Ulysse Nardin Exo-Skeleton X: A Unique Piece Created To Support Only Watch

Press Release – Only Watch 2019

Ulysse Nardin Exo-Skeleton X: A Unique Piece Created To Support Only Watch

This year, Ulysse Nardin has closely interlinked the development of its concept watch with the very cause supported by Only Watch: research into neurodegenerative diseases, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

REHAssist, an EPFL research group affiliated with the Biorobotics and the Translational Neural Engineering labs has developed the world’s best-adapted exoskeleton for people with degenerative muscular diseases: Autonomyo. This orthotic tool, when worn, imitates the human skeleton and detects the intended movement (flexion, extension and abduction of the legs), allowing the wearer to walk. Alongside this development, as part of its support for the 2019 Only Watch charity auction, Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin designed the unique piece, EXO-Skeleton X. This "skeleton" watch—which lays bare the entire gear train through a sapphire crystal—is completed by an "exoskeleton" formed from four flexible blades fixed to the case middle to drastically improve comfort of wear. Watchmaking and biorobotic skeletons have the same aim in mind: to further research into muscular dystrophy while offering more autonomy until more therapies are available.
 

Ulysse Nardin Exo-Skeleton X

Ulysse Nardin is donating a unique timepiece, the EXO-SKELETON X, to the world-renowned auction, which is being held for the eighth time this year. Ulysse Nardin's Only Watch piece is one of the timepieces given by some fifty watchmaking brands intended to raise funds for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
 

Ulysse Nardin Exo-Skeleton X

AUTONOMYO

Neuromuscular diseases are degenerative and unfortunately remain incurable to this day. They are characterized in particular by a major loss of muscular function, which results in the deterioration of everyday activities, notably walking. The early 21st century has been marked by the advent of technologies that have allowed the creation of motorized orthotic systems—more commonly known as exoskeletons. Incredibly, the initial developments of these devices have succeeded in allowing paraplegic people to walk once again, thanks to the equipment.
 

Ulysse Nardin Exo-Skeleton X

AUTONOMYO is an exoskeleton that meets multiple challenges. In order to allow total freedom of movement, it features 6 motorized axes at the hips and knees, as well as 6 passive axes at the ankles. The exoskeleton allows the user to make complex movements far beyond a robotic walk. The AUTONOMYO team is also working on the concepts of intention detection and balance augmentation, which allow a symbiosis of the movement assisted by the device as well as an increased level of security. Multiple sensors for movement, force and inertia are processed about 500 times a second with advanced algorithms in order to meet these challenges. The exoskeleton currently weighs 25 kg (55 lb) self-standing, which means that the user does not feel the device’s weight at all. It can also be adjusted for heights from 160 cm (63 in) to 200 cm (79 in).
 

Ulysse Nardin Exo-Skeleton X

According to Dr. Mohamed Bouri, head of the research group REHAssist, “Autonomyo is an exceptional device which has been designed to be used without crutches. Our goal is to be able to support walking and managing balance for sufferers of muscular dystrophy, for example. This project, which started in 2015, in collaboration with associations that are active against neuro-muscular diseases (ASRIMM and FSRMM), is clearly aimed at improving their daily lives.” He emphasizes that “Together, we are driven by the hope that assisted walking will delay the use of wheelchairs.”
 

Ulysse Nardin Exo-Skeleton X

The EXO-SKELETON X is a direct reference to these futuristic motorized devices in general, and AUTONOMYO in particular. By developing this exceptional piece and incorporating a "watchmaking exoskeleton", the Ulysse Nardin teams wanted to show the sufferers of this disease their full support.
 

Ulysse Nardin Exo-Skeleton X

"The exoskeleton theme was a unanimous decision. We were determined to establish a strong link between the timepiece and its purpose. This is a cause close to our hearts and we wanted to express that through the EXO-SKELETON X. The passion instilled in this timepiece by Ulysse Nardin’s watchmakers and designers is testament to the deep commitment of the President and members of the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy to the advancement of research into these degenerative diseases," says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin.

A SKELETON MOVEMENT, A SKELETON CASE: SKELETON X GOES BIONIC

The SKELETON X, launched at SIHH in January 2019, sports a carapace giving it a bionic look and accentuating its ergonomic design. The flexible double blade is attached with two screws, one on the case and the other on the lug, enhancing the flexibility of the piece by allowing some movement between the lug bar and the case. The piece features an easily adjustable, non-integrated strap which accentuates its ergonomic features. This textile strap evokes the supple straps of medical exoskeletons, designed to be an optimal fit for the wrist. Featuring an anthracite gray PVD bezel, splashes of orange Super-LumiNova on the indexes and hands further enhance the appeal of the timepiece. In place of the dial, a white design inside the rectangle represents a molecular structure, a nod to the medical purpose behind Only Watch.
 

Ulysse Nardin Exo-Skeleton X

Measuring a relatively small 42 mm, the sharp lines of the EXO-SKELETON X case are unambiguously on-trend. Its shape-within-a-shape geometry – an X formed by four indexes positioned behind a rectangle and within a circle – delights the eye. Inside and clearly visible beats one of the FREAK VISION’s greatest innovations, at the heart of this manufacture caliber UN-371: a super-light balance wheel in silicon, extra-wide, with nickel flyweights and stabilizing micro-blades. The 96-hour power reserve can be read through the windows on the barrel and is visible on the back of the movement.

Only Watch 2019: In-Depth With The Unique Ulysse Nardin - Exo-Skeleton X

By Benjamin TeisseireEditor & Business Development
At Ulysse Nardin, innovation is second nature. It becomes even more significant when it carries meaning. The unique Exo-Skeleton X, created for the eight...

Ulysse Nardin | Exo-Skeleton X