Luxury Daily
  • Email
  • Print
  • Reprints

Watches and jewelry

Ulysse Nardin examines pivotal turning points in anniversary series

September 1, 2021

“A tory of time” series from Ulysse Nardin illustrates the efforts from the watchmaker over the years, alongside historical events. Image credit: Ulysse Nardin


Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin is telling a tale as old as time with a new video series highlighting important moments in its history.

The watchmaker’s extensive video series, “A Story of Time,” reviews its innovative efforts in becoming a trailblazer in chronometry. The campaign — marking Ulysse Nardin’s 175th anniversary — highlights the leaders, materials and movements that encompass the brand and its growth alongside pivotal moments in global history.

“Luxury brands have a unique opportunity to unfold their heritage in dynamic storytelling content strategies that continue to enrich the brand,” Casey Golden, founder and CEO of Luxlock, New York.

“Ulysse Nardin’s ‘A Story of Time’ is unraveling a 175-year-old history through ‘edutaining’ consumers with the untold stories of today and forgotten moments of the past,” she said. “The campaign delivers micro-bytes of the creation process in a sharable narrative, effectively curated for retainable consumption.”

What makes Ulysse Nardin tick
The series begins with an introductory short film, “Ulysse Nardin | Chronometry since 1846,” serving as a brief overview of the 175 years of the brand’s journey.

“We are haute horlogerie’s best kept secret,” the narrator says at the end of the film, along an artsy compilation of scientists, nature, watch assembly and more.

The watchmaker has thrived during 175 years of innovation

The series has honed in on 10 important years in the brand’s history: 1846; 1876; 1904; 1936; 1983; 1996; 2001; 2012; 2019 and 2020.

Each film illustrates the brand’s efforts and accomplishments from the select years side-by-side with coinciding historical movements worldwide.

In the “1846” film, the narrator discusses how while astronomers Johann Galle and Urban Le Verrier were discovering new planets in the solar system, Ulysse Nardin was also “reaching for the stars.” That year, the founder of the eponymous brand was crafting precision marine chronometers, sparking advancements across the entire timekeeping sphere.

In “1904,” Jean Baptiste Charcot studied extreme polar environments while the brand explored the in-house manufacturing of mobile on-board chronometers that would be fitted on United States Navy vessels. In jumping more than 30 years ahead to “1936,” viewers learn about how the watchmaker designed the first 24 Split Second Chronograph, which would later be used to time world sporting finals.

The overarching messages of the series is that as the world turned and moved towards innovation, so did Ulysse Nardin, situating itself as a brand with a role in crafting the future.

“Innovation is measured by the major breakthroughs that have marked humanity, and it is measured with precision,” the narrator says.

In more recent history, “1983” aligns the historic upgrade of The Challenger space shuttle with Ulysse Nardin’s re-invigoration under new leadership from Rolf W. Schnyder, signifying a year of new beginnings. In “2019,” the narrator discusses Ulysse Nardin’s introduction of The X Factor, an underlying theme implemented in two offerings, the Freak X and Skeleton X timepieces.

2020 was a prominent year for the watchmaker's sustainability efforts

The last film of the series, “2020,” addresses the unprecedented times brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how Ulysse Nardin took time to be reflective, cognizant of the environment and creative. In 2020, the Swiss watchmaker leveraged abandoned material from the sea to craft its first casing made entirely of recycled fishing nets.

To celebrate its rich history, Ulysse Nardin has released several limited-edition timepieces, with some of the releases limited to only 175 pieces.

The series aligns the progress that has permeated the world for more than a century with the tireless efforts of Ulysse Nardin, ultimately conveying that both the world and watchmaker still have much to achieve.

Past, present, future
The retrospective series ends with a spotlight on Ulysse Nardin’s sustainability efforts.

Last year, the watchmaker began using recycled fishing nets to construct a concept watch as part of its commitment to a sustainable environment.

Ulysse Nardin fabricated the case, middle, back and bezel decoration of its Diver Net from the plastic material of discarded fishing nets thanks to a partnership with a French recycling group Fil & Fab. The move underlined the diving watch specialist’s commitment to ocean conservancy and adds a sense of adventure and authenticity to its brand (see story).

Also in 2020, Ulysse Nardin became the first watch brand to offer a blockchain-backed secured warranty certificate to all customers of its watches. It was the first luxury watchmaker to deploy blockchain certification across all of its collections (see story).

Amid almost two centuries of efforts and innovation, Ulysse Nardin, like many other brands, has seized the opportunity to highlight its rich After in the hopes of expanding its audience and future.

“Luxury brands have a unique opportunity to unfold their heritage in dynamic storytelling content strategies that continue to enrich the brand,” Ms. Golden said. “As much as we relate to beautifully designed storybooks, today’s consumers are becoming more receptive to authentic, unedited communication methods that are person-to-person.”