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Exhibits currently on display

Sonata Limited Edition Watch

Company: Ulysse Nardin

Industry: Industrial Design (Manufacturing)

Complex micro-mechanics of high-end watch requires design precision

Ulysse Nardin’s Sonata Silicium is the world’s first mechanical 24-hour alarm watch with a countdown display, enabling its wearer to set the alarm a day in advance and clearly visualize the time remaining.

Conceptual design

The design begins with legendary watchmaker and long-time Ulysse Nardin creative director Dr. Ludwig Oechslin. Each Ulysse Nardin Sonata watch comprises more than 400 tiny parts that must be precisely designed and assembled to work in delicate concert.


Exploded visualizations eased the complexity of properly assembling hundreds of moving parts. To design the watch case, the team moved from 2D to 3D drawings to rapid prototyping. Detailed 2D drawings recorded important information and supported the assembly process. Each tiny part was digitally modeled in 3D.


The design team used 3D modeling to visualize the intricate assembly of gears and springs, enabling the team to spot and eliminate interferences early in the design process. Designers created photorealistic renderings to visualize the final product before completion.