Haute Timepieces: Ulysse Nardin Caprice Tiger Watch

For thousands of years beautiful jewelry has been enhanced with, or modeled after, animals. A feline fetish exists in the watch world, especially when it comes to haute joaillerie. Cats, big and small, timid and wild, have found a place on luxury timepieces. Frequently featured on women’s pieces, cats are often considered to compliment femininity. In the watch world, a panther, for example, is often synonymous with Cartier. Ulysse Nardin brings a new homage to the beautiful tiger with their Caprice Tiger watch. The case in 18-karat white gold is 34-mm wide in a square cushion shape, which serves to frame the portrait style watch dial. Arriving in a handful of varieties, the case can be requested with differing levels of diamond decoration and straps. The ultimate of which has diamonds all around the case bezel, lugs, and end-links of the white gold bracelet. The crown also has a spectacular diamond cabochon.

While this white tiger is outlined in color, its corpus is comprised of precious jewels. Instead of fur, our decadent wrist borne hunter is filled with diamonds, which are only broken up by the pink of its mouth, and the colorful eyes. Scientifically accurate or not, this tiger is a rare breed with green eyes—here expressed by two large emeralds. I dare say if this species were real, it would have been greedily poached for its bejeweled hide (though hopefully it is safe inhabiting the wrist).

As a watch, the Caprice Tiger satisfies even the most snobbish collectors. Inside the piece is a mechanical Ulysse Nardin caliber UN-13 automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve. The rear of the watch is fitted with a sapphire exhibition case back window, where you can view the decorated movement as well as the 22-karat gold rotor, which is conspicuously decorated with more diamonds. Back on the dial, modern looking hands tell the time in concert with the applied ruby set hour markers. Thankfully, the ménage of precious stones on the Caprice Tiger watch do not remove from the main visual of the Tiger.

Ulysse Nardin offers the Caprice Tiger on three strap options. These include the pictured white gold bracelet with diamonds, as well as a white satin strap, and a black galuchat (stingray) leather strap. Pieces are highly limited, with Ulysse Nardin offering only 28 watches in this limited edition collection. Priced from $38,900 to $49,700, depending on the style and included strap. www.ulysse-nardin.com.

  1. 34-mm wide 18-karat white gold case
  2. Tiger on dial decorated with emeralds and diamonds
  3. Applied ruby hour markers
  4. 18-karat white gold bracelet, or white satin or black galuchat strap
  5. Powered by mechanical movement with diamond decorated automatic rotor

Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.