IN-DEPTH: The Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Torpilleur

Time and Tide

I’m going to start this review talking not about mechanical watches, but naval warfare. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, naval dominance was all about massive floating fortresses, with thick plate armour and a massed battery of cannons. These ships, which culminated in the dreadnought class of battleships, were the undisputed masters of the seas. To counter these ungainly behemoths, the Torpilleur, or torpedo boat, was developed. Streamlined, fast and modern, the Torpilleurs were armed with the latest technology — the self-propelled torpedo. These low-cost boats were intended as battleship-killers and presented a real threat to the dominance of the big ships. Now, do you really think it’s a coincidence that Ulysse Nardin chose to name their new, streamlined Marine Chronometer the “Torpilleur”?

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