Modern sleeper watches are few and far between. Discretion is not as marketable as it once was. This Ulysse Nardin Monopusher is a true sleeper in three contexts. First, the watch may wear a marking from Ulysse Nardin, but was originally designed by a young FP Journe for La Joux-Perret. This not widely known. Secondly, it’s a sleeper in terms of market value. The watch is only selling very marginally above its initial retail today, while a Chronomètre Bleu . . . well, you know. Third, the watch just is a physical oddity, even to seasoned collectors. No one really knows what it is or its backstory. Aside from groundbreaking engineering or design, these are some of the qualities which most attract me to any watch.
Ulysse Nardin made the first modern monopusher in yellow to celebrate their 175th anniversary. From there, it was released in a series of different metals and limited production runs. The model was developed at the request of a few VVIP collectors in East Asia (mostly Japan). The throwback design is a love letter to their original monopusher designs in the early 20th century, sized up to 37mm. One of my favourite watches of all of UN was an evolution of this, the Monopulsante 381-22. In any guise, it’s a very lovely under-the-radar pick.
This example is apparently a safe watch. There is almost no visible wear anywhere on its case. The movement, produced in 2008, is looking spectacular. It comes with a full set from a very reputable retailer.
Find this Monopusher here from Subdial London for 14700 GBP.