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Ulysse Nardin Launch New Flagship Wristwatch with the Freak One

Ulysse Nardin Freak One

It’s time to get Freaky. Since 2001, the Ulysse Nardin Freak has been one of the most intensely individual watches in haute horology, with each new entry adding a new twist to its story. Last year, for example, saw the Freak S and its spaceship inspired design. There’s plenty of chapters to love, from the original onwards and this year Ulysse Nardin are taking a look back at them all with the retrospective Freak One.

To give a quick break down of the dates and references present in the Freak One: the concept dates back to the 2001 original with no dial, no hand and no crown, instead opting for a fully rotating movement – known as a carrousel movement. It then has DIAMonSIL treatment, introduced in 2007, on its escapement with a silicon hairspring first used in 2008. Visually, it draws on 2013’s open gear train and 2018’s updated legibility codes. The black DLC titanium and rose gold material combination is then inspired by the aforementioned Freak S from 2022.

Ulysse Nardin Freak One

All those diverse elements come together to create something like a supermodel at a circus: one of the most attractive Freaks ever. It has a 44mm diameter case in DLC titanium with a rose gold rotating bezel. Well, describing it as a rotating bezel doesn’t quite do it justice as the bezel serves as the time setting method since there’s no crown. By unlocking the bezel with the lock at 6 o’clock, you can use it to rotate the entire movement and then lock it back into place to set the time.

Ulysse Nardin Freak One

The majority of the display is given over to the movement, which in true Freak style doubles as the hour and minute hands. Said movement is the calibre UN-240 manufacture with a 72-hour power reserve with the various quality of life improvements that Ulysse Nardin have perfected over the years. Those include the use of DIAMonSIl, the silicone hairspring and the Grinder winding system that all help to reduce friction and prevent damage to the movement. That’s important for any movement, but when it’s this mobile those changes become vital.

Ulysse Nardin Freak One

Completing the look of the piece is a sunray engraving bursting outward from the centre of the movement through to the hour scale mounted on the periphery. It pairs nicely with the ‘ballistic’ texture of the rubber strap or the scale pattern of the alternative alligator leather number. There’s also a third strap option in two-tone rubber.Ulysse Nardin Freak One

The Freak One is priced at £60,330, which puts it almost exactly halfway between the entry-level Freaks at around £22,000 and the top end Freak S at £114,000. Essentially, it’s the perfect averaging out of every Freak model – just what you want from a retrospective.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Ulysse Nardin Freak One
  • Ref: 2405-500-2A/3D
  • Case/dial: 44mm diameter x 12mm thickness, titanium case with black DLC coating
  • Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
  • Movement: Ulysse Nardin calibre UN-240, automatic, 15 jewels, 229 parts
  • Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 72h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes
  • Strap: Black rubber ballistic textured or black matte alligator leather or two tone rubber
  • Price/availability: £60,330

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.