Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X Hands-on Review

by Chamath Gamage
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Innovation is a word that is symbolic of the famous Swiss watch brand Ulysse Nardin. The brand has created some fantastic movements as well as designs that defy belief. A true testament to this is Ulysse Nardin’s Skeleton X model. Released back in 2019, the Skeleton X model belongs to Ulysse Nardin’s Executive collection. A collection which has been disrupting the watchmaking industry, with timepieces inspired by the sea. 

The Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X comes in Titanium, Titanium Black, Rose Gold, and Carbonium case design, with all of them having the same skeleton dial design and movement. It does also come in two sizes; a 42mm and 43mm case size. 

Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X – 42mm Case

We have our hands on the 42mm Skeleton X in titanium black DLC. Ulysse Nardin has drawn inspiration from the letter X for the design of the skeleton dial. As the brand put it themselves “more than a means, exploring has become Ulysse Nardin’s motivation. The X-factor is the answer: X like an adventure, X like our deepest desires, X for the unknown, X for what’s forbidden, bold and exciting.” The hour indices at 1 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 7 o’clock and 11 o’clock are partially connected to form the “X” shape. 

The hour indices at 1 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 7 o’clock and 11 o’clock are partially connected to form the “X” shape

The open-worked dial on the Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X takes skeletonisation to new heights. Only the bare necessities are left on the movement, as Ulysse Nardin has cut away as much material as possible. Even with so much of the dial being open-work, it’s still easy to read the dial thanks to the black and white contrasting. The hour indices, minute and hour hands all have white Superluminova on them. This contrast directly against the black frame and minute track of the dial. Touches of colour can also be seen on the dial with the jewels used for the movement, which provide a subtle effect to break away from the black/white contrast. 

Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X – All 173 parts on display

The skeleton X dial also consists of different shapes that make up the “skeleton”. From the circular case, we then go to the dial, which consists of a rectangle that connects with the X from the hour indices. Beneath all this, we can see the circular gears, a super-light balance wheel made from silicium, nickel flyweights and the stabilising micro-blades that make up the Skeleton X movement. 

Skeleton X movement

This particular model comes in a 42mm titanium black DLC case. The DLC case gives a great shine when worn on the wrist, and with the case being black, it doesn’t take the attention away from the centrepiece of this timepiece; the movement. 

Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X on a 6.5 inch wrist
Ulysse Nardin crown
Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X – Individually Numbered

The movement used inside the Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X is the Calibre UN-371 Manufacture movement. This Calibre UN-371 movement consists of 173 components and produces a frequency of 3 Hz (21, 600 VPH). One of the reasons why Ulysse Nardin was able to make the Skeleton X, so “open-worked” was because the Calibre UN-371 movement is manual wound. Without the use of rotors and complications like tourbillons, the Skeleton X is able to show the bare minimum in watchmaking. 

Ulysse Nardin calibre UN-371 – Sapphire Crystal caseback

The Calibre UN-371 is based on Ulysse Nardin’s Calibre UN-171 movement; however, it has been completely redesigned. Calibre UN-171 is a hand-wound column-wheel chronograph movement, which produced a staggering 170 hours of power reserve!

Ulysse Nardin calibre UN-371 – Manual-Winding

It can be understood then that quite a bit of work was done on the base UN-171 movement, by removing the chronograph and its functions to create the Calibre UN-371 movement for the Skeleton X. This, however, does come at a cost as the power reserve is reduced to 96 hours. That’s however still four days of quality watch time you’ll get before needing to wind it again manually! 

Ulysse Nardin calibre UN-371 – 4 day power reserve

How does it wear?

The Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X certainly is a special timepiece. On a 6.5inch wrist, the watch sits quite well without feeling too big or bulky as the case thickness is just under 10mm. Lugs on the Skeleton X are short and slightly curved in and lug to lug just under 50mm, the watch sits well on the 6.5 inch wrist. The Skeleton X is also one of the smaller models in Ulysse Nardin’s range, so that certainly helps with wearability for small to medium wrist sizes. The integrated rubber strap that comes with the Skeleton X Titanium Black DLC is also very comfortable to wear. It’s important to note that the rubber strap is flexible and will fit around the wrist quite easily.

Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X 42mm case on a 6.5 inch wrist
Titanium black DLC pin buckle / Rubber strap

The highlight of wearing the Skeleton X timepiece is, of course, the open-work dial. One thing is for sure, the background of the dial will always be different from one watch to another depending on your skin tone! As we mentioned earlier, although the watch is see-through, the dial still has easy readability thanks to the black and white colour contrast. It would be hard to not catch yourself from admiring the movement and the beauty that is watchmaking. 

Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X on a 6.5 inch wrist

The Skeleton X can be considered more of a sports watch due to the materials used and the intricate complexities of the timepiece. However, this piece can also be easily paired with a nice jacket or formal wear. The rubber strap makes the wearability of the watch versatile, making it suited to almost any occasion. Honestly, with a piece like this in your collection, you would want to show it off any chance you can get! 

Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X on a 6.5 inch wrist

The Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X is another innovative release by the renowned Swiss brand, with a watch where we can see everything from the architecture to the movement of time. With bold looks and a powerful movement, the future of watchmaking design is here. 

Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X on a 6.5 inch wrist

Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X Specification:

Model Reference: 3713-260/BLACK
Case Diameter: 42mm
Dial: Black Skeletonised
Case: Titanium
Functions:  Hour and minutes
Movement: UN-371 Manufacture movement
Power Reserve: Min. 96 hours
Water Resistance: 5 ATM / 50 meters

Australian Retail Pricing: $28,250.00

Availability: Available now

Local Authorised dealers :

  • Brisbane – Hardy Brothers
  • Melbourne – Kennedy Crown and Monards
  • Sydney – Kennedy Star and Nader Jewellers
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