Ulysse Nardin’s Freak watch of 2001 was a poster child for horological innovation. With its tiered construction, its spectacular 7-day flying carrousel tourbillon revolving on its axis on the dial and the distinction of being the first watch to incorporate silicium (silicon) technology, it gained immediate cult status. After countless iterations, Ulysse Nardin followed up with the Freak X in 2019, an entry-level watch for fans of the legendary Freak. Fitted with a baguette-shaped flying carrousel openworked movement, the Freak X retained the spirit of the spectacle of the first Freak but was fitted with a winding crown and offered at a more affordable price. During Watches & Wonders 2022, the model reappears with a sparkling blue aventurine background, as the Ulysse Nardin Freak X Aventurine.
Like the sparkling waters a sailor might observe during a full Moon at sea, the aventurine glass on the dial references Ulysse Nardin’s longstanding nautical ties. Set against this attractive glittering dark blue background, the Freak X stages its unconventional hand-free representation of the time. Like other Freak X models, the baguette-shaped one-hour carrousel indicates the minutes, revealing its super-light and extra-large silicium balance wheel (light blue). The rotating and recessed wheel is used to indicate the hours. The indices on the dial and flange, the gold tip of the central bridge acting as the minute hand, and the wheel indicating the hours are all treated with Super-LumiNova.
The complex architecture of the 43mm case of the Freak X combines blue PVD titanium details with rose gold elements, displaying vertical brushed surfaces and polished bevels.
To cut costs but not sacrifice the signature construction of the Freak, the manufacture built a new flying carrousel baguette automatic movement which was a fusion of the UN-118 and UN-250 calibres. Introduced in 2019 for the entry-level Freak X model, the calibre UN-230 is a more straightforward, more conventional movement. The balance wheel, escapement wheel, balance spring and anchor are made from lightweight silicium, and the balance has nickel flyweights and stabilising micro-blades attached to the minute hand. The frequency is 3Hz/21,600vph, and the barrel delivers a robust 72-hour power reserve.
Availability & Price
The Ulysse Nardin Freak X Aventurine is available on a blue alligator strap with light grey stitching and a blue PVD titanium and rose gold folding clasp. It is a limited edition of 99 pieces and retails for CHF 36,000 or EUR 34,200.
For more information, please visit Ulysse Nardin.com.