Undoubtedly the timepiece that changed the way we look at watch making, the Ulysse Nardin Freak is now back with the Freak [X Ops] and it’s all-new carbon fibre look, this time in a beautiful shade of green.
Ever since Ulysse Nardin introduced the world to their Freak model, it has been re-writing modern day watchmaking. Upon it’s debut, the watch was unlike anything the industry has seen before. No hands, no dial and no crown, yet the hour and minute’s can still be read, and the time can still be adjusted. A mechanical watch that has been created by some of the finest minds watchmaking has ever known. Not only were Ulysse Nardin able to remove the hands and dial and still display these characteristics, they went a step further and made it as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
After the creation of the Freak model in 2001, Ulysse Nardin has kept updating the base model with many different versions, some featuring new innovations and other’s getting beautiful aesthetic changes. For example, released back in 2010 was the Freak Diavolo, which was a generational change for the Freak model. It featured a second carousel, but this time as a tourbillon. The new comers to the world of watches will be more familiar with Ulysse Nardin’s more latest releases, such as the Freak X (2019), Freak S (2022) and Freak One (2023). Without a doubt, our favourite model out of this line up has to be the Freak S. A timepiece so technical, the carousel movement has been redesigned to look like a “space vessel with twin reactors”. Honestly, doesn’t get much more cooler than that.
This latest endeavor by Ulysse Nardin is giving a refreshing take, or should we say, a more stealthy look to the Freak X timepiece. Released during Watches and Wonders Shanghai, The Freak [X Ops] takes the Freak X undercover with a 43mm black DLC titanium case and bezel. The real attention grabber, however, is in the flanks of the case. Ulysse Nardin has done these flanks as khaki green carbon flanks in ‘Magma’, which is an original composite, made by blending black carbon fibres and green epoxy resin.
This innovative material was first used by Ulysse Nardin as the case flanks for the Freak X “Magma”. However, for that timepiece, it was a mix of carbon fibre and red marbled epoxy resin, given a Magma appearance. The case flanks made of Ulysse Nardin’s ultra-lightweight carbon fibre composite, a material inspired by the irregular patterns of Damascus steel and introduced back in 2019. As we know with carbon fibre, each component when created will look different from each other. This is further enhanced with use of the green epoxy resin, which makes the appearance of the lines and patterns created by the carbon fibre composite all the more visible.
The dial comes with the iconic design of the original Freak model, which has been upgraded by the Freak X model in 2019 with a more aesthetic carousel design and also the inclusion of the crown to more easily adjust time. As there technically is no dial, what we see directly from the front is the movement, which has been done in black. The colour black is the perfect backdrop for the Freak [X Ops] as it firstly fits in perfectly with the ‘stealth’ concept of the watch, and secondly allows the carousel movement and hour indices to subtly still be visible. The hour indices along with the tips of the hour and minute carousel indcators has been given a khaki green Super-LumiNova® finish, which under low light conditions will glow “green”, fitting with the green aesthetics of the timepiece nicely.
The engine at the heart of the watch is the UN-230 self-winding movement, which is a combination of the bulletproof UN-118 and the high-tech UN-250 movements, that gave the Freak Vision its unforgettable look. The UN-230 self winding movement has the silicon balance wheel and escapement suspended by a bridge, which ultimately acts as the minute hand; with a second bridge serving as the hour hand. The case back of the Freak [X Ops] has a transparent sapphire opening, which allows for more of the UN230 movement to be seen. The power autonomy of this movement sits at approximately 72 hours, while operating at a frequency of 3Hz (21, 600 VpH).
Presented in a khaki green fabric strap as standard, the Freak [X Ops] combines adventurous spirit with luxury. While no new technological features are presented, the Freak [X Ops] brings about the carbon fibre composite combined with green epoxy material, a first for the Freak collection. The Ulysse Nardin Freak [X Ops] is a non-limited edition model and is available for purchase from September through authorized retailers and Ulysse Nardin Boutiques.
Reference: 2303-270-2A-KAKI/0A (black strap), 2303-270-2A-KAKI/0B (green strap)
- Case: 43 mm
- Case Material: Khaki green carbon flanks in ‘Magma’, an original composite, blending black carbon fibres and green epoxy resin. Black DLC titanium case and bezel.
- Case back: Black DLC titanium case back with transparent sapphire opening
- Dial: Black movement with flying carousel rotating around its own axis
- Crystal: Sapphire crystal, anti-reflective on both sides
- Water resistance: 50m / 5 bar
- Movement: Automatic movement Caliber UN-230 Manufacture
- Power reserve: Approximately 72 hours
- Strap: Khaki green fabric strap or Black fabric strap (recycled fishing net) with hook and loop fastener.