Ulysse Nardin first unveiled the Freak in 2001, a watch that both showcased an unconventional design, repurposing the gear train as the hour and minute hands, and was also among the first to make use of silicon in its escapement. The concept was further refined in 2013, adding more silicon parts to the escapement, including the hairspring, and removing the anchoring pin within the center of the crystal, creating a free-floating hand structure. This year, Ulysse Nardin adds a rich navy color scheme to the mix, creating the Blue Cruiser.
The Blue Cruiser continues with the blue theme first introduced in other Ulysse Nardin watches like the Blue Phantom and DIAMonSIL, adding navy accents to the bridges as well as the bezel. The solid 18k white gold case is completely devoid of crowns and pushers, opting instead for a pair of rotating bezels (one on top and the other on bottom) that function as the winding and setting controls. The Blue Cruiser utilizes the in-house caliber UN-205, which is manually-wound with a seven day power reserve. There is a carrousel tourbillon affixed to the tail end of the gear train/minute hand.
The blue theme carries through from the dial to the bridge structures and bezel, with the rich navy accented by white detailing in the anchor-shaped hour and minute hands, as well as the numerals at the chapter ring. The 45mm white gold case provides lots of open space, which gives the dial a ton of visual depth. There is so much going on and this is one you could really get lost staring at. There is of course a navy blue alligator strap to finish things off right.
The Blue Cruiser will ship later this year and pricing is yet to be announced (but expect a price tag in the six-figure range). For more information, click here.