Ulysse Nardin looked to the brightest stars of the cosmos for inspiration for its new interpretation of the Freak. At first glance, the brand’s pioneering new watch resembles a space vessel with twin reactors. This creation combining all the superlatives came into being thanks to the expertise of an integrated manufacture.
If we need to look for a milestone in the history of Ulysse Nardin, it’s the year 2001 which saw the launch of the very first Freak watch, one of the most innovative models of its time. This revolutionary timepiece broke free from all the conventions of watchmaking history: no hands, no dial, no crown. The memorable project was conceived by Carole Forestier Kasapi then turned into reality thanks to Ludwig Oechslin, a philosopher and a genius, at the time a watchmaker for Ulysse Nardin. For more than twenty years, Ulysse Nardin has constantly been seeking to push back the limits of traditional watchmaking in the Freak collection.
For the new model, the developers designed the brand’s first double oscillator with a differential with automatic winding, made possible by the “Grinder” system, twice as efficient as a traditional winding system. The Freak S is the obvious technical extension of the Freak Vision, a new mechanical marvel that highlights the following noteworthy innovations: an inclined double oscillator using DiamonSIL technology; a vertical differential; a “Grinder” automatic winding system; a new case inspired by the first Freak of 2001 with a construction enabling a combination of different materials such as ceramic, titanium and gold.
“The time is indicated by a carousel movement. It’s a unique concept quite unlike anything you can find on the market. The product is so bold that no one dares to copy it. It is a celebration of new technologie,” explains Jean Christophe Sabatier, Product Director at Ulysse Nardin.
Ulysse Nardin’s technical teams have succeeded spectacularly in taking the three dimensional effect to the limit. The Freak S’inclined double oscillator is a premiere, the prime signature of new UN-251 Manufacture movement. Positioned on distinct planes as if on two launching pads, the two XXL silicium balance wheels with inertia blocks are linked by a differential, which draws the average of their rates.
Assembled on two plans inclined at 20° one from another, they are linked by a bridge in rose gold in the form of a rocket’s wing. Siamese, in a rhythmic tango, they give the impression of two turboprops beating time at a frequency of 2.5 Hz – reinforcing the timepiece’s 3D effect and space inspiration The inclined double oscillator and its differential enable improved regulation of the movement’s running rate. The most common application of a differential is in the transmission of an automobile.
A differential is required in a vehicle when it makes a turn, as it allows the drive wheels turn at different speeds the wheels located on the outside of the turning curve turn faster than the inside wheels. Here, it performs an indispensable function drawing the average of two rates and evenly distributing the barrel’s energy to the two regulating organs, so that its amplitude remains stable. The two oscillators of the Freak S never oscillate at the same speed and are therefore mutually compensated thanks to this mechanism, which is as esthetic as it is useful.
The micromechanical machinery featured beneath the crystal of the Freak S is nothing other than a carousel with an autonomy of 72 hours, with no hands, dial, or crown. The Freak indicates the time thanks to the rotation of its movement. Two bridges rotate around the center. They indicate the hours and minutes, respectively, An arrow covered with Super LumiNova® shows the hour while the nose cone of the rocket, which bears the balance wheels and the escapement, indicates the minutes.
In the course of its 60 minute revolution, the movement pivots on its central axis inside a high tech case with a sapphire crystal. Whereas in traditional tourbillons, the balance wheel makes one rotation per minute within a cage, in the Freak, it’s the whole movement including its regulating organ that makes a complete turn on itself in one hour. The Freak S’time is set by rotating the bezel in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.
Limited Edition 75 timepieces – Guide Price: CHF 130’000
- UN 251 Caliber
- Hours and minutes indicated by the movement’s rotation
- Flying carousel
- Baguette movement: one rotation per hour
- Grinder automatic winding with blades, flexible guidance and shock absorber
- Extra large inclined double balance wheel in silicium with inertia blocks
- Vertical differential
- Power reserve 72 hours
- Frequency 2 x 2.5 Hz (2x 18’000 vph)
- Black ceramic, titanium with black DLC, 5N rose gold
- Diameter: 45 mm
- Hour disk: Decorative movement plate in black aventurine
- Water resistance: 30 m
- Crystal: Sapphire domed box with antireflective treatment on both sides
- Case back: Titanium with black DLC, 6 screws, visible “Grinder” through open sapphire case back
- 5N rose gold
- Time set with the front bezel, lever lock
- Manual winding possible with the back bezel
- Bi material black alligator & golden calf strap or black alligator strap