SIHH '18 - Beautiful Monster: Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision

Revolutionary mechanics meets refined design in this 2018 novelty.

BY Celine Yap | Jan 16, 2018 | Feature

Image by Ulysse Nardin

Introduced in 2001, the Ulysse Nardin Freak has come a long way. All of the manufacture’s most cutting-edge technology goes into this watch. Indeed, it could be said that the Freak was a watch born from technology, for without technology, a watch like this would never have been possible.

This latest incarnation offers four key proprietary inventions: The Ulysse Nardin Anchor Constant Escapement, a large-diameter 13mm silicon oscillator with nickel inertia-blocks, a silicon gear train, and the Grinder automatic movement system.

As the Freak’s core structure is unlike that of a typical timepiece, it is not possible for Ulysse Nardin to utilise the conventional self-winding mechanism, which is where the Grinder system comes in. It premiered in 2017’s Freak Innovision 2 and instead of an oscillating weight that moves in a circular fashion, it has a silicon blade component that depends on flexure guidance to wind the mainspring in a sideways and up-down motion.

Priced at CHF95,000 or about S$146,300, the Freak Vision is one of the most streamlined variations in the collection, and it possibly sets the tone for all future Freaks to come.