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Ulysse Nardin in Singapore

Maritime-chronometer specialist Ulysse Nardin sets up its first standalone shop on our shores. By Lynette Koh.

Watch brand Ulysse Nardin has finally opened its first boutique in Singapore, partnering timepiece retailer The Hour Glass, at whose outlets its watches have been sold for more than two decades.

“The market was ready for (such a move), our partner was ready for it. It was only about finding the right location,” says the visiting CEO of Ulysse Nardin, Patrik Hoffmann, in reference to the Marina Bay Sands locale.

CEO of Ulysse Nardin, Patrik Hoffmann.

CEO of Ulysse Nardin, Patrik Hoffmann.

At 1,000 sq ft, the store is the independent Swiss timepiece manufacture’s largest in Asia. It houses the brand’s complete range of watches, including the latest versions of iconic designs like the Freak, a watch without a true dial, hands and crown.

While acknowledging that foreign visitors make up a good number of its customers here, Hoffmann says: “We are targeting the local market. The Singaporean consumer is very sophisticated. (Singapore) is one of the first markets a few decades ago that understood the idea and the philosophy behind mechanical watches.”

While Ulysse Nardin continues to move full steam ahead, with innovations such as its silicon anchor escapement – presented at Baselworld in March – it remains justifiably proud of its history. It began life in 1846 creating award-winning maritime chronometers. Says Hoffmann: “The watch consumer is looking more to the value that stands behind the brand. Everything that we have at Ulysse Nardin is built on heritage.”

#01-57, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.