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Ulysse-Nardin dinner report by Tay Kok Choon

November 11 2006 at 8:29 PM

SJX  (Login JiaXian)
AP Discussion Group



On 8 November 2006, Ulysse-Nardin and The HourGlass hosted a dinner to mark Ulysse-Nardin's 160th anniversary. Purists Tay Kok Choon (KC) kindly allowed me to post his report and photos. All the text and photographs in follow-up posts are courtesy of KC. Do post a word of thanks to KC for his wonderful work.

- SJX

 
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SJX
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Part I - Introduction

November 11 2006, 8:33 PM 

Ulysse Nardin was founded in 1846, and it was named after the founder, Mr. Ulysse Nardin himself.

Rolf W. Schnyder bought over the company in 1983, and has been the President of the company sincer then. Together with a genius, Dr. Ludwig Oechslin (who is a scientist, an inventor, a historian and a watch-maker extraordinaire, all-in-one) this dream team has created ao many wonderful timepieces that had never before existed, in the 80s till few years ago when Dr. Oechslin decided to step down. He is now heading the MIH.

Today, UN continues to develop and produce special watches of high technical standard. The company has so many patented inventions and are featured in watches such as the renowned Trilogy of Astrolabium, Planetarium and Tellurium; the Jaquemart Minute Repeater, the Hour Striker San Marco and the Freak.

One of my personal favorite of UN watches is the cloissoné dial watches. UN was believed to be responsible for the revival of the excellent craft of cloisonné dial in the 1980s, when the art was thought to be extinct.


Above is an example of the customised cloissoné dial commissioned by a watch collector to UN, on the left is a picture of 2 Egyptian Sail Boats, which was then converted to a drawing for final approval by the customer. On the right is the finished watch in San Marco stainless steel case.


2006 celebrates the 160th Anniversary of Ulysse Nardin, the use of new silicium and other materials, as well as other unconventional ways to solve watch-making bottlenecks have proven success to the development division of the company and we certainly hope to see more innovative products in the near future .......

Photographs and text courtesy of Tay Kok Choon

 
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SJX
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Part II - The 160th Anniversary Watches

November 11 2006, 8:35 PM 

On the evening of November 8th 2006 (Thursday), The HourGlass, together with Ulysse Nardin jointly organized a dinner party in celebrating Ulysse Nardin's 160th Anniversary at the Cherry Garden Restaurant inside The Oriental Hotel Singapore.

I would like first to introduce the two models dedicated to the 160th Anniversary of Ulysse Nardin before reporting the dinner proper. Here they are:

ANNIVERSARY 160


This is perhaps the most talked about watches of Ulysse Nardin this year, housed with a brand new Calibre 160, this Anniversary piece is available in white gold as well as rose gold of 500 pieces each. Case size measures 43 x 40.5mm. The above example is the rose gold version ref. 1602-100.


This is the back of the watch with crystal back showing the gorgeous calibre 160 at work. I like the blue enamels on the 22k rotor very much


Take a closer look at the all new escapement of the calibre 160, its simply breath-taking and check out also the use of silicium in the escape wheels ....


MARINE CHRONOMETER ANNIVERSARY 160


Ulysse Nardin also celebrates its 160th anniversary with none other than a Marine Chronometer as well. Housed with the famous UN-26 automatic movement, this model is made available in only rose gold and platinum of 160 pieces each. The case size of the watch is a good 43mm and this watch also features the genuine white enamel dial. Above example is the platinum version ref. 269-65.


This Marine Chronometer comes also with a see-through back for one to admire the UN-26, which is considered a workhorse in UN movements arsenal.

Photographs and text courtesy of Tay Kok Choon


    
This message has been edited by JiaXian on Nov 12, 2006 1:38 AM


 
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SJX
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Part III - The Cocktail Reception and the Dinner

November 11 2006, 8:36 PM 

The dinner was hosted in the Cherry Garden Restaurant in the Oriental Hotel.

The invite stated that the dinner starts at 7:30pm but I was quite surprised that guests turned up quite early. The guests were received by a cocktail reception outside the restaurant.


Before the guests arrived, Dr.Kenny Chan, CEO of The HourGlass, took a photo with some of his assistants. From left, Natalia, Cornelia, Dr.Chan, Yee Sah and Fang Ning.


