When the Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture fake watches were initially released in 2015 it garnered attention for having the first in-house movement used in the Classic collection with the UN-320. However, I think the watch actually got interesting when they released the limited edition Classico Manufacture with a white “Grand Feu” enamel dial. The reason why this steel model got my attention was the very reasonable price tag of around $8,500. When you consider the fact that it’s an enamel dial Ulysse Nardin watch with an in-house movement, that price is downright fair and the brand deserves praise for that, especially when you look at overall luxury watch prices. Hopefully having taken the temperature of the global watch market and the woefully underserved “value” market, Ulysse Nardin followed up with this, the Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture “Grand Feu” blue enamel dial watch.
Thankfully, the $8,800 price reflects contemporary consumer appreciation for a 40mm steel watch with techniques and in-house movements usually found in precious metal pieces that are often exponentially pricier.
The dark blue “Grand Feu” enamel dial Ulysse Nardin copy watches are done in a guilloche pattern designed to resemble waves, a nod to Ulysse Nardin’s nautical identity. It lends the dial a shimmering quality that is really reminiscent of gently lapping waves in sunlight. I’m typically ambivalent towards seconds sub-dials but the concentric guilloche pattern adds another layer of texture to the dial. As for the hour markers, I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of Roman numerals, but I don’t really hold that against the brand since it’s really just a matter of taste. They just often look too old-fashioned for me. I do however like the fact that the feuille hands are lumed because this is the kind of dress watch one actually wears more than a few times a year.
People are bound to complain about the date window, but it’s a useful complication that many consumers strongly prefer to have. The faux pas of checking your phone to see the time is a legitimately practical defense of wearing wrist watches, but lately I’ve been more appreciative of date windows as well. The reason for this is that sometimes (like weekend evenings) I want a break from emails, texts, and news updates which are impossible to avoid as soon as you wake up your phone. Anyone who knows me also knows that I’m terrible with dates, so I frequently find myself checking the date window as often as I check the time. That being said, the fact that the date window is white makes it all the more like a “mole” so I can sympathize with the haters here.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling there’s not going to be much debate about whether case back is as attractive as the blue enamel dial (It’s not). Through the sapphire exhibition case back, you see the rotor with the “Ulysse Nardin Silicium Technology” text and the large UN anchor logo above it. The rest of the rotor is occupied with the not very impressive wave pattern. Also on the movement, you can see the “Ulysse Nardin Le Locle” text and seal. Furthermore, on the steel part of the case back you see the name of the brand engraved as well as “30 Meters” which frankly isn’t a water resistance figure I’d be shouting from the rooftops, anyway. Blued screws are nice, though.