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Ulysse Nardin - A New Chapter for the Legend that is Freak

Ulysse Nardin A New Chapter for the Legend that is Freak

Introduced in 2001, the Freak is one of a kind. A succession of innovations and maverick thinking. Now the curtain raises on Freak One

The story of the Freak by Ulysse Nardin began in 2001 with the crazy notion of a watch with no hands, no dial and no crown. An idea so wild it became known in-house as the Freak. A watch loaded with cutting-edge tech and avant-garde design. The time is set by a system built into the bezel and the movement is wound using a device incorporated into the case back.

Instead of hands, a superb carrousel tourbillon shows the time. Then there’s the silicon escapement: a material frequently encountered in watches today, but definitely not the case in 2001.

Since then Ulysse Nardin has filed more than 20 patents for the Freak, the watch with the unmistakable crownless silhouette. Now, for Watches and Wonders, the brand is lifting the veil on the Freak One. Still no dial, still no hands and still no crown!

Un nouveau chapitre pour la saga Freak

Freak One © Ulysse Nardin

The concept remains intact: the movement – specifically the rotating one-hour carrousel tourbillon – becomes the minute hand while the hour hand is a pointer on a rotating disc under the movement. Time-setting is via the bezel and the movement is wound by a mechanism built into the case back.

This incredible spectacle is brought to life by the UN-240 in-house automatic movement, assembled from 418 components and delivering a 72-hour power reserve. It sits inside a 44mm case in black titanium and rose gold, and is visible through a sapphire back.

Un nouveau chapitre pour la saga Freak

Freak One © Ulysse Nardin

It's been more than 20 years since the Freak made its first appearance, but the extraordinary design and advanced technology haven’t aged a day. You could even say they are more modern than ever. The flexible, water-resistant, integrated rubber strap is an added bonus. Made from 30 per cent recycled production waste, it continues Ulysse Nardin’s drive towards a more sustainable future.

The last word goes to Chief Product Officer Jean-Christophe Sabatier: “The application of silicon in the escapement was a revolution. And its design was so disruptive. It was the industry’s first hyperwatch, ahead of its time. Two decades later, the Freak is Ulysse Nardin’s inimitable signature. You can’t counterfeit the Freak. It’s just too difficult. True collectors love it.”


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