New: Ulysse Nardin Freak S Nomad

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UN returns to the origin of The Freak with a new release for 2024 – the Freak S Nomad. No dial, no crown and no hands.

Press Release with commentary in italics.

New: Ulysse Nardin Freak S Nomad

Ulysse Nardin Freak S Nomad retails for SGD 216,800 including tax. 99 piece limited edition.

The Hour Glass is proud to be the exclusive retailer of Ulysse Nardin in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.


And here it is! After the affair of the Freak X, which to purists is not a “real” Freak, as it uses a classical crown, UN returns to the “true” Freak. One which espouses the mantra of “no dial, no hands, no crown”. A mantra which has been the founding principle of the Freak, as seen in this graphic depicting the generations of The Freak.

Now, this new Freak S Nomad returns to this roots. Here again, there is no dial, no hands (well yes hands, but they are part of the movement itself, just like the original Freak from 2 decades ago). And of course no crown. The movement is the Freak S’s Calibre UN-251. This new movement features two oscillators, inclined to each other at 20 degrees.

The effect is rather stunning, but this is driven by a new differential gearing system to ensure that power is distributed to both escapement systems equally.

The new Freak S Nomad is very spectacular. For us, it not only signifies the return of the original freaky Freak, but also that UN is again leading the way with innovative movement offerings…in reference to the differentially driven dual escapement system. We will cover more during our hands on later this week, but for now, suffice to say, we are happy with this return. Though the SGD 217k price tag is somewhat of a sticker shock.

Release details

Looking around fine watchmaking today, connoisseurs have never had it so good. Creativity, innovation, imagination: Swiss watchmaking’s wild side is unleashed.

In 2001, when the Ulysse Nardin Freak was introduced, the landscape was somewhat drier. This was a watch that broke all the rules. Not only did it not have conventional hands, nor a dial, nor even a crown, its beating heart was built around the use of high-tech silicon, a cutting-edge material employed to combat the stresses placed on a watch’s moving parts. Everything about the Freak was daring, groundbreaking and, frankly, freaky.

This, no mistake, was a risk. Mechanical watchmaking was just back on its feet after three misfiring decades, but would this Freak, this extraordinary creation, this horological anomaly actually get a good hearing? Would anyone go for it?

Indeed, they would.

The Freak whipped up a storm. Here was a watch that breathed new life into high-end watchmaking, without relying on the old tropes. Out with the smooth round yellow gold cases, enamel dials and tourbillons. In with a free-spirited watch with fresh aesthetics and avant-garde technology.

The Freak told a new story:

No dial. No hands. No crown.

In the two decades since, the Freak’s unconventional profile has made it the Ulysse Nardin flagship. A rule-breaking totem for an independent company hellbent on creative and mechanical experimentation. Since 2001, the Manufacture has filed more than 20 patents for the Freak and only last year, the Freak One was awarded the Iconic Watch Prize at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

In the meantime, silicon parts have become an industry norm. And watchmakers have experimented with forms that few would have dreamed possible before the Freak. Where the Freak went, others followed.

At Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024, Ulysse Nardin’s focus falls on the Freak S Nomad, a sand-coloured expression of the Freak that whips up a desert storm all of its own. Again it has no dial, no hands and no crown. In fact, it’s a laboratory on the wrist, more of which to come.

The Freak S Nomad proves one thing. There’s still nothing quite like the Freak.


At Watches and Wonders Geneva this year, the independent and integrated Manufacture Ulysse Nardin introduces the next chapter in the story of the Freak, the unconventional and yet traditional Freak S Nomad, reflecting the brand’s independent spirit and its quest to explore new territories by pushing boundaries.

The new 99-piece limited edition watch is defined by its unique movement, which at first glance carries echoes of a fantastical spaceship.

That look comes from the architecture of the Freak S’s Calibre UN-251 Manufacture movement, a flying carousel that rotates around its own axis. It features two oscillators with silicon balance wheels inclined at 20 degrees (that look like launch pads) and escapements treated with high-tech DIAMonSIL for added precision and durability.

These are linked by a vertical differential system mounted on ball bearings. Winding is taken care of by Ulysse Nardin’s innovative Grinder® winding system, an automatic system that’s twice as efficient as a traditional automatic system.

