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Ulysse Nardin’s Sparkling Free Wheel

Ulysse Nardin’s Sparkling Free Wheel Limited Edition

For 175 years, the house of Ulysse Nardin has perfected the art of watchmaking.  And that is exactly what the Sparkling Free Wheel is – a work of art.  With only 8 pieces made, this diamond-encrusted limited edition in their Executive Collection is both a technological wonder and any serious watch collector’s dream.

The Sparkle

Diamonds, diamonds and more diamonds adorn this watchmaking marvel – elevating it to the level of visual brilliance. It is truly a ray of light launched into the stratosphere.

The 2 251 pavé stones, set in a “snow setting, ” comprise 5.90 carats.  This setting technique involves placing diamonds of different sizes side-by-side to cover the surface. It looks like a fresh blanket of Swiss snow. The craftsmen of Art Setting, a Geneva-based workshop, spent around 120 hours on each piece, meticulously placing each diamond.  

For over 30 years, Art Setting has worked tirelessly to preserve the ancestral techniques of gem-setting pioneered by our forbearers. We take pride in putting all of our knowledge and experience at the service of constant innovation,” said Claude Leblanc, Director of Art Setting.

Prestige Digital | Ulysse Nardin’s Sparkling Free Wheel Limited Edition

Diamonds are everywhere on this model, from the face of the grey gold dial to the horns, as well as on the barrel cover. The carbon soft-touch black alligator band features a clasp also set with diamonds using the snow setting technique.  

The rigorously selected stones’ stellar quality is visible to the naked eye. They are all VVS or VS with an F/G rating for purity and colour. 

Ulysse Nardin as well as its parent company, Kering, are dedicated to sustainability. With each innovation, they endeavour to leave Earth a better place for future generations. “At Ulysse Nardin, we adhere to the Kimberly Process to ensure that all of our diamonds are ethically sourced,” said Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin.

Floating Showstopper

In fact, the diamonds are not the most astonishing feature of the Sparkling Free Wheel.  Shaped like boomerangs that look like they are miraculously floating in the air, the honour goes to the dial’s tourbillon bridges and the 7-day power reserve indicator at four o’clock. The hour and minute indicators and the gorgeous gear trains also appear to be floating. 

Finally, the sapphire glass box housing these ‘flying’ elements is incredibly complex, with perfectly polished angles.

Prestige Digital | Ulysse Nardin’s Sparkling Free Wheel Limited Edition

And then, in a complete reversal of watchmaking convention, all the exquisite components are visible on the dial side.  The mechanical movement powering all this beauty is the UN-176. Ulysse Nardin developed the entire movement in-house in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Its flying tourbillon is the “Ulysse Anchor Escapement”, a pioneering technology that replaces the traditional Swiss lever escapement system and uses Ulysse Nardin’s signature low friction silicium instead of metal or synthetic rubies.

Like the drifts of snow that glisten in the morning sun, the Sparkling Free Wheel incites dreams, encourages imagination and paves the way to follow your passion to the ends of the earth fearlessly.

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Images courtesy of Ulysse Nardin.
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