures?
I believe that now we have a great mixture of conventional watches and trendy watches. In 2001, we had been the primary to make use of silicon for mechanical watches. This was within the Freak mannequin. It’s nonetheless the case at the moment that we’re very modern, and we strive new issues however with respect to the custom. My grandfather was, a watchmaker and the opposite one an engineer within the subject of watchmaking. Once I work on new issues, new shows, new mechanisms for the watches, I attempt to respect them. We have now new prospects today, however with them, we do attempt to respect the outdated spirit of watchmaking.

What do you think about the principle problem when creating a brand new watch/motion?
The primary problem is usually the lead time, the time that now we have from the thought to market launch. We have now many concepts at Ulysse Nardin, for instance with the ‘FREAK neXt’ we began about ten years in the past. I filed the primary patent in 2009, and since then we filed for 2 different patents for this watch, and now we have simply introduced the idea watch in March of this 12 months. We have now short-term tasks and long-term tasks, and we even have to combine them when it comes to human assets, and the principle level is that they get achieved with the suitable individuals.

Ulysse Nardin Freak XUlysse Nardin Freak X

The Freak has been a signature watch from Ulysse Nardin for fairly some years now, but you at all times appear to have the ability to develop it additional. What does the method behind this appear like?
What we are saying on a regular basis is that the Freak is a laboratory on the wrist. It is sort of a miniature showcase: we are able to see the minute gear practice very effectively and this can be a good foundation to play with. For instance, on the ‘FREAK neXt,’ we determined to show the brand new flying oscillator. If now we have a novelty, it’s good to first combine it on the Freak after which afterward the usual calibers.

Ulysse Nardin is a pioneer on the subject of introducing new supplies to the watchmaking trade. What supplies do you assume will play an important function within the close to future for mechanical watchmaking?
I’m fairly assured that we’ll go additional with the silicon know-how as a result of it’s a actual breakthrough in watchmaking. We will obtain unimaginable precision when making elements. The precision is round zero.1 micrometer, so it is extremely exact. It opens our thoughts to new mechanisms, to new shows, to new prospects for mechanical watches. Once more, the FREAK neXt is an effective instance, as a result of now we have these very skinny springs that play the function of the hairspring. So I really feel strongly that we are able to develop additional with the silicon know-how. Apart from that, now we have in fact different supplies we glance into, however we solely use them when now we have a great motive. And a great motive is a technical motive, it’s by no means a advertising motive. Once we can combine the technical motive with the advertising motive, it’s excellent. That’s one of the best, and we did it with the silicon know-how.

TitaniumUlysse Nardin Freak Imaginative and prescient

In what path can we anticipate the upcoming watches from Ulysse Nardin to go in?
We attempt to additional develop our present traces. With the Freak X, for instance, which I typically name the newborn Freak as a result of it’s a bit smaller. It’s actually a Freak mannequin that you need to use as day by day put on. You may put on it from Monday by means of Friday after which change to your Freak Imaginative and prescient, which is extra like the daddy of the Freak assortment. The primary thought right here is to have a Freak-line, beginning round $20ok all the best way as much as $200Okay/$300Okay. I’m positive that the totally different clients can discover a Freak-model that which is acceptable to the necessity that they’ve.

What’s your favourite proper now?
My favourite proper now could be, in fact, the FREAK neXt. However apart from the FREAK neXt, I have to say that I just like the Freak X fashions as a result of they’re fairly mild, they’re solely 43mm in diameter, so they’re actually handy for day by day use.

For these serious about taking a better take a look at these outstanding watches, Ulysse Nardin is collaborating with Watches of Switzerland Soho to carry an unique Pop-up retailer. It permits you to expertise ‘the X-factor in watchmaking,’ from the Freak Imaginative and prescient to the volcanic Skeleton X Magma. It’ll additionally imply the US introduction of the Leap Movement software program, which provides watch lovers the flexibility to discover the world of the Freak X in unimaginable element by means of augmented and digital actuality. The Ulysse Nardin Pop-up is open from now till the tip of September 2019 and might be discovered at Watches of Switzerland Soho, 60 Greene Road, New York.

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