Ulysse Nardin was founded in 1846, the brainchild of intrepid designer and watchmaker Ulysse Nardin. First trained in the art of watchmaking by his father and then under the tutelage of craftsman William Dubois, the brand began garnering worldwide attention for their precision timepieces as well as their innovative approach to creating unique and highly functional watches.
The brand began winning awards for its timepieces less than two decades after its inception. The Prize Medal at the London International Exhibition, the Gold Medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition, and First Prize at the ChicagoInternational Exhibition are three of the many different awards given to the company for its precision watches, complications, and intricate detail.
After Ulysse Nardin’s death in 1876 his young son, Paul-David, took the helm. He piloted the company into international fame by not only creating better technologies for watches, but by partnering with groups and individuals worldwide to create a stunning network of precision watchmakers and manufacturers who understood Ulysse Nardin’s goals and passions.
In 1983 a company headed by the great Rolf Schnyder took over Ulysse Nardin for a new phase in the company’s history. The takeover breathed new life into the faltering giant, and they began the delicate process of rebuilding the creative and technologically genius mind of the company once more. The creative and business-minded Schnyder knew how to rebuild the company, and with the fortuitous partnership of Professor Ludwig Oeschlin the two managed to build and grow an empire.
Up Close, exclusive interview.
Rolf Schnyder knew the global markets for precision timepieces from his work and travels throughout the world, predominantly focused on Asia. His interest in a particular wall clock, the Astrolabium in Lucerne, brought him to the doorstep of renowned scholar Professor Oeschlin. Professor Oeschlin had spent many years researching, dissecting and analyzing timepieces of all ages and types around the world; together the minds of Schnyder and Oeschlin created the wristwatch Astrolabium Galileo Galilei which catapulted Ulysse Nardin’s name back into the horological sphere. The CEO of Uber Luxury had the privilege of meeting Rolf Schnyder and Professor Oeschlin discussing some of the finer points of horology, in Basel.
|Astrolabium & Tellurium|
The unfortunate demise of CEO Rolf Schnyder in 2011 put into perspective the incredible importance of the work being done by Ulysse Nardin. Not only were the timepieces produced by the company of utmost importance, but the people behind the innovative craftsmanship were the truly valuable portion of the company as a whole. Through some managerial restructuring the current CEO, Patrik Hoffman, was charged with the task of leading the company with the same grand finesse as those who came before him.
Patrik Hoffman trained as an accountant before finding his passion drawn towards international sales. Originally from Switzerland he has pursued education in his home country as well as in the United States before moving to Asia, where he was introduced to the late Rolf Schnyder as a business associate in the watchmaking world. The two became fast friends and soon Mr.Hoffman was on board to work at Ulysse Nardin.
Two of the latest watchmaking innovations from Ulysse Nardin include the SkeletonTourbillon and the Imperial Blue. These two precision timepieces feature a flying Tourbillon and in-house movements alongside the most precious of metals and rarest of gems. The Skeleton draws the eye towards intricate detail work and utilizes silicium technology with inlaid rubies. The Imperial Blue lives up to its name, with a delicate sapphire bridge spanning its face and customizable features making it a truly personal watch.
These innovative timepieces certainly contribute to the reputation of the great Ulysse Nardin.
Stay tuned for Part 2 ...