Ulysse Nardin’s FREAK S is a high-tech mechanical watch based on the iconic Freak model introduced by the luxury Swiss brand in 2001.
Inspired by the design of a space vessel with twin reactors, this new timepiece comes with the very first automatic double oscillator with a differential.
The Freak S’ inclined double oscillator is a premiere, the prime signature of new UN-251 Manufacture movement. The three dimensional design of this mechanism takes inspiration from spaceships.
Positioned on distinct planes, the two XXL silicium balance wheels with inertia-blocks are linked by a differential, which draws the average of their rates. Assembled on two plans inclined at 20° one from another, they are linked by a bridge in rose gold in the form of a rocket’s wing. They beat at a frequency of 2.5Hz.
The inclined double oscillator and its differential enable improved regulation of the movement’s running rate. The most common application of a differential is in the transmission of an automobile.
A differential is required in a vehicle when it makes a turn, as it allows the drive wheels turn at different speeds: the wheels located on the outside of the turning curve turn faster than the inside wheels. Here, it performs an indispensable function: drawing the average of two rates and evenly distributing the barrel’s energy to the two regulating organs, so that its amplitude remains stable.
The two oscillators of the Freak S never oscillate at the same speed and are therefore mutually compensated thanks to this mechanism, which is as esthetic as it is useful.
After having been the first to use silicium in the very first Freak watch in 2001, here Ulysse Nardin is showcasing an innovative pioneering surface treatment, a combination of silicium and synthetic diamond: DiamonSIL (patented in 2009).
The silicium components of the escapement of the Freak S have been coated with a layer of artificial diamond which optimizes its performance and its resistance to abrasion and to the several million impacts per year on the watch.
This process is one of the major innovations introduced by the Manufacture in the last 20 years. The plasma technology of the DiamonSIL, developed by Ulysse Nardin at Sigatec in Sion, Switzerland, has been one of the iconic technologies of the Brand’s know-how. This unique technology is also used in the brand’s flagship movement, the UN-118.
The micromechanical machinery featured beneath the crystal of the Freak S is nothing other than a carousel with an autonomy of 72 hours, with no hands, dial, or crown.
The Freak indicates the time thanks to the rotation of its movement. Two bridges rotate around the center. They indicate the hours and minutes, respectively.
An arrow covered with Super-LumiNova® shows the hour while the nose cone of the rocket, which bears the balance-wheels and the escapement, indicates the minutes. In the course of its 60-minute revolution, the movement pivots on its central axis inside a high-tech case with a sapphire crystal.
Whereas in traditional tourbillons, the balance wheel makes one rotation per minute within a cage, in the Freak, it’s the whole movement– including its regulating organ – that makes a complete turn on itself in one hour.
The Freak S’ time is set by rotating the bezel in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.
The “Grinder” automatic winding system that already equipped the Freak Vision has now been substantially improved. The Grinder is twice as efficient as a classical automatic winding system since its energy transmission is twice as efficient as that of existing systems.
It uses the smallest of wrist movements. The oscillating weight is connected to a frame carrying four blades, which gives the self-winding system twice the angular stroke. A flexible guiding mechanism considerably limits friction.
The Freak S watch features a new case design inspired by the first Freak of 2001, with a construction enabling a combination of different materials such as ceramic, titanium and gold.
The deep black mineral decorative plate with sparkling golden particles is inspired by randomly distributed stars in the cosmos.
The glittering effect of the aventurine that decorates the movement, gives the Freak S the sparkle of a starry night. The black aventurine disk turns beneath the markers – the Ulysse Nardin logo disappears discreetly as if absorbed by the passage of the sparkling decoration.
The Freak S is proposed in a limited edition of 75 pieces, of which just 40 will go into production in 2022.
Every watch is fitted with an alligator strap decorated with a Sport cut-out in rose gold colour. The strap features a self-folding clasp system in titanium with black DLC. Thanks to a new patented triple-folding system that operates in synchronized fashion (SYNC), the clasp opens with a single click.
Model: Ulysse Nardin Freak S
Baguette movement: one rotation per hour
Grinder automatic winding with blades, flexible guidance and shock-absorber
Extra-large inclined double balance-wheel in silicium with inertia-blocks
Power reserve: 72 hours
Frequency: 2 x 2.5 Hz (2x 18’000 vph)
Decorative movement plate in black aventurine
Hours and minutes indicated by the movement’s rotation
Black ceramic, titanium with black DLC, 5N rose gold
Bezel: 5N rose gold
Time set with the front bezel, lever lock
Manual winding possible with the back bezel
Diameter: 45 mm
Water resistance: 30 m
Crystal: Sapphire domed box with antireflective treatment on both sides
Case back: Titanium with black DLC, 6 screws, visible “Grinder” through open sapphire case-back
Bi-material black alligator & golden calf strap or black alligator strap
Limited edition of 75 timepieces
CHF 130’000 / EUR 123’500 / USD 137’200 /GBP 114’040