SIHH 2018: Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision. The First Automatic Watch in the Freak Collection.

The first automatic watch in the Ulysse Nardin Freak Collection is the new Freak Vision. A feat of horology and a very good looking timepiece, the new Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision incorporates the revolutionary innovations unveiled in the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 Concept Watch at SIHH 2017 to give birth to a brand new winding mechanism called the Grinder Automatic Winding System. This new winding system, which completely revolutionizes energy transmission, surpassing existing systems for efficiency by a factor of two, takes perfect advantage of even the slightest movement of the wrist. The oscillating rotor is linked to a frame containing four arms, which gives the automatic system twice the torque —like having four pedals on a bike instead of two— while a flexible guidance mechanism drastically limits friction.

About the Watch

Featuring a new case design in platinum and measuring 45 mm in diameter, the new Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision continues to tell time by a flying carrousel rotating around its own axis at the center of the dial. However, the new Freak Vision not only sports a redesigned case but also a redesigned baguette movement with a brand new 3D carved upper bridge that is inspired by a boat’s hull. The Flying Carrousel —baguette movement— performs a full turn every hour.

Fitted also with a new box-domed sapphire crystal engraved with hour markers, the new crystal allows for a thinner middle case and bezel. Finally, the entire case itself is new—horns, bezel, the rubber on the side— making it appear much more open and generous. 

The bezel, made of titanium but coated with a blue rubber lining, features 3 titanium riders for easy handling when time needs to be set after activating the level lock located between the lugs at 6 o'clock.

Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision

As it is customary, the left caseband features the 'blancard' where the limited edition number is engraved. This time the plaque is inserted within a blue rubber inlay that is part of the case middle. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters.

Now, since the new Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision comes with not winding crown like all of its siblings in the Freak Collection, in order to set the time or manually wind the movement, one needs to press the lever lock located between the lugs at 6 o'clock in order to engage the crown mechanism and then set the time or wind the watch using the case back. Taking a close look at the case back, one can find the words "To Wind" and an arrow that indicates the direction in which the movement needs to be wound. One full turn of the case back ring provides 12 hours of power reserve. The movement provides a total power-reserve of 50 hours at constant amplitude.

The Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision is delivered on a very nice blue rubberized alligator leather strap equipped with a titanium folding clasp with the UN logo.

The Movement

The new calibre UN-250, a fully developed in-house movement, not only features the new Grinder Automatic Winding System but also a super-light silicium balance wheel with nickel mass elements and micro-blades to stabilize amplitudes and increase accuracy. Mastering silicium components in their movements since 2001, the new calibre UN-250 pushes the technology further by welding it—another patented first—with solid nickel elements, to create an astonishingly light balance wheel. Additionally, the Ulysse Nardin Anchor Escapement is based on the principle of flexible mechanisms, exploiting the elasticity of flat springs. It presents a constant force escapement made entirely of silicium, and features a circular frame with a pallet fork that moves without friction. The pallet fork is fixed in the center and supported in space on two minuscule blade springs. Mounted perpendicular to each other, they are subjected to a bending force that curves and keeps them in a bi-stable state. The result is a positive energy balance that maintains the oscillations of the balance wheel at a constant rate without influence of torque variation from the mainspring. The movement provides a total power-reserve of 50 hours at constant amplitude.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, this watch feels up to par with its price tag and wears quite comfortably for its size and thickness. This revolutionary watch, is not only very advanced from a design and horological standpoint, but is also a great looking timepiece.

Sticker Price CHF95,000 Swiss Francs —approximately $100,000 USD. For more info click here.