In a powerful homage to the oil industry, the Ulysse Nardin North Sea Minute Repeater marks the latest addition to the unique timepieces in the Classic Collection.
Finely crafted in gold and champlevé enamel, this timepiece is an incredibly realistic depiction of the mighty offshore drilling rigs that dig deep for the world's precious "black gold". The glimmering champlevé rig, seen from a low angle, rises majestically from the black sea, with its delicately wrought waves in the foreground. A dramatic red sky highlights the stunningly detailed structure, while in the background, another golden rig works industriously away.
Three 18-Karat gold cranes - the Jaquemarts - move and sound when the minute repeater is activated indicating the hours, quarter hours and minutes. Known for its crystalline chimes as well as for its impressive mechanical timekeeping, the minute-repeater complication is highly respected in the horological industry and by connoisseurs as one of the most difficult to achieve.
The champlevé enamel technique is a genuine rarity and this one is a fine example of this ancient art. First introduced in the 12th century, the champlevé enamel technique is mastered by only a handful of craftspeople worldwide. Firstly, it requires the engraver to define the design on gold plate, carefully creating the image in three-dimensions. The enameller then lays down the different-colored enamels. Finally, the effect is brought vividly to life by the engraver who chisels the metal to perfection once the dial has been polished.
Minimal black indexes, and streamlined hour and minute hands allow the final results – the powerful champlevé rigs - to take center stage on the rose-gold dial.
Indeed, the Ulysse Nardin North Sea Minute Repeater represents the finest in Haute Horlogerie, melding centuries-old artisanship with cutting-edge technology to create this noble tribute to industry.