In the expectation of the traditional Carnival of Venice which will be organized in the first half of February this year, a high-end watchmaker, Ulysse Nardin, has launched a piece that celebrates the event and the magical city of Venice which serves as the scenery for the manifestation. The commemorative watch is an extraordinary piece supplied with one of the most ancient complications – a minute repeater. This demanding feature which is always adjusted manually by a skilful artisan is even more enriched with the use of Jaquemart complication which activates movements of the two figures on the watch’s lovely enamel champlevé dial. Once the minute repeater is activated, figures of a lady and a gentleman which stand in front of the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal come to life and drop their masks. The extraordinary timekeeper whose production demands a lot of skilful hand performed operations is made in a limited edition that consists of 18 pieces in platinum.
Carnival of Venice Minute Repeater Watch with the reference number 719-63 is the latest minute repeater by Ulysse Nardin which has been releasing watches with this complication ever since San Marco model which was unveiled in the late 1980s. In the new model this intricate feature is complicated even further with the addition of an automated sequence that triggers the movements on the elaborate dial of the watch (similar to ones on Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris Watches).
The face of the Ulysse Nardin’s novelty is pretty special, since it is made with the use of enamel champlevé technique. Moreover, the dial is further decorated by hand chiseling and engraving. This highly decorative procedure creates the dial of stunning beauty which can currently be made by only handful of artisans. The theme of the watch depicted on the dial is the Carnival of Venice, an ancient tradition which draws its roots from the twelfth century and the celebration of the military victory. The festivity is famous for the use of distinctive traditional masks which are at the focus of the dial of the new watch and the automated sequence it displays. During the peak of the Venetian city-state, the carnival had an important cohesive role for the people of the duchy. Nearly forgotten after the decline of the Venetian state, the festival was reestablished in the late 1970s.
After a short historical excerpt, let us go back to the traits of the new watch by the brand from Le Locle. At its core is hand-wound UN-71 caliber. The highly refine movement features a standard chiming mechanism for an audible representation of time. Once activated, it utilizes two different chimes which are used to indicate hours, quarters and minutes. Carnival of Venice timekeeper is supplied with a power reserve that lasts for two days.
The case utilized for the model is 42 mm wide and made in platinum. Apart from 18 existing models in that material, the Swiss brand is willing to construct a red gold version on a special demand. The elaborate blue and dark dial is protected with a glare-proof sapphire crystal which is likewise featured on the exhibition case back of the watch with the water resistance to 30 meters. As for the attachment, Carnival of Venice Minute Repeater has a black leather strap which fastens with a folding buckle.