Going Back in Time

by BTM

Fri, 01 September 2017

Going Back in Time

Saluting the fascinating world of Chinese maritime history, this Swiss watchmaker honours the Zheng He Treasure Boat with a limitededition enamel cloisonné timepiece.

Paying homage to Chinese naval heritage, Ulysse Nardin introduces an exceptional watch in its new Classic Collection.

The Chinese Treasure Boat (or Bao-Chuan) was a type of large wooden ship in the fleet of admiral Zheng He, the renowned explorer and mariner, who led seven incredible voyages during the early 15th-century Ming Dynasty.

These massive ships were 137m long and 55m wide, with nine masts and four decks for up to 500 crew as well as cargo. While they were few in number, Zheng He’s expeditions covered extensive territory, travelling through Southeast Asia to faraway Africa and Arabia. With a fleet numbering hundreds of ships, and crews of around 30,000 men, his was easily the biggest maritime journey of that time. Between 1405 and 1433, Zheng made a total of seven voyages, visiting 37 countries – an incredible achievement.

To accurately portray the appearance of the Zheng He Treasure Boat, Ulysse Nardin called upon its enamel specialists Donzé Cadrans for the intricate cloisonné technique so valued by collectors. In this very ancient art form, which dates back to the early fourth century, craftsmen employ fine gold wire to create the compartments, within which the enamel is carefully deposited. Every cloisonné dial involves immense effort and patience, requiring 50 hours of artisanal expertise and 26 separate processes to bring a scene to vivid life.

Handcrafted from 18K rose gold and powered by the self-winding UN-815 COSC-certified movement, this Classic Collection timepiece boasts the characteristic accuracy of every Ulysse Nardin mechanical watch. It reveals reliability too, with a 42-hour power reserve and a 40mm dial that is water resistant to 50m.

The Classico Zheng He, a stunning new enamel timepiece, proves once again that preserving tradition while shaping the future of watchmaking is the Ulysse Nardin way. The timepieces are available in Bahrain at Asia Jewellers.

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