The Freak by Ulysse Nardin returns in a redesigned form. Conceived in 2001, “The Freak” is an accomplished and widely lauded watch design, and rightly so. The advancements of the Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser take the iconic timepiece even further. Emblematic of the Freak series, the Freak Cruiser is stripped of its dial and hands, with a movement that revolves on itself while marking the time. Linked to the center of the watch, the lower bridge indicates the hours, while the upper bridge – bearing the gear train, the balance spring and the exclusive Dual Ulysse silicon escapement – shows the minutes. This system — named the Carrousel-Tourbillon — is entirely free-floating in the Freak Cruiser; it no longer includes the center pin that previous incarnations were bestowed.
Observant eyes will already have noticed that that gear train has taken on the design of an anchor. As well, you may have also notice the two silicon wheels near the center. The Dual Ulysse escapement architecture abandons the traditional anchor and anchor wheel, and instead locates two silicon impulse wheels at its center. According to Ulysse Nardin, each one is equipped with 18 active teeth which engage in turn, activating an alternator which transmits its energy directly to the balance staff — first in one direction, then in the other. This structure, which requires no lubrication, ensures that the force is always released in the direction of the balance rotation, thereby minimizing friction.
More subtly, the Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser has a bezel dressed with “aquatic fluting”. A very unique bezel that marries perfectly with the avant-garde spirit of The Freak:
And of course there is no crown on the 45mm diameter case of this watch. Rather, the watch is wound via the caseback, denoted by the engraving around the outer edge of the caseback as you see here. Notice also that the aquatic fluting design of the bezel is used on the caseback as well.
The watch is mounted on an alligator strap with deployment buckle. All said and done, the Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser is as an impressive looking watch with superb mechanics and advanced materials. The Freak Cruiser is being produced in both 18-karat rose gold and 18-karat white gold versions.
Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser: Technical Data
- Caliber UN-205
- Movement indicates the time
- Flying Carrousel
Power Reserve: 7 days, slip-spring
Frequency: 4Hz (28,800 v/h)
Moment of Inertia: 8 mg*cm2, adjusting over 4 screws
Hairspring: Silicon, exclusive Ulysse Nardin design
Escapement: Exclusive Dual Ulysse escapement in silicon, non-lubricated
Orbite: 1 revolution in one hour
- Manual winding over the back of the case
- 1 full rotation is equivalent to 12 hours of power reserve
Functions: H/M displayed by the rotation of the movement
Time Setting: Unlock device and turn bezel
Case: 18-karat rose gold or 18-karat white gold
Diameter: 45 mm