The movement’s bridges are coated in anthracite PVD, while what becomes the minute hand is filled with luminous Super-LumiNova® that glows light blue in the dark. In all, there are 373 components and 33 jewels in the movement.

Surrounding that is a 45mm case that brings together an experimental mix of materials: titanium for the main body; an anthracite PVD-coated titanium bezel; and carbon fibre flanks that also serve as the watch’s lugs. These meet a choice of two straps: one anthracite rubber ‘ballistic’; and a second in matt anthracite alligator that’s open-worked to reveal sand-colored calfskin leather accents.

So far, so unconventional. But traditional? And so on to the hour disk…


The Freak S Nomad is a design and technical maverick, no doubt.

But it’s also a paradox. Because at the same time, it also testifies to Ulysse Nardin’s deep love of haute horlogerie, métiers d’art and the rare handcrafts and finishing techniques that define only the most exquisite luxury watches. No element in the Freak S Nomad better illustrates this passion than the hour disc that sits behind the carousel ‘spaceship’ movement.

It features a diamond guilloché pattern finished in sand-coloured CVD, a nod to waving sand dunes. Produced one piece at a time by a skilled artisan, the painstaking method behind it takes years to learn and perfect. It involves a rare 18th century rose engine, turned entirely by hand, with no electronics and no laser guidance.

Each dial is a beautiful sequence of intersecting curves, requiring 240 continuous movements over a three-hour period. Because the pattern is the result of one continuous movement, the guillocheur must not lift their hand or even flinch so as to ensure the seamlessness of the pattern. No comfort breaks. No time for coffee. It requires a freakish level of concentration, skill and patience.

Why undertake this by hand? For three reasons. First, because of the romance and beauty in hand-craftsmanship. As machines become smarter, faster and more detached, so they become less emotional, and so the value of hand-craftsmanship becomes more eternal. Second is that because there are no machines involved, there are no vibrations, which makes the finish smoother and more accurate. And finally, because each plate is crafted by hand, no two are exactly the same.

The juxtaposition of this ultra-traditional finishing technique with the Freak S Nomad’s state-of-the-art movement and avant garde material mix is the perfect symbol of Ulysse Nardin’s uncommon watchmaking approach: at once pure and rooted in the savoir-faire of high-end Swiss watchmaking and yet also in brave pursuit of absolute novelty and innovation.

As the Freak S Nomad explains: Ulysse Nardin’s spirit of exploration knows no boundaries.SPECIAL FREAK-TURES


As a rule, mechanical watch movements are hidden under a dial. The Freak S Nomad has no dial, though. Instead, Calibre UN-251 Manufacture is revealed in all its three-dimensional glory under a sapphire crystal.


Likewise, most analogue watches have hour and minutes hands to display the time. The Freak S Nomad indicates the minutes via a pointer set into the one-hour orbital flying carousel (part of the movement), and the hours via a pointer set on a rotating hour disc that sits under the movement.


The Freak’s base architecture does away with a crown. Instead, the bezel serves as the mechanism for setting the watch. It is activated when the locker at 6 o’clock is lifted, releasing the setting system.


The Freak S Nomad’s innovative movement is a work of modern horological art. It features a double oscillator with silicon balance wheels and escapements coated in DIAMonSIL, an ultra-high tech form of diamond-coated silicon that delivers exceptional precision and durability. These are linked by a vertical differential to deliver superior timekeeping accuracy. The Ulysse Nardin-patented Grinder® automatic winding system generates power two times more efficiently than conventional winding systems, charging a 72-hour power reserve.


The Freak S Nomad has a lightweight titanium case and locker, as well as an anthracite PVD- coated titanium bezel. Its flanks are in carbon fibre, which are shaped to become the watch’s lugs.


The rotating hour disc behind the Freak S Nomad’s flying carousel is hand-finished with an elegant diamond guilloché pattern and coated with a sand-coloured CVD. This is turned on an 18th-century rose engine powered by the hand of an artisan and takes three uninterrupted hours of painstaking, highly-skilled labour to produce.


The hour and minute indicators are coated in a Super-LumiNova® that glows blue in low-light conditions.


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