The Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture should be no stranger to you if you read MONOCHROME regularly. It is indeed a watch that we’ve covered several times, and on each occurrence, we loved it. It is, as you could guess by its name, a classic offering from the brand. Available in several materials (yet, mainly with steel cases recently) and with many dial variations, it always remains a strong package throughout, with great value for the money. Prior to the SIHH 2018, Ulysse Nardin presents two new versions Classico Manufacture, with “Grand Feu” White or Black Enamel Dials, combined to steel cases – and for less than EUR 9,000, that’s quite impressive.
First of all, let’s talk about the new features of these Pre-SIHH 2018 versions of the Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture. No drama, no massive changes, just new dials. But what dials we’re talking about. Manufactured in-house (something rare enough to be mentioned) by sister company Donzé Cadrans, the Classico Manufacture receives two new dials, both executed in “Grand Feu” enamel. What we have here are “real” enamel dials, crafted in the most traditional way possible, by applying several layers of enamel powder, each baked in an oven… Each step is another risk for the dial to crack.
And while white is already complex to make, black is even moreso, as the smallest imperfection is even easier to spot. After baking, the enamel dial is polished to a high sheen, and readied for the final operation: applying the Roman numerals in a contrasting colour.
Thus, as Pre-SIHH 2018 novelties, there will be two Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture with Grand Feu enamel dials:
1.One black dial with white numerals, railroad track and hands
2.One white dial with black numerals, railroad track and hands (which are blackened)
For the rest, we find once more the elegant and restrained Classico Manufacture – similar to the version we reviewed, and to the version introduced for the SIHH 2017 or finally, another version in steel with enamel dial, as a limited edition. Its case is here made of polished stainless steel and still retains its 40mm diameter and reasonable 9.60mm height. The shape of the case, at first rather classic, is given a slight twist with shaped lugs and a plate screwed on the left side of the case (at 9) with the unique number of the watch engraved.
Inside these Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture “Grand Feu” replica watches ticks the brand’s signature UN-320 calibre, an internally produced self-winding movement with several interesting features. As often with the brand, it allows for rapid date correction both forwards and backwards. It makes use of Silicium hairspring and anchor escapement (UN were the first to use this material in a serially produced watch, back in the early 2000s). Its display is traditional, with minutes and hours on the central axis, small seconds at 6 and a date integrated into this sub-dial. it boasts 48 hours of power reserve. This movement comes with a double certification, as Chronometer-rated by the COSC and the Ulysse Nardin Certificate, which means it meets stringent quality standards – for the performance of its mechanism, power reserve and other functions.