At last year’s SIHH, Ulysse Nardin introduced the Freak Vision, a concept watch that incorporated 10 different innovations into a watch. This year, the brand goes on the offensive on the opposite end, choosing instead to unveil a new entry level Freak, the Freak X.
As the brand puts it, the watch is the “little cousin of its Freak antecedents” maintaining many of the same aesthetic and functional elements as the rest of the family. What might stand out for Freak fans immediately is the crown on the watch. While the Freak Vision and Freak Out models have been known for the crown-less system that uses the bezel to correct time, Ulysse Nardin has decided to go with the conventional crown this time round. The sizing of the watch as well is more conventional, at just 43mm instead of an imposing 45mm.
What has not changed, of course, is how the Freak X works. The movement in the centre of the dial still works as a carousel and makes a full rotation hourly, indicating the time with the central bridge as a minute hand and one of the wheels as the hours. The Freak X has adapted some of the Freak Vision’s innovations such as the silicium balance wheel that was built extra-wide and fitted with nickel flyweights and stabilising micro-blades for better self-regulation.
What will surprise collectors however is the availability of choices for case materials in the new Freak X. The watch is available in four materials – titanium, rose gold, black DLC or in Carbonium. As explained by the brand, Carbonium “is a new, super-light and sustainable material used in the aeronautical sector for the latest-generation aeroplanes’ fuselage and wings.” Ulysse Nardin has also reported that the production of Carbonium has 40 per cent less environmental impact than other carbon composites by virtue of the fact that it uses the offcuts from the aeronautical industry.
Movement Self-winding manufacture calibre UN-230 with 72 hours power reserve
Case 43mm Titanium / Titanium with Black DLC / 18k Rose Gold / Carbonium case with 50 metres water resistance
Strap Openwork veal or alligator strap with “point de bride” stitches
Price Starting from US$21,000