Brand Spotlight: Ulysse Nardin

Haute horology, in many cases, can trace its way back to Switzerland and the 1800s. Such is the case with Ulysse Nardin. If you’re not yet familiar with this iconic watchmaker, here’s what you need to know.

A Brief History of Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin got its start in 1846 in Switzerland, with its titular founder at the helm. Ulysse Nardin the man was born just two decades prior, in 1823, and had been apprenticing as a horologist under his father and other master watchmakers throughout his youth. At the young age of 23, though, Nardin struck out on his own and founded his company in Le Locle, Switzerland, where you can still find the brand’s headquarters today.

Ulysse Nardin (the brand) quickly became known for its nautical timekeeping, seafaring and marine instruments. The extremely precise timepieces were used by not just civil customers, but military clients and those in scientific industries as well. After traveling to the United Kingdom in the 1860s, the brand was awarded the highest honor for watchmakers in the country: the prize medal in complicated watches and pocket chronometers at the London International Exhibit.

However, Ulysse Nardin, who founded it all, would die prematurely in 1876, at just 53. His son would continue his legacy, obtaining continual horological honors at later exhibitions, including at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889 and at the Chicago Universal Exhibition in 1893. In 1902, the company began providing the U.S. Navy with marine chronometers, and that client roster expanded to include naval forces from the United Kingdom, Russia and Japan, as well. Even today, more than 50 international navies and shipping companies use the brand’s marine chronometers.

Ulysse Nardin’s Recent History

In more recent history, the brand was acquired by Rolf Schnyder in 1983. New ownership brought the brand into the modern age, after several decades of struggles during the 1970 and 1980s quartz crisis. After the acquisition, the brand produced its first marine chronometer wristwatch, as well as its first perpetual calendar timepiece.
In 2011, the company acquired Donze Cadrans, a Swiss enameller. Soon after, the brand introduced its first automatic caliber, completely created and produced in-house. Today, the brand is owned by Kering Group, a luxury corporation that also owns such recognizable brands as Balenciaga, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and more.

Ulysse Nardin’s Most Notable Models

Some of the brand’s most notable, more recent, timepieces have included the collection of Freak wristwatches that came out in 2001, as well as the Trilogy of Time collection released in 1985.
The Trilogy of Time collection included three watches: the Planetarium Copernicus, the Astrolabium Galileo Galilei and the Tellurium Johannes Kepler. The Astrolabium Galileo Galilei displays local and solar times, orbits and eclipses of the sun, and moon and star positions, and it received recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most functional watch in 1989.
The Freak collection includes several timepieces that offer their own unique features, such as a mechanical movement constructed using silicon parts, an escapement made from synthetic diamonds and a nanotechnology escapement.

Add a Ulysse Nardin Timepiece to Your Collection

Channel the technical prestige of this one-of-a-kind luxury brand when you add a Ulysse Nardin timepiece to your watch collection. Stop by our location in Naples and speak with one of our experienced jewelers today to learn more and take a look at the entire Yamron watch selection online.

Questions? Give us a call at (1) 239-592-7707, or send us an email, at We’d be happy to talk about your various options, help you find a more exclusive or vintage timepiece, or suggest the best fits for your current collection goals and budget. Whether you’re looking for a splurge-worthy watch or an investment timepiece, we’re sure to have something among our broad selection of men’s and women’s watches that will catch your eye.

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