This unique watch originated from a partnership between Ulysse Nardin and the Artemis Racing team for the 35th America’s Cup. So, the “Ulysse Nardin FreakWing” had the goal of properly representing the high-tech AC45 catamaran of the Swedish challenger. It seems to have accomplished just that, as this timepiece reflects the core values of: innovation, precision and excellence to sail on!
Artemis is the name of an ancient Greek goddess, who carries a bow and therefore is a hunter. She could be seen as a protector of nature, but she’s also a competitor amongst other members of the animal kingdom, seeking out nature’s goods. And it was with these thoughts in mind that this name was chosen for the Swedish sailing team, explained Torbjörn Törnqvist, team principal at Artemis Racing Team.
Ulysse Nardin’s Freak collection originally debuted in 2001 and for the last fifteen years it has manufactured some of the most audacious and elaborate watches. Becoming the first watch to incorporate a silicium escapement; and later on upped the antic and double downed by releasing a diamond version and a Dual Ulysse escapement, in the same year.
The 45mm round case is made of blackened titanium. But, the bezel and caseback are forged from carbon-fiber which is a common material used often for professional sailing. There is no crown on this timepiece. Instead the upper and lower bezels are integrated with the movement. And the safety clip between the lugs at 6 o’clock (with the model name “FreakWing” engraved in yellow) is used to set the hour, minutes and date when rotated counter-clockwise.
Looking at the dial we notice most elements on this timepiece are directly inspired on the nautical sport of sailing. The upper bridge used for minutes is inspired by the internal structure of the rigid sail. Just like the texture of the rotating hour disc recalls the mesh net of the multihull. Time is told via yellow Arabic numerals, which is the only color besides the predominant black tones. But, it’s missing numeral number 4 because a date aperture has been positioned there instead.
Now impressively unique is to watch this timepiece in motion. As the center gear rotates off thru 60 seconds, setting all the other components in motion up what is basically a large minute hand. The hour hand has been given a much wider yellow tip, in order to not be confused with the minute hand. The unproportioned hand sizes could be misleading, but by providing these yellow tips, legibility has been enhanced.
Ulysse Nardin Freakwing
This “Ulysse Nardin Freakwing” (Ref#: 2103-138/CF-ARTEMIS) is powered by a manually-wound mechanical movement, caliber UN-210, with 23 jewels and beating at 28,800 vph. Also features a flying tourbillon, an UlyChoc security system on a regulating organ and a “Dual Ulysse” silicium escapement. Power reserve can last up to 192 hours (8 days) and water-resistance can reach 30m (98 feet). Mounted to this timepiece is a black leather strap with a carbon-fiber motif. This watch is a limited edition of only 35 produced pieces.
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