The Year of the Goat is drawing to a close, and the Year of the Monkey is dawning on us. This, in accordance to the Chinese Calendar of 12 zodiac signs, each representing a year. To celebrate this new year which starts on February 8, 2016, Ulysse Nardin added a latest piece to their Classico Collection – to honor the always curious, notoriously mischievous and clever monkey.
Of particular interest is the dial. The design is in a comic strip like style to capture the playfulness and lively character of the monkey. It depicts a monkey leaping through a bush of palm fronds. The artist was able to capture the expression on its face, with an impish grin emerging and giving a glimpse to its nature. The line of the body is lithe.
The method used is champlevé, an specialist enameling technique executed by the masters at Donzé Cadrans. The champlevé technique consists of cells being carved with a chisel directly on the dial. These cells are then filled with enamel. Its colors are generated from different metallic oxides. For this piece, a neutral palette has been selected. The piece is then fired until the enamel melts.
Donzé is one of the few specialists in grand feu enamel still producing today, and supplies to many of the large names in the industry. Ulysse Nardin acquired Donzé Cardans in 2011.
The watch is powered by the Un-815 automatic movement which is a COSC certified chronometer. The movement is based on the ETA-2892, modified for a sweep seconds hand by UN. UN also added a gold rotor. The UN-815 has a power reserve of 42 hours, and finished to UN specifications which are far superior to the base ETA.
The UN Classico “Year of the Monkey” is available in a limited edition of 88 pieces in 18k rose gold.