January 26, 2018
Meet the unbelievable. Ulysse Nardin breaks moulds, challenges conventions and dares you to explore treasures from the ocean. Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. This is called Freedom and Freedom lies in being bold. Join us, eyes on the world, travel through time, and discover the new Freak. Are you ready to believe?
Introducing the first automatic watch in the Freak Collection, the Freak Vision: a Haute Horlogerie wonder incorporating the revolutionary innovations unveiled in the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 Concept Watch at SIHH 2017. Among the game-changers: a super-light silicium balance wheel with nickel mass elements and stabilizing micro-blades and a new case design made even thinner by a box-domed crystal.
Time is still indicated in the “Freak” manner that sets the collection apart: by the baguette movement itself, a “flying carrousel” rotating around its own axis. Yet the design components are completely different. The new 3D carved upper bridge is inspired by a boat’s hull. The new box-domed sapphire allows for a thinner middle and bezel. Finally, the entire case itself is new—horns, bezel, the rubber on the side—making for a look that is much more open and generous.
Ulysse Nardin is a pioneer of innovations in timekeeping, not least for its unprecedented mastery of silicium, which it introduced to Haute Horlogerie in the first Freak timepiece, in 2001. Now it audaciously pushes the technology further by welding it—another patented first—with solid nickel elements, to create an astonishingly light balance wheel. It then adds silicium micro-blades to stabilize amplitudes and significantly increase accuracy.
Other technical firsts are:
The Grinder Automatic Winding System, which completely revolutionizes energy transmission, surpassing existing systems for efficiency by a factor of two. Grinder takes perfect advantage of even the slightest movement of the wrist. The oscillating rotor is linked to a frame containing four arms, which gives the automatic system twice the torque – like having four pedals on a bike instead of two – while a flexible guidance mechanism drastically limits friction.
The Ulysse Nardin Anchor Escapement is based on the principle of flexible mechanisms, exploiting the elasticity of flat springs. It presents a constant force escapement made entirely of silicium, and features a circular frame with a pallet fork that moves without friction. The pallet fork is fixed in the center and supported in space on two minuscule blade springs. Mounted perpendicular to each other, they are subjected to a bending force that curves and keeps them in a bi-stable state. The result is a positive energy balance that maintains the oscillations of the balance wheel at a constant rate without influence of torque variation from the mainspring.