Ulysse Nardin is a world-renowned name in the world of watches. The brand is synonymous with luxury watches whose finesse, quality workmanship and the ability to manufacture highly complicated watches are recognized by experts all over the world.
The brand is named after its founder- Ulysse Nardin who was initiated into the world of horology at a very young age by his father and mentor Leonard-Frederic Nardin. Later, he went to hone his skills under the tutelage of Frederic William Dubois and Louis JeanRichard-dit-Bressel, two of Swiss's world-renowned horologists.
He founded 'ULYSSE NARDIN' in 1846, a company that has now become a 'must have' brand of many a watch lovers. Soon it started exporting watches to Central and South America and the USA. These exports included highly complicated watches such as minute repeaters, and pocket chronometers.
The turning point for the company came in 1862, when the company was awarded the "The Prize Medal" in the category of "Complicated watches, pocket chronometers" at the London International Exhibition. This award sealed the name of Ulysse Nardin as a leading brand of pocket chronometers.
The reputation of the company spread everywhere. Many laurels and accolades came its way. Some of them were:
- Gold Medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition for pocket and marine chronometers
- First Prize at the Chicago Universal Exhibition for its chronometer, which was a gold and silver decorated case with shows a relief-engraved allegory of the Arts and Sciences
- Gold medal at the same exhibition in the category "Marine and pocket chronometers".
- First Prize and Gold Medal at the Milan International Exhibition.
However, the progress of Ulysse Nardin was halted due to the introduction of the quartz watches in the 1970s. The phenomenal success of quartz watches swept the globe and mechanical timepieces soon fell out of favor. Plunging sales brought financial hardships on the company, but the company did continue with its production of watches.
In 1983, Rolf W. Schnyder, a visionary, took over the company and injected a new life. A change in ownership brought a change in the fortune of the company. Soon, Ulysse Nardin started regaining the lost ground. A renewed interest in mechanical watches in the 80s gave momentum to the revival of Ulysse Nardin. The first step taken by Schnyder was seeking creative talents in the field of horology so as to come up with exceptional inventions that had made Ulysse Nardin a name to reckon with. He hired Dr. Ludwig Oechslin, a renowned a scientist, historian and a watchmaker
The first fruit of the association between Ulysse Nardin and Dr. Oechslin was the watch Astrolabium Galileo Galilei. This timepiece was inducted into the Guinness Books of World Records for being the most complicated wristwatch in the world. This was followed by the Planetarium Copernicus and the Tellurium Johannes Kepler completing a trilogy known as 'Trilogy of Time'.
The company continued it's stream of smart innovations such as:
- The Automaton San Marco "Hourstriker" model
- The "Cloisonné" Boat collection
- Single-button chronograph "Pulsometer"
- The introduction of the Marine Chronometer 1846 as a wristwatch
- Genghis Khan - the first ever Westminster Carillon Tourbillon Jaquemarts Minute repeater
These innovations have been acknowledged by the experts in the field of horology. In fact, it was bestowed with Watch of the Year 2000 "Innovation Prize by German magazine "Chronos".
Today, Ulysse Nardin is a leading manufacturer of exquisite mechanical timepieces that boasts of a blend between the traditional craftsmanship and modern features. It has now acquired a position that few dare to dream of in the world of horology.