With its new Black Toro Perpetual Calendar + GMT, Ulysse Nardin expands its ultra-luxury “Toro” line with a model that features an appealing combination of matte and glossy black of its dial and strap with a polished rose gold body. While not breaking any design records (and not sporting any ultra-high-tech features unlike their earlier Ulysse Nardin Sonata Silicium,) this luxury timekeeper is still worth a closer look.
Like the previously offered versions, the 2013 Ulysse Nardin Black Toro Perpetual Calendar + GMT offers a peculiarly styled dial with a prominent three-spoke “bridge” with apertures for the day of the week, month and 2-digit year indicators placed at 9, 3 and 6 o’clock respectively. The skeletonized (or, rather, layered like a cake) dial allows you to look at three of four disks that drive the indicators with the one powering the day of week sub-dial is hidden behind the arc-shaped subsidiary seconds display.
Of course, there is also an extra hour hand for the second time zone display, as well as their signature Large Date indicator, which is neatly placed at 1 o’clock and decorated with a massive rose gold frame. Since there is a lack of air on the large dial, the 24-hour GMT scale with day and night indication is etched in gold on the glossy bezel, which is crafted from scratch-resistant black ceramic.
All these complications are driven by their own Caliber UN-32 self-winding movement. First introduced around 17 years ago, the movement was based on the legendary Lemania 1340 ebauche, but re-designed to such an extent that the Swiss brand can truly call it an “in-house” caliber.
Although the watch clearly belongs to the “love it or hate it” category, I kind of like this small beast: while not a definition of elegance and modesty, this timekeeper is not afraid of being different from the rest of the pack. In this sense, it reminds me the Dutch brand Spyker: while 99 percent of luxury car makers ‘borrow’ ideas from each other, Spyker doesn’t give a rat’s tail about all those focus groups and market research and neither does Ulysse Nardin.
Perhaps, the only problem with this is a brand is that about every Berlin cab driver wears one. On the other hand, what can be a better form of flattery, right?
Ulysse Nardin Black Toro Perpetual Calendar + GMT automatic wrist watch (dial fragment)
Photos: Ulysse Nardin
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Ulysse Nardin Black Toro Perpetual Calendar + GMT specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber UN-32, in-house, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 34
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, perpetual calendar, GMT, big date
Case & Crown: 18-carat rose gold
Bezel: Black ceramic
Size: 43.00 mm
Dial: Black, decorated with vertical Geneva Stripes
Numerals: Arabic (24-hour format, on the bezel)
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Open-worked, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber band with titanium-ceramic deployant clasp / Black leather strap with folding buckle in rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Sapphire, antireflective