In collaboration with Sigatec, a co-owned company specializing in the production of silicium micro-components, the Le Locle-based company spent no less than eight years perfecting this mechanism, which today appears to be a paradigm shift in the approach to mechanical watchmaking. Challenging the principle of the traditional Swiss anchor escapement, the new constant Ulysse Anchor escapement features a circular frame with a pallet fork fixed in the center, supported in space on two blade springs less than a tenth of the thickness of a hair in diameter. Mounted perpendicular to each other, these are subjected to a bending force that curves them and maintains them in a bi-stable state.
But the best is yet to come: the redesigned pallet fork now possesses an integral resetting face. As the tooth of the escape wheel slides along this surface as far as the banking face, it will bring the pallet fork back every time to within just 3° of the center line – that is, the imaginary straight line between the center of the balance wheel and the center of the escape wheel which defines the system's equilibrium limit. Thus the effort that the balance wheel has to exert to push the pallet fork as far as its tipping point is less than the effort that is restored to it immediately afterwards by the bending of the blade springs. In this way, this positive energy balance is able to maintain the oscillations of the balance wheel at a constant rate. In fact, this interplay of forces is not influenced by the motor torque injected into the escape wheel, which only starts to move once the pallet fork has switched over.
This caliber UN-178 is housed in a rose gold or white gold case in the Classico collection. A setting with traditional lines enhanced with a white Grand Feu enamel dial created by the unrivaled expertise of Donzé Cadrans, a dial-making specialist company owned by Ulysse Nardin.
Available in two limited editions of 18 pieces each, the Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon will be in the retailers' display windows from May.
1786-133: Limited Edition to 18 pieces in rose gold
1780-133: Limited Edition to 18 pieces in white gold
Caliber UN-178 Manufacture
29 jewels, 18’000 V/H
Power-Reserve: Min. 7 days, double barrel
Escapement: Constant Ulysse Anchor Escapement in silicium
Winding: Manual Winding
Hours and minutes, power reserve indicator
Case, dial and strap
Rose gold or white gold
Dimensions: 44 mm
Dial: Grand Feu Enamel
Water-resistance: 30 m
Crystal: Antireflective sapphire crystal
Case-back: Sapphire crystal
Band : Leather with simple buckle