Ulysse Nardin updates its Freak collection by presenting FREAK Blue Phantom, a technical work of art, in 18 ct white gold highlighted with blue. Bridges and metal parts have been treated with a stainless blue titanium based alloy (ion sputtering process). Where necessary, the metal parts have been reworked to accommodate the blue coating, the thickness of which is 1 micron with a hardness of 1500 HV. The tip of the hour and minute marker are in superluminova and thus enhancing the visibility of the time indication.
Early in 2001, Ulysse Nardin unveiled a watch code named “FREAK”. Produced in very small numbers, the original FREAK is sought after by the most elite and respected watch connoisseurs around the world.
No watch company has ever produced a timepiece like the FREAK – one of the most technically innovative watches conceived, designed and produced in the past 100 years. The concept was a technical tour de force, requiring the combined efforts of three of watchmaking’s most renowned engineers. The arrangement of parts was inconceivably unorthodox – it had essentially no true case.
The crystal and the bezel were actually part of the movement; the Freak had no crown, no hands and the movement pivoted to indicate time. It contained fewer parts than the simplest watch today, and remained a Carrousel Tourbillon by necessity.
The development of the FREAK pioneered the use of silicium in the context of necessity – not for decoration or to be different. While developing this novel escapement the Ulysse Nardin engineers explored the various opportunities to be had with the implementation of nanotechnology. Indeed, the accuracy and lightness (accompanied with the ease in designing complicated movement parts) confirmed the unique abilities of silicium for the production of escapement wheels.
The Dual Ulysse Escapement is the most vital part of the watch movement and is made in silicium. The Dual Ulysse Escapement has 2 wheels, allowing natural force transmission: the force and the move have the same direction, alternatively clockwise with the first wheel and counterclockwise with the second. The wheels have 18 active teeth, guaranteeing excellent energy transmission to the oscillator. No lubrication is required – the transmission occurs through a “gear like” mechanism. The impulse is given to an alternator, which passes it further to the balance shaft. This alternator is a gear which turns alternatively in one direction and then the opposite direction.
The innovative principle of the Dual Ulysse Escapement permits a dramatic reduction of the lift angle from the usual 50-52 degrees (Swiss Anchor) down to approximately 30 degrees. The lift angle is the arc run by the balance between its first contact with the escapement and its last contact. The shorter the arc, the lower is the disturbance of the natural oscillation of the balance.
Model: FREAK Blue Phantom
Caliber UN-202, 13 ¾’’’
Dual Ulysse Escapement in silicium
Power-Reserve: 7 days
Winding: The mainspring is wound with the case back
Carrousel Tourbillon displaying hours and minutes
Dual Ulysse Escapement 28’800 V/h (4 Hz)
Turning bezel with lock device to set the time
Case, dial and strap
White gold case
Diameter: of case 44.5 mm
Crystal: Anti reflective sapphire crystal
Case-back: sapphire crystal
Band: Alligator leather strap, folding buckle