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Watchscapes: Ulysse Nardin FreakLab

by Peter Chong on June 24, 2015

The Ulysse Nardin Freak was a freak of watchmaking…that is putting it mildly. It may not seem as so radical these days, but when it first burst into the scene in 2001, the haute horlogerie scene was rather more sedate. The watch was so out of the norm that the late Rolf Schnyder, then CEO (and owner) of Ulysse Nardin named it The Freak.

Imagined by the unusual and highly creative mind of Ludwig Oeschlin and Rolf Schnyder, the watch was the first to use silisium in the escape escapement. I remember well the unveiling by Rolf, and many of us present were taken aback. The highly unusual bottle cap winding and time setting system was one of the talking points. But of course, all manner of attention was paid to the movement, which turns on its own axis and the bridges become the hour and minute hands.

The design was updated several times, and in BaselWorld 2015, UN unveiled the FreakLab. Completely redesigned, the gear train is now smaller in order to reposition the escapement in the center of the movement. The escapement is now equipped with UlyChoc shock absorption system, UN speak for a variant of the ubiquitious Unibloc. And the design now incorporating an anchor to point to the nautical origins of UN.

But enough words. On to the Watchscape.

UN Freaklab

UN Freaklab

Click here for a full sized 1920×1080 wallpaper image of the above. Free for personal and non-commercial use.

UN FreakLab, showing the dial and the redesigned floating movement which turns on its own axis.

UN FreakLab, showing the dial and the redesigned floating movement which turns on its own axis.

freaklab-dial

UN FreakLab dial side.

Click here for a full sized 1920×1080 wallpaper image of the above. Free for personal and non-commercial use.

UN FreakLab caseback

UN FreakLab caseