Watch of the Week: Ulysse Nardin Freak X

The Freak is in many ways what Ulysse Nardin is all about: It is innovative in terms of design as well as technical execution. When the original version of the Freak was introduced in 2001, it was the very first watch in commercial production that used parts made from silicon. Because of its unique movement design, with flying carousel, those elements were also clearly visible on the dial side. In the little under two decades that the Freak is now part of the Ulysse Nardin collection, the watch has evolved in many ways, with as latest addition the Freak X.

Ulysse Nardin Freak X
To power this new watch, Ulysse Nardin created a whole new movement: caliber UN-230. This self-winding movement combines several ingredients from calibers that we find in the previous models but in a more simplified way. Key-elements remained, of course, the same, as this is what sets the Freak apart from the rest. It features a flying carousel which is fitted with a balance wheel in silicium. The balance wheel is reinforced with nickel flyweights, and micro-blades to stabilize it, an innovation that is carried over from the Freak Vision. The aim of this all is to make the Freak X as accurate as possible.

Ulysse Nardin Freak X
In terms of design is the Freak X a very sleek and contemporary creation, yet a touch more mainstream than its siblings. At 43mm it sits comfortably on the wrist, thanks to its well-designed case, which now also features a crown. While this is common for the vast majority of watches, for the Freak it is something exceptional. For previous versions of the Freak, Ulysse Nardin integrated the function of the crown into the bezel. While this may disappoint some die-hard fans of the Freak, it does make the watch a bit more mainstream. It makes this Ulysse Nardin now also appealing to people who appreciate an innovative concept, yet prefer this in a modern, yet not overly avant-garde design.

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