What makes this Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon so special? It is composed of two separated elements. The first one is rather traditional, jumping hours. In a double window placed at 12, two large digits are giving the indication of the hour. Of course, they are instantaneously jumping at the end of each hour. In order not to deregulate the entire movement and the indication of the minutes, this hour indication can be quickly corrected via a pusher at 2 (which can also be practical when traveling, to quickly switch from a time zone to another). The rest of display on the other hand is far from being traditional and simple. And on top of its complexity, this way to indicate the time is a great tribute to the marine world.
Attached at 12 is a large hand, shaped like a boom (the horizontal spar used to angle the head sail). This is in fact a 60-minute retrograde hand, which is not driven classically by gears and pinions hidden under the dial, but by a complex wire mechanism. The boom jumps back once an hour, its speed regulated by a purpose-designed retrograde mechanism. The mesmerizing leap takes 3 to 4 seconds. This patented system is drawn by a super-strong hi-tech fiber that is thinner than a human hair. The boom is pulled by a nanowire that measures a mere 0.0357 mm in diameter and is capable of withstanding traction of 1.41 kg without stretching. The nanowire is made of polyethylene Dyneema fiber, a material that is used in ships rigging and is substantially stronger than steel. This wire is driven by four pulleys (placed at approximately 2, 4, 7 and 10). It could have been quite difficult for Ulysse Nardin to imagine a display more inspired by the world of Marine than this one. Impressive, both visually and technically.