Don’t freak out!… But, one of the most original watch movements and designs in recent years has finally been released in a more affordable version. Ulysse Nardin has just unveiled 4 new model variations of their “Freak” collection dubbed the “Freak Out” version.
Video courtesy of: Ulysse Nardin
Originally the “Ulysse Nardin Freak” was released as a unique piece with zero replicas. A truly one of a kind. But, its mystique and visibly ingenious hand displayed complication left many horologists intrigued. For this revolutionary seven-day-tourbillon-carousel has no true case, crown or hands so the wearer has to read time as displayed directly by the baguette-shaped movement that rotates on its own axis.
We previously reviewed the “Ulysse Nardin Freakwing” (Ref#: 2103-138/CF-ARTEMIS) which was also a limited edition watch with only 35 manufactured pieces, which you can read more about here.
It was also the first watch ever commercialized with an escapement made of silicon, an innovation at the time that has now spread all over the horology industry. They followed that up with the “Freak Lab” model that featured a movement composed of several layers, with a large bridge on top. It introduced a unique escapement called “Dual Ulysse silicium escapement” that did away with the traditional pallet fork and escape wheel.
Video courtesy of: Ulysse Nardin
The 45mm case for these “Freak Out” models is made of titanium for all four offerings, although one of them has a black coating over the entire casing. Opting for titanium instead of other precious metals also attributed this hefty sized timepiece with a lighter feel.
Although not immediately apparent, with a closer look we can tell the case and mounted bezel have been restyled, based more on the “Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 Concept”. It also has a transparent exhibition case back that allows to view the inner workings of the mechanical movement.
Rather odd is when we realize there is no crown! So how can we adjust the time and wind the instrument? Well, in between the lugs is a small link with “FREAK” engraved on it, which releases the bezel. It’s here that by twisting the entire case back we are able to adjust the time and wind the watch. Having the winding/setting mechanism here has limited the water-resistance on this watch to 30 meters (96 feet).
Time on the “Freak Out” is uniquely exhibited with Arabic numerals, but without the use of traditional central hands. Instead it relies on a “flying carousel” tourbillon, based on a super-light silicium technology in which the baguette movement rotates on its own axis, serving as the minute indicator and moving along a secondary hour indicator.
So, the “Freak” architecture replaces the traditional anchor and anchor wheel with two silicium impulse wheels in the center. Both these wheels have 18 engaging teeth, that each serve to active an alternator which transmits its energy to the balance staff; first in one direction, then the other.
This way it impressively requires no lubrication, since the structure can ensure that force is always released in the direction of the balance rotating, hence minimizing friction. Reducing the amount of disturbance to a minimum thanks to the low lift angle.
Ulysse Nardin Freak Out
This “Ulysse Nardin Freak Out” (References below) is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement, caliber UN-205 with 19 jewels and 28,800 Vph. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 168 hours (7 days). Mounted to the watches is either a blue or black sailcloth strap with a contrasting bar tack loop stitching, while secured to the wrist by a titanium folding buckle. For more up to date information visit the official Ulysse Nardin website here.
Ref#: 2053-132/03.1 – Blue dial – MSRP: $48,000.00 USD
Ref#: 2053-132/BLACK – Black dial & Black case – MSRP: $48,000.00 USD
Ref#: 2053-132/02 – Black dial with Gold – MSRP: $48,000.00 USD
Ref#: 2053-132/03 – Blue dial with Gold – MSRP: $48,000.00 USD
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