Dear fellow PuristS,
finally, I have got the contest results from the UN jury members, that means from Patrik Hoffmann, UN sales manager for the United States, M. Pierre Gygax, technical director, and of course Mr. Rolf Schnyder himself. There were very interesting entries, some more conservative, others very progressive.
I am sure that for all who participated, the contest showed how difficult it is to design a watch, if most technical parameters are given by the movement's specifications and proportions. On the one hand, everybody is eager to show something new, hitherto unseen in the business, but on the other hand, the underlying mechanics dictate a certain design approach. Making a watch design from the very first sketch to the final product is a very lengthy procedure, and the designs which we will be presented by Ulysse Nardin in the upcoming years will then have a long history behind them. Consequently, it is unlikely that we will see one of the winning contest designs as real watches in the near future, if it was not for a lucky coincidence with what is in planning already at UN. Let's see what happens.
Strangely, only a very small minority left the common path of round watch cases and went for rectangular shapes. Not a single tonneau-shape was among the entries. Some entries were a bit outside the rules by adding further complications. One entry had a chronograph function added to the GMT Perpetual. The drawings looked nice, but unfortunately, the author did not disclose how the chronograph mechanism should be integrated into the already tightly packed movement.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Here are the three winning designs:
M. Emmanuel NARDIN from Paris (maybe even a distant relative of the company's founder?):
A very modernistic redesign of the GMT Big Date with integrated pushers and strap
Mr. Vadim TANCEV from Donetsk, Ukraine:
A striking variant of the GMT Perpetual, reminiscent of UN's maritime tradition, but not as strong as the current diver perpetual
Mr. Sam ANG from Singapore:
"New Wave GMT Perpetual"
One of the few non-round cased designs, this sketch shows a highly elegant rectangular variant. The - for aselfwinding perpetual calendar - rather thin movement will make possible a slim case. Especially interesting is the way how the author blends the time zone pushers into the case, resulting in clean outlines, unmarred by protruding pushers.
On behalf of the PuristS I sincerely congratulate the winners and give our thanks to all who participated in the contest, spent a lot of time making wonderful, often technically perfect graphics, and made this contest a wonderful experience!
May I ask the three winners to contact Ulysse Nardin at firstname.lastname@example.org and relate the shipping address where the prices shall be sent to.
With best regards (I am very proud of you all!),