If the sun is the source of all life, the moon rhapsodises the romance of music and dreams. The allure of the latter is deep and far-reaching, so much so that it inspired classical pianists like Beethoven and Debussy to compose beautiful scores about it. But masterpieces about the moon aren’t just limited to the musical firmament – horologists have long resorted to astronomy to decipher the slow waltz of timekeeping.
Just in time for the Lunar New Year, Ulysse Nardin has launched an ultra-design version of its historical astronomical complications: the Moonstruck. With this Manufacture Worldtimer housed in the geometrical case of a Blast, the brand reinvents watchmaking mechanics by reproducing as faithfully as possible the sun’s visible trajectory and the lunar cycles.
Descended from master watchmaker Ludwig Oechslin, whom you may know for developing the Astrolabium Galileo Galilei watch and two other pieces to form a trilogy that has remained the annals of the profession in astronomical complications, the Blast proposes to set in motion the primordial elements of the visible celestial mechanisms.
True to its name, the Blast Moonstruck reproduces the moon’s rotation, the apparent movement of the sun around the globe as we observe it from Earth. If this sounds too complicated, fret not, as Ulysse Nardin has made the display easily readable and understandable. A sophisticated mechanism assures the display of the time in a place chosen from among 24 principal time zones that the world has been using since the Washington Convention of 1884. Pushers located on the left of the case put the main time display forward back in leaps of one hour to adjust to another time zone.
To highlight the sensation of being at the heart of the universe, the brand's designers – together with Oechslin – chose to place the part of the northern hemisphere seen from the North Pole at the centre of the instrument’s sapphire crystal. A domed crystal increase the impact of the 3D effect. Plus, it is set in a protective sapphire crystal box encircled by an 18 carat rose gold wing engraved with the 31 days of the month, which has a pointer a small triangle loaded with luminescent material.
Apart from reading the local time, which is observable against a background of the night-sky portrayed by a disk made of aventurine, times around the world can be perceived with the aid of the fixed flange bearing the names of cities and the rotating disk on which a sun in relief and the time indications appear at 12 o’clock.
The moon phases could not get any more precise as the team in charge of the creation of the Moonstruck chose to provide a representation of the moon phases in a round aperture located at the apogee of an ellipse portraying its orbit, which is depicted as being in the same ecliptic plane as Earth for practical reasons. Carried by a disk, the aperture is associated with an elaborate gear train, which causes the moon phase indicator to make one complete rotation per day to follow the course of the sun. This also causes it to make full circle of the dial in 29 days, 12 hours, 41 minutes and 9.3 seconds, representing the duration of a lunar month.
The 45mm diameter astronomical watch, available in black ceramic and black DLC-treated titanium, can be paired with alligator, velvet or rubber strap that is also black.
For more information, see here.