Ulysse Nardin Goes Into Orbit With Its New Blast Moonstruck
The Le Locle-based brand unveils a bold, contemporary take on its mind-blowing world-time astronomical watch featuring a precision moonphase and tidal indications.
Well, it’s all happening at Ulysse Nardin. Just last week it was announced that its parent company Sowind Group SA had been bought from Kering by Sowind’s board of directors, including UN CEO Patrick Pruniaux. Now, the Le Locle-based brand has launched its first exciting release of 2022: The dark, the dashing, and ultra-complicated Blast Moonstruck.
A Mind-Blowing Astronomical Watch
The Blast Moonstruck carries on Ulysse Nardin’s tradition of mind-blowing Ludwig Oeschlin-designed astronomical watches that started with the Astrolabium Galileo Galilei, Planetarium Copernicus, and Tellurium Johannes Kepler in the 1980s and ‘90s.
Oeschlin continued to work his magic in 2009 when the first Moonstruck was unveiled, followed up in 2017 by the launch of the Executive Moonstruck Worldtimer.
Bold, Sleek, and Contemporary… It’s a Blast
In essence, the new Blast Moonstruck is a cleaner, sleeker, more contemporary interpretation of the Executive Moonstruck Worldtimer. It packs the same complex astronomical instrumentation of the latter, with indications for local time, world time, date, moonphase, days of the lunar month, the position of the sun and moon relative to the Earth, and tidal cycles.
But now, the Blast Moonstruck is packaged in the bold, stealth jet-inspired style that has come to define the brand’s Blast collection. That means a black, gold, and aventurine dial framed by a 45mm black ceramic and black DLC titanium case that features geometrically shaped lugs and a crenulated crown. Finally, the case and dial are paired with a black strap made from alligator leather, rubber, or velvet.
The time – indicated via tapering, gilded, lume-filled hands – can be quickly set forward or backward (using the pushers on the caseband) to any of the 24 time zones represented by world cities emblazoned on the dial’s flange. Additionally, to supplement the 24-hour numerals just inside the flange, the Earth, as seen from above the North Pole, is micro-engraved on the inside of a domed portion of the sapphire crystal. That, in turn, is encircled by the date ring.
Meanwhile, the precision moonphase is indicated through a circular aperture, while the sun is represented using a three-dimensional bronzite disk. Not only does Blast Moonstruck depict the real-time position of these two entities in relation to the Earth – from which you can read the state of the tides – but the moon will appear brighter or dimmer in keeping with the lunar calendar.
Powering all these sophisticated indications is the UN-106 automatic caliber, packing a 50-hour power reserve and a 22K gold winding rotor, visible through the transparent display caseback.
Price and Availability
Priced at CHF 75,000, the Blast Moonstruck is technically a non-limited edition. However, the rarity of the Blast Moonstruck is all but assured, given Ulysse Nardin’s relatively limited production numbers – the brand makes fewer than 20,000 watches per year across all of its collections.