In August 1851, members of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) raced the “America” schooner to victory in England’s Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Pound Cup. After this triumph, the trophy was renamed the America’s Cup in honor of the winning vessel. It is the oldest trophy in international sporting; it remains the most important yachting competition of all time; and is the apex of yachtsmen’s careers. However, the America’s Cup is far more than a race; it’s also a symbol of design innovation.
Celebrating the groundbreaking engineering of the original “America” that led to this landmark moment in yachting history and showing support of the 35th America’s Cup as an official partner of Team Artemis Racing, Ulysse Nardin introduces Classico America. A limited-edition of 30 pieces, each in 18-karat-white and rose-gold with enamel cloisonné, the Classico America is a winning timekeeper.
Set within a 40mm-diameter dial is an authentic depiction of the America in all its glory. The ocean seems to brace for the schooner’s cutting-edge hull to slice through the surface. The daunting terrain of the Isle of Wight is its backdrop and pales in comparison to the ship’s colossal masts and sails. It’s as if one can feel its speed and is transported back in time to partake in the excitement of the America getting ready to secure the trophy. Its seafaring force is undeniable and brought to life through the enamel cloisonné technique.
Handcrafted in-house at Donzé Cadrans, a member of the Ulysse Nardin group of companies, the process of enamel cloisonné is extremely intricate and mastered only by a few. In this method, opaque or translucent colors are derived by mixing proportions of elements to achieve specific combinations, often kept a secret. Each section is divided by fine gold wire, and it takes more than 500mm of the wire to make the cloisons. Moreover, every cloisonné dial requires 50 hours of artisan expertise and 26 processes to complete. Like winning the America’s Cup, achieving the art of enamel cloisonné is no easy feat.
The America set the precedent for what the America’s Cup would come to stand for: a race that advanced the sport through the revolutionary design and engineering of vessels that would break both boundaries and records. Sharing in this approach, Ulysse Nardin imparts its innovative spirit with the Classico America, a timepiece that commemorates the America and the wave of milestones she continues to inspire.