By Jovan Krstevski
I believe that Ulysse Nardin’s Freak fits the term horological icon perfectly. It was first introduced in 2001 and at that time, it was indeed super unique. Its minute hand was literally the tourbillon and the entire movement at the same time. Those unique features now define the Freak DNA and today, the watch looks even more desirable and radical. If you are a fan, you will be glad because the brand is expanding the Freak collection with four new models called the Ulysse Nardin Freak Out. Don’t freak out just yet but these amazing pieces are truly unique and high-end.
The Freak Out collection serves the brand’s goal of reaching out to more clients and one way of doing this is through the significant utilization of titanium cases instead of the more common precious metals found in other Freak watches. Personally, I would prefer the lighter titanium instead of the heavier metals. For the new models, the case design is also borrowed from the Freak Innovision 2 with a meaty 45mm case.
Examining the case closely, the crown is nowhere to be found so I begin to ask, how do I adjust the time? Of course, the designers at UN hid something between the lugs at 6 o’clock, a small lock that releases the bezel where one can adjust the time by twisting the caseback. This mechanism devoid the watch of greater water resistance which is only up to 30 m but still, it will do just fine.
Carrying the same DNA of the Freak watches, the Ulysse Nardin Freak Out’s baguette-style movement serves as the minute hand too. Powering the watch is a Caliber UN–205, in-house. It is hand wound yielding 7 days of power reserve. Silicon components are also inside and the movement also features Ulysse Nardin’s new Anchor Escapement that replaces the traditional anchor and anchor wheel with two silicon impulse wheels and blades. The silicon hairspring used in the watch beats at 4Hz.
The sporty Freak Out Full Black features a full black PVD treatment for the case and dial. It also has Arabic hour markers and silver movement. Then, there is the Freak Out Black Gold featuring a raw titanium color case with a contrasting gold gear train for the movement. Third is the Freak Out of the Blue with the same raw titanium color case but with a blue dial and a silver gear train. For the final model, the Freak Out Blue Gold features a raw titanium color case with a blue dial and a gold gear train for the movement. All four models come with matching color sailcloth straps with a folding buckle.
I like the Ulysse Nardin Freak because it serves as an example of an accessible high-end horology material. Remarkably, the Freak Out watches retains all of the features that make each Freak so unique such as the baguette tourbillon movement and the crown-less case. The Ulysse Nardin Freak Out retails for $48,000 CHF. For more info, visit Ulysse Nardin online.