With Baselword 2014 rapidly approaching brands are making the necessary arrangements to present new stylish watches. Based on the evidence I have seen so far this should be a very interesting year in the world of horology. I am very excited to say that the Classico Horse is the first model from 2014 I have actually written about. This offering from luxury watchmaker Ulysse Nardin celebrates the Chinese year of the horse.
Last year I wrote two in depth articles about Ulysse Nardin (for Luxurious Magazine) featuring two completely different looking watches. The first editorial presented the sporty Black Sea, which has a rubberised steel case, and bezel. In the second article I showcased the more opulent Black Toro with its highly complicated and distinctive dial. By contrast the new Classico Horse has a much more subtle and classical façade than either of these other watches.
Over the last few months I have written numerous articles about contemporary watches. Many of these timepieces display massive proportions (sometimes exceeding 55mm) and are constructed from lightweight industrial materials. The Classico Horse has a significantly smaller diameter of 40mm, which should appeal to a variety of serious collectors most likely from the Asia Pacific region. It also should sit very comfortably on the wrist and be an ideal selection for daily usage. Primarily this is down to the elegant round case and choice of 18-carat rose gold used in production.
Ulysse Nardin is one of very few watch companies that use the traditional art of champlevé enameling. This method is highly intricate and can only be achieved by the finest craftsmen. Other watch companies that have successfully employed this technique are Vacheron Constantin (Métiers d’Art Les Univers collection) and Patek Philippe (Sky Moon Tourbillon). The dial on the Classico horse skilfully displays two galloping horses in black and white set on a blue landscape background. These illustrations are outlined in gold and have been created by manufacturer Donzé Cadrans. Time is delicately displayed by elegant shaped hands and doesn’t detract from the fabulous artwork. I love the overall simplicity of the composition, which in my opinion is ultra refined.
Beneath the sophisticated exterior lies the technically proficient Caliber UN-815. This fantastic movement is self-winding and COSC Certified. Impressively the mechanism is also visible through the watch’s sapphire crystal case back. Functionally the Classico Horse features hours, minutes and seconds. It also has a power reserve of 42-hours and is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.
The Ulysse Nardin Classico Horse is limited to only 88 pieces and has a leather strap with matching rose gold tang buckle.
By Steve Huyton
You can read more watch reviews by Steve on his own website: www.totalwatchreviews.com