feet in the water, head in the sky
Focus on Freak S and Diver Ocean Race
Land, air and sea are always weighed as three distinct elements. But are they really separate? Not really, because they are made of the same atoms, come from the same world and depend on each other. Humans intuitively grasped this and devised a journey through the air on Earth that was measured in... nautical miles. Watchmaking - especially Ulysse Nardin - follows the same path. While the manufacturer is famous for its marine chronometers - 4,324 performance certificates from the Neuchâtel Observatory! - It's constantly breaking new technological and aesthetic frontiers, of which Freak is the figurehead.
grotesque chic It has been a must since 2001. No hands, no dial, no crown. The futuristic and disruptive new Freak S is 20 years ahead of its time. It no longer has one but two oscillators, located on two planes inclined by 20°, beating two XL balances in its center, connected by a differential visible on the side of the dial and calculating the average rate. The precious organ is made of DiamonSIL, a silicon coated with a few microns of synthetic diamond to optimize performance and resistance. Like all Freak watches, this new S model tells the time through the rotation of the movement. The movement sits on the dial side and "replaces" the hands, as it is the movement itself, and more specifically the balance, escapement, and wheels - which indicate the minutes by turning its central axis once every hour. A glowing white arrow shows the time. Performance is also a top priority for automatic "grinder" systems when it comes to winding. It came from the seafaring world, Ulysse Nardin was convinced. Like a ship's "grinder", it uses a speed reducer to increase winding efficiency. Since 2017, the Manufacture has improved it with silicon inlays, optimizing the winding while reducing friction. a watch? More like a watchmaking vessel for an avant-garde collector. Manufacturers have improved it with silicon inlays that optimize winding while reducing friction. a watch? More like a watchmaking vessel for an avant-garde collector. Manufacturers have improved it with silicon inlays that optimize winding while reducing friction. a watch? More like a watchmaking vessel for an avant-garde collector.
Celestial Dial Maybe it's on this ship that they'll be able to use the Freak X Aventurine to propel themselves into the stars. The dial is as much about technology as it is about aesthetics. The first aspect is embodied in the Freak's breathtaking "engine", a carousel that revolves around its axis in 60 minutes, indicating the hours, while simultaneously serving as the minute hand. Its speed is set by a UN-250 movement oscillating on a silicon XL balance wheel with nickel inertia blocks. For aesthetic purposes, it will be attracted - levitation? – Above the sky made of aventurine, an 18th century Venetian material accidentally made from a few copper filings that fell into molten glass barrels. Wandering between past and present, tradition and modernity, this ancient alloy is framed in blue PVD titanium and 5N rose gold with soft curves and polished edges.
Do more with less
Diver Ocean Race is the latest example of this commitment, expressed not only in the form of statements, but also in action. In 2020, Ulysse Nardin has researched this topic for the first time, and the strap is 100% made from recycled fishing nets that the company sources from fishermen in Brittany. In 2022, this "proof of concept" becomes a reality and now 200 collectors can hold on to: Recycled steel and brass (100% for the latter), a composite case made of 60% recycled polyamide, made of recycled plastic , and the famous strap, as always, made from recycled fishing nets. In the case of a movement with a silicon escapement, 95% of its components come from within a 30-kilometer radius of Neuchâtel, half of which are from recycled materials. More than a watch, it's a statement of horological responsibility,