Dr.Bernard Cheong and Mrs. Dolly Cheong, with Laurent Michaud, Regional Sales Manager of Ulysse Nardin coming all the way from Switzerland.


Guests enjoying some refreshments outside the restaurant. From left: Mrs. Seah, Mrs. Wee, Jim Seah and Stephen Wee.


From left: Dr. Bernard Cheong, Leonard Ross, Laurent Michaud, Mrs. Dolly Cheong and Dr. Kenny Chan from The HourGlass.


Lim Hock Thiam, General Manager of The HourGlass, standing in the middle of two guests.


This is the entrance to the restaurant. Cherry Garden Restaurant serves mainly Chinese cuisine and my personal experiences in this restaurant have been excellent.


Guest what I found on the floor to the entrance of the restaurant? Yes ,this huge sticker of the back-case of Anniversary 160 showing the fabulous calibre 160.


Instead of getting to their tables, guests were attracted to the many displays along the walk-way. Notice the Egg of the Tsars in the display. More about this later


Rolf Schnyder, President and owner of Ulysse Nardin, showing the Larry Wee and friend the Royal Blue Tourbillon....


Michael Tay, Executive Director of The HourGlass, gave a warm welcome to all the guests. On the left is Miss Bella from Switzerland, who would later entertained the guests with her sweet voice and sexy dance moves.


Rolf Schnyder,gave an account of how he decided to buy over Ulysse Nardin in 1983 and how Ulysse Nardin started using Silicium in the Freak movement development. Very enligthening indeed and we were fortunate to hear all these from the horse's mouth.






Guests were sitted either in round table or round table. All the guests I've spoken to ehjoyed the evening very much and some left the restaurant pass mid-night.


Never seen Duncan that embarassed before right? Bella was singing a love song to him while Larry Wee (left) and Natalia (right) looked on.


Laurent Michaud explaining to Jim Seah and Leonard Ross how the Freak's initial problems were solved and how UN is committed to that and always stand by its products.


Rolf sharing a lighter moment with Tan Puay Hiang.


Jim Seah with Su JiaXian (in light blue shirt).

Photographs and text courtesy of Tay Kok Choon


    
This message has been edited by JiaXian on Nov 12, 2006 6:30 AM


 
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SJX
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Part IV - A Special Gift from Bernard to Rolf

November 11 2006, 8:37 PM 

Half way through the dinner, Dr. Bernard Cheong went on to the "stage" and called for Rolf Schnyder to go on stage with him ....


Bernard presented a teddy bear, a very collectible item that has been with him for more than 20 years already, to Rolf Schnyder, in appreciation of his generosity and contributions to the horological industry.


Here's the teddy bear. Bernard has even attached an expired Doctor License on its neck.


Here's the teddy bear. Bernard has even attached an expired Doctor License on its neck.

Photographs and text courtesy of Tay Kok Choon

 
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SJX
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Part V - Some Special Watches on Display

November 11 2006, 8:38 PM 

I would like to end this report with some of the very interesting pieces on display during the evening.....

The Genghis Khan


This is the reference number 786-88 Genghis Khan in 18k Pink Gold measuring 42mm with black Onyx dial with gold Automatons. This is the first ever Westminster Carillon Tourbillon Jaquemarts Minute Repeater, with a visible one minute Tourbillon. The Genghis Khan would be produced over a period of 8 years in a limited edition of 30 pieces each in 18k white and pink gold.

The Royal Blue Tourbillon


One of my personal favorites, this reference number 799-80 Royal Blue Tourbillon features a mesmerizing Flying Tourbillon set on sapphire crystal bridge and the hour indicators are set with 12 blue sapphires.

This is limited to 99 pieces in Platinum.

The St. Basil Red Square


This St. Basil Red Square is part of Ulysse Nardin's contribution towards the 200th Anniversary of the Kremlin.

This enamel Cloisonne dial is truly a collector's item and is limited to 30 sets together with the Egg of Tsars shown below, known together as the Kremlin Set.



The Macho Palladium 950


This is the same oval shape as the Anniversary 160 but it came out first. Above example is reference 278-70/609, with silver / grey dial and uses the special and precious case material known as Palladium.


