In 2007, Ulysse Nardin made a splash with the “InnoVision 1”. Ten different features in total, 7 of which made it to production pieces, this watch was made to stand out. This signaled the start of a long road towards new horizons in timekeeping for Ulysse Nardin. At the Geneva Watch Fair SIHH 2017, under the aegis of CEO Patrik Hoffmann, the “InnoVision 2” marks an important milestone for the watch manufacturer, with its 10 unrivaled, sensational innovations and 10 patents. Here we bring you a brief look at just a few of these key innovations that have patents pending.
Innovation 1: Dual Constant escapement
The Dual Direct escapement in this watch is a sophisticated double constant force silicium structure that transmits the pulses to the balance wheel and hairspring wit equal force. This is made possible via flexible pre-tensioned silicium blades designed to absorb energy and release it accurately until the power of the watch is drained. The dual constant force escapement is an evolution of both Ulysse Nardin’s Dual Direct escapement and Ulysse anchor; it has a patent pending.
Innovation 2: Direct silicium bonding
An innovation in production technology, the strategic silicon component of the escapement involves silicon bonding as the complex, three dimensional shape of this part requires a two-part production process, which is unprecedented for small horological components. A vertical bond is created by compressing hydrophobic surfaces at process temperatures of between 1000 to 1200 degrees Celsius with the addition of oxygen.
Innovation 3: Silicium balance wheel with gold mass elements and stabilizing micro paddles
In the InnoVision 2, Ulysse Nardin uses silicium, which has a density 3.6 times lower than Glucydur, for balance wheel and balance spring. Silicium is non-magnetic, shock resistant and flexible, making it a great material choice without compromising quality. The balance wheel is equipped with four paddles to offer constant precision; the balance wheel has a patent pending.
Innovation 4: “Grinder”
“Grinder,” which is the name of the innovative self-winding mechanism, justifiably makes one think of high-performance yachting, with which Ulysse Nardin is closely associated through the Swedish Artemis team. This automatic winding system embodies the efficiency that is necessary when setting sail on a fast-paced yacht. It transforms even the tiniest amounts of kinetic energy into potential. There is virtually no idling. If necessary, the mainspring can of course be tightened by turning the rear bezel, as is also the case for “Freak”.
Innovation 5: Sapphire-coated silicium bridge
Thanks to a production process developed with EPFL Lausanne and Sigatec, the InnoVision 2’s elongated center wheel bridge is made in silicon coated with a one micrometer sapphire film. This does away with the need to set jewels in the bridge as its smooth sapphire surface offers optimal characteristics such as low friction with pivots, stability and durability.
Other innovations include: 24-Karat hard gold wheels; Glass bridge with integrated shock protection for the balance wheel; Super-LumiNova filled channels integrated into the glass balance wheel bridge; Eye-catching 1 – 11 and 13 – 23 time display and Three-dimensional glass minute hands.