For its second anniversary, the Singapore Watch Club (SWC) commissioned a special version of the Ulysse Nardin Classico fake watches featuring a black grand feu enamel dial as well as other custom tweaks.
With input from several of its members, the horological social club based in the city state made several changes to the stock Classico Manufacture. The most distinct being the black enamel dial – a first for Ulysse Nardin, which typically only offers enamel dials in white or blue.
The dial was produced by Donzé Cadrans, a subsidiary of Ulysse Nardin since 2011 and the only Swiss dial manufacturer producing fired enamel dials in substantial numbers. While the colour is new for the brand, the dial is made the traditional way: applying black enamel powder mixed with oil and water on a copper base, then firing it in a kiln at a temperature of 800°C to 1200°C, resulting in a deep, lustrous black surface that’s resistant to fading.
While most of the printing on the dial is white, the “II” at 12 o’clock is red, a reference to the second anniversary of the club as well as the white and red national colours of Singapore. And the red 12 is also a nod to historical timepieces that highlighted the 12 o’clock hour marker for easy orientation of the watch dial.
Another change are the hands: a set of spade and sword hands instead of the leaf-shaped hands on the regular model. The replacement hands are drawn from Ulysse Nardin Marine collection fake watches, themselves modelled on vintage marine chronometers, and a nod to the watchmaker’s maritime heritage.
The watch has a stainless steel case that’s 40mm in diameter, containing the in-house, self-winding UN-320. While the movement is nearly identical to that in the stock model, it’s installed sans the date function.
The UN-320 has a 48-hour power reserve, plus a silicon hairspring and its hallmark anchor escapement, also in silicon. While it’s a time-only movement, the UN-320 delivers the essence of Ulysse Nardin, the first brand to put silicon inside a mechanical watch with the Freak.
And the final touch is the SWC logo printed on the underside of the sapphire crystal on the display back.
All of which makes for a rather compelling collaborative watch, combining some defining attributes of Ulysse Nardin blue dial copy watches and clever allusions to the SWC.