Speaking about innovation with Stéphane von Gunten by Ulysse Nardin

There are progressive marks, then there’s Ulysse Nardin. Of basic manufacture, it depends on the Swiss watchmaking custom to innovate and push the bounds. That is mirrored not solely by many progressive watches, with equally modern actions, but in addition by the introduction of recent supplies on the planet of watchmaking. Haute Time met Stéphane von Gunten, Director of Analysis and Innovation at Ulysse Nardin, to debate the newest developments in New York as a Watches of Switzerland boutique in Soho.

Stéphane von Gunten, Director of Analysis and Innovation at Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin has a really modern method to conventional watchmaking. What makes Ulysse Nardin so totally different on this respect from many different producers?
I feel we’ve got a superb mixture of conventional watches and trendy watches. In 2001, we have been the primary to make use of silicon for mechanical watches. It was within the Freak mannequin. At present, we’re at all times very modern and we attempt new issues, however respecting the custom. My grandfather was a watchmaker and the opposite engineer within the discipline of watchmaking. After I work on new issues, new shows, new mechanisms for watches, I attempt to respect them. We’ve new prospects lately, however with them, we attempt to respect the outdated spirit of watchmaking.

What do you contemplate to be the primary problem when growing a brand new watch / motion?
The principle problem is usually the delay, the time we’ve got to go from concept to advertising and marketing. At Ulysse Nardin, we’ve got many concepts, for instance with the "FREAK neXt" launched about ten years in the past. I filed the primary patent in 2009 and since then we’ve got filed two extra patents for this watch, and we simply launched the idea watch in March of this 12 months. We’ve short-term tasks and long-term tasks, and we additionally want to combine them up when it comes to human assets, and the underside line is that they’re executed with the best folks.

Ulysse Nardin Freak X

The Freak watch is a signature watch from Ulysse Nardin for a number of years now, however you continue to appear capable of develop it additional. What does the method behind this appear to be?
What we’re saying on a regular basis is that the Freak is a wrist laboratory. It's like a miniature showcase: we see very properly the minute gear prepare and it's a superb base for enjoying. For instance, on the 'FREAK NEXT', we determined to show the brand new flying oscillator. If we’ve got a novelty, it’s fascinating to combine it first on the Freak, then on the usual templates.

Ulysse Nardin is a pioneer within the introduction of recent supplies for the watch business. In your opinion, which supplies will play crucial function within the close to future for mechanical watchmaking?
I’m satisfied that we’ll go additional with silicon know-how as a result of it constitutes an actual breakthrough in watchmaking. We are able to obtain unimaginable precision when manufacturing elements. The accuracy is about zero.1 micrometer, so it is rather correct. This opens our minds to new mechanisms, new shows, new prospects for mechanical watches. Once more, FREAK neXt is an efficient instance, as a result of we’ve got these very skinny springs that play the function of hairspring. I’m due to this fact firmly satisfied that we will proceed to make progress with silicon know-how. On high of that, in fact, we’ve got different supplies to review, however we solely use them when we’ve got a superb motive. And a superb motive is a technical motive, it's by no means a motive for advertising and marketing. When one can combine the technical motive with the advertising and marketing motive, it’s good. It's the perfect and we did it with silicon know-how.

Ulysse Nardin Freak Imaginative and prescient

Wherein course can we count on the subsequent Ulysse Nardin watches?
We try to additional develop our current traces. With the Freak X, for instance, that I typically name the Child Freak as a result of it’s a little smaller. It's actually a Freak template that you need to use on a regular basis. You may put on it from Monday to Friday, then swap to your Freak Imaginative and prescient, which seems extra like the daddy of the Freak assortment. The principle concept right here is to have a Freak line ranging from $ 20,000 as much as $ 200,000 / $ 300,000. I’m positive that totally different prospects can discover a Freak mannequin tailored to their wants.

What's your favourite proper now?
My favourite proper now could be, in fact, the FREAK neXt mannequin. However apart from FREAK neXt, I need to say that I just like the Freak X fashions as a result of they’re fairly mild, they’re solely 43 mm in diameter, so they’re very sensible for on a regular basis use.

Ulysse Nardin collaborates with Watches of Switzerland Soho to create an unique ephemeral retailer. It lets you uncover "the issue X of watchmaking", from the Freak Imaginative and prescient to the volcanic Skeleton X Magma. This may also contain the US's introduction of the Leap Movement software program, which supplies watch fans the chance to discover the world of Freak X with unimaginable precision by means of augmented and digital actuality. The Ulysse Nardin Pop-up is open till the top of September 2019 and is positioned in Watches of Switzerland Soho, 60 Greene Road, New York.

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