Above is another example of the Macho Palladium 950 with bracelet, reference 278-70-8/609, same dial as the example on top.


All above fabulous watches, except the 2 Macho Palladium 950 were brought down specially from Switzerland for the event and I would like to thank Rolf, Laurent and all in Ulysse Nardin for bringing these wonderful pieces to us here in Singapore.

That's all Folks!

A big congratulation to the 160th Anniversary of the Ulysse Nardin and I am very sure that there will be many more 160th years of celebration in the future for this excellent watch brand!

I would like to take this opportunity again to thank Mr. Rolf Schnyder, all in Ulysse Nardin, Michael Tay and all in The HourGlass for another memorable evening!

Cheers,
KokChoon
10.Nov.2006

Photographs and text courtesy of Tay Kok Choon

 
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jokoh
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I really curious about the bear ;-)

November 12 2006, 7:31 PM 

I guess if any malpractice, Bernard will just point at the bear

thanks KC for bringing us to the event.
The egg is really interesting.

cheers
joe

 
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bernardcheong
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Speaking of bears, and animals..look at this UN dial!

November 12 2006, 10:14 PM 


 
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Marcus Hanke
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Thanks for digging out from oblivion this piece of art! - nt

November 14 2006, 10:06 AM 

nt

 
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MichaelC
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Fanatstic! Thanks for sharing with us...

November 11 2006, 10:56 PM 

Wonderful report

 
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Marcus Hanke
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Absolutely fantastic pictures, and a great report,thanks! ...

November 12 2006, 6:14 AM 

... Regarding the Teddy Bear, which doctor's degree did it have? MD? Working as a general practitioner? or orthopedist - helping the poor watchmakers at UN with their back aches?

Regards,
Marcus

 
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JP
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Thanks for sharing !

November 12 2006, 12:42 PM 

Always nice when someone makes the effort of sharing their experience!

 
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bernardcheong
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THANK YOU for the coverage and posts. KC!!!

November 12 2006, 7:27 PM 

The community at large, globally speaking, especially readers from SE Asia and China, really love to look at these events with people.

It adds a real life and personal touch to a waorld of watch collecting.

Normal people, and not celebrities.

It gives a dimension and emotional resonance to new products being launched, and the wide appeal it has.

Thanks for the wondeful pictures.

Long ago, I now recall, that I did give one gift, to one other great man of the industry, Gunther Blumlein, it was a painting in acrylic that I had done, and it now resides in Germany with the family.

Of all the watch CEOs, both the late Blumlein and Rolf have been great friends, thru thick and thin, standing with thier principles of honesty and intregity, and not with the tides of popularity and influence...truly men I respect and admire.


 
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Marcus Hanke
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NORMAL PEOPLE??? Don't understate, you are a celebrity!! - nt

November 13 2006, 2:20 AM 

nt

 
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bernardcheong
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In my country, they will call me a male "tai tai", the only benefit is...

November 13 2006, 4:19 PM 

I can get into clubs (only here) without lining up...but what the heck...I am happily married! Life has this aweful way of playing the worse jokes on us.

Speaking of celebrities, I always associate them with sports and media folk. Or plastic surgeons who treat them.

There are 6 that I know of specifically here on the purists, all from Hollywood/TV of the USA. Otherwise...not me. No one will recognise me at any club outside Singapore.




 
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Ronald Held
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Thanks for all of the pictures. Bernard, you are not "ordinary". (nt)

November 13 2006, 4:56 AM 

(NT)

 
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bernardcheong
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Trust me Ronald, I am very down to earth.

November 13 2006, 4:25 PM 

Otherwise, I would be wearing a certain brand(s) that will get me much more media attention.

I was already posed a question " So how come you are do not own any of Tiret's watches, they are just so like you."....arrggghhhh...I could not sleep well after that!

I like Halter and MBF and Freaks...but Tiret and Jacob's diamond "look at me" watches are not me.

That's what the media associates with celebrities...attention getting media hounds. YIKES.

I have developed a way to avoid getting my picture into mags too often, "closing my eyes during the snap".


 
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Ronald Held
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Perhaps you are a horological star, Bernard? (nt)

November 14 2006, 5:57 AM 

(NT)

 
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