Since its birth in 2001, the Ulysse Nardin Freak has lived up to its name. It was a watch unlike anything seen previously. The revolutionary seven-day-tourbillon-carousel had no true case, crown or hands, and the wearer had to read the time as displayed directly by the baguette-shaped movement, which rotated on its own axis.
All this remains true for the Freak. Ulysse Nardin has devised multiple variations of its original design, displaying new technologies, new materials and frequently also directing the entire industry into the future of watchmaking. Remember that the original Freak featured one of the first silicon balance springs ever used in a wristwatch, an innovation echoed at many other high-end watchmakers in the years since.
This week, just months after Ulysse Nardin debuted its latest, most-advanced Freak, the platinum-cased Freak Vision, the watchmaker has added four lighter, less-expensive siblings, each made with a titanium case clothed in a choice of colors and accents.
All the new Freak Vision models, dubbed Freak Out, are powered by manual-wind caliber UN-205, seen first in the Freak Cruiser in 2013. The caliber’s architecture replaces the traditional anchor and anchor wheel with two silicon impulse wheels in the center. Both wheels have eighteen teeth, each activating an alternator that transmits its energy to the balance staff — first in one direction, then the other.
Freak wearers have never had to wind their watches as often as many other manual-wind watches. The watch has always offered a long power reserve because silicon components require no lubrication and minimal friction is a key feature of the Freak design. Thus, the UN-205 will operate on a full wind for seven days. Ulysse Nardin has borrowed the style of its 2017 InnoVision 2 Concept Watch to outfit the new Freak Out quartet. The four siblings, each priced at $48,000, are:
Freak Out Full Black
The Freak Collection’s sportiest model to date, and the first with a full black PVD surface treatment. It features red stitching on the black sailcloth strap, and a gear-train bridge in silver.
Freak Out Black Gold
Black out freaky with a gold gear train and gold stitches for a more elegant look.
Freak Out of the Blue
In Ulysse Nardin blue, a homage to the Manufacture’s deep historical links to the nautical realm, with silver strap stitches and a silver gear-train bridge.
Freak Out Blue Gold
UN marine blue matched with the luster of gold on the bridge and stitches.
Freak Out Full Black 2053-132/BLACK
Freak Out Black Gold 2053-132/02
Freak Out of the Blue 2053-132/03.1
Freak Out Blue Gold 2053-132/03
Movement indicates the time
H/M displayed by the rotation of the movement
Titanium or Titanium with PVD black treatment case
New bezel design
Manual winding possible with the back bezel
Time set with the front bezel, lever lock
Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides
Titanium, 6 screws
Sailcloth strap and titanium folding clasp