A Master Piece of Watchmaking

Ulysse Nardin has a very wide experience as a complications builder, and especially in sound watches. Maybe the biggest achievement, so far, is the Genghis Khan.

This timepiece has been catalogued as a true work of art, since its creation (Basel Fair 2002), and its considered as the first Tourbillon Carillon Westminster Minute Repetiton, this means. That it combines the complexity of a tourbillion regulator, with a Pellaton system (from the prestigious watchmaker James Pellaton), who produced by Ulysse Nardin at the beginning of the 20th century and a sound system, that combines the use of four rings (carillon), and the use of automats over the sphere (jaquemarts).

It’s hard to fusion completely the complex art of traditional watch making and the Haute Horlorgerie, but Ulysse Nardin has done it with an extraordinary piece: The Genghis Khan Haute Horlogerie, in a 30 piece limited edition presented on Basel in 2009.

Just like the character that gives the name to this piece was admired for uniting all the tribes in Mongolia and his unstoppable ambition for conquering, the Genghis Khan Haute Horlogerie will surely conquer you.

Each diamond has received its form thanks to a carver specialized in extremely beautiful stones. After that they have been hand worn out, adding the experience to a highly innovative piece. Available in 18k, white or pink gold. It has 60 black or white baguette diamonds in the bevel and 28 black or white baguette diamonds on the handles, that make the onyx sphere and the four hand made warriors shocking design stand out.  



The bevel’s interior is decorated with 48 white and 14 black baguette diamonds or viceversa that are used to mark the hours.

It has a visible 60 second tourbillion at 6:00 hrs, integrated on the black onyx sphere, with hand made figures of white or pink gold (jaquemarts). These figures have movement and are synchronized with every tone, so when the moment comes to activate the repeater, it would seem like the sounds are made by the soldiers’ weapons in the background.

The movement from one of the warriors on the left has been synchronized with the gongs that sound on the hours, while the movement from the horseman with the spear on the ring tells the minutes. All the jaquemarts, including the musician, move when the quarts sound.

It has a 42 mm diameter, an 80 hours reserve march, zephyr crystal and a leather strap with a butterfly clasp.

The Westminster has 4 gongs (tones), each one with different (Mi-Do-Re-Sol) when the repetition is activated. The Sol note gives the hours and the Mi note gives the minutes. The four gongs play in three different sequences to indicate the hour quarts.  


Text: Ricardo Vázquez ± Photo: Cortesía Ulysse Nardin.