Ulysse Nardin are no strangers to camouflage inspired watches. In fact, they’ve arguably taken it too far in the past with watches like the eye watering Freak X Razzle Dazzle from 2021, a dazzle camouflage version of the Freak X. Now though, we have the new Ulysse Nardin Freak One OPS, a military style take on the Freak One in traditional military tones of black and khaki.
The Freak One OPS (which stands for Operations) offers a complete visual and material update to the Freak One, replacing the original’s black and gold colourway with the khaki and olive tones of the military. The most apparent change is the watch’s bezel – in traditional Freak fashion the bezel is rotatable and is how you set the time display – which is now made from Carbonium®.
Carbonium®, despite how it may sound, is not in fact the latest MacGuffin from the MCU, but a carbon composite material recycled from offcuts produced during the airplane manufacturing process. It’s super lightweight and durable and really helps to sell the military aesthetic alongside the 44mm diameter black DLC coated titanium case.
This new, darker appearance is mirrored in carrousel display as well, the bridges of the rotating movement now being black as opposed to gold. The fluted backdrop and peripheral hour track are in khaki green, which reminds me of those military style pull overs with the pronounced vertical ribbing and patches on the shoulders. Lastly, it’s presented on a choice of two different black and khaki green rubber straps.
I do really like the aesthetic reimagining of the Freak One OPS, it successfully alters the whole visual impact of the piece without changing any of the mechanics (it continues to house the Calibre UN-240 with 90-hour power reserve). It’s not a colourway for colourway’s sakes and it executes on a particular design concept, totally shifting away from the vaguely space themed futurism of the original and turning it into a gritty military piece. Not that you’d want to use a £58,480 watch out in the field.
Price and Specs:
More details at Ulysse Nardin.