Last March, Ulysse Nardin has introduced its then-new Executive Dual Time GMT collection that featured an uncommon second time-zone display. While most currently available timekeepers with a GMT functionality usually employ a secondary hour-hand pointer that circles a 24-hour scale (with an optional city disk on the bezel), this one uses an indicator, which is not easier to grasp at a single glance but also takes a lot less space on the dial to ensure cleaner, more aesthetic look.
Equipped with a digital second time-zone indicator at 9 o’clock, the Ulysse Nardin Dual Time series is considered to be the most user-friendly watch on the market, and justly so. The lack of the secondary hour-hand makes the dial less cluttered and allows for fast time-zone changing with a push of a button (well, actually there are two buttons at 8 and 10 hours.)
Well, the technology created by Ulysse Nardin’s master watchmaker Ludwig Oechslin -a person who brought us such technological marvels as the Freak, the Moonstruck, and, of course, the Trilogy of Time– has its drawbacks, too. For once, you won’t be able to set the right time if your business needs bring you to such areas as, say, Adelaide, Australia, or Kabul, Afghanistan, or Tehran, Iran, or Mumbai, India, and many other places where the local standard time zones are divided by 30 minute steps: you will have to move the minute hand by half-hour intervals, which can be annoying at times.
Those minor nuisances aside, this is still the best GMT timepiece that money can buy, though.
The Executive Dual Time sports the new UN-24 caliber, which is based on the ETA 2892-A2 movement and also powers their new Dual Time Ladies, 42 mm, and the Quadrato Dual Time.
The main difference between the Caliber UN-22 movement that powered the earlier GMT Big Date GMT +- and this particular mechanism is that this new iteration has the central sweep second hand replaced with a small second indicator at 6 o’clock and its GMT module is also reworked.
Purists may frown upon the fact that Ulysse Nardin based the caliber on a mass-produced movement, but I don’t see a problem here: the Swiss watchmaker is always very serious when it comes to quality control and also invests heavily into upgrading the stock movements with higher-grade parts that ensure better ability to keep good time and make the already pretty robust mechanisms last even longer.
The movement is hidden inside a gorgeous 43 mm case, which is made of either stainless steel or 18ct rose gold tastefully combined with a scratch-resistant black ceramic bezel and push-pieces.
Although the dial layout is not that exquisite as that on the earlier GMT Big Date models, the new model will certainly conquer hearts and wallets of those who craved the gorgeous Maxi Marine Diver Titanium chronometer but thought that it was too sporty. This one can be worn with a suit.
Photos: Ulysse Nardin
Ulysse Nardin Executive Dual Time GMT specification
Price range: $9400 (steel version) / $22,400 (rose gold version)
Movement: Caliber UN-24, automatic, based on ETA 2892-A2, 28,800 vph, 34 jewels, Swiss Made
Complications: 24h second time-zone, big date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel or rose gold
Diameter: 43.00 mm
Case height: 12.6 mm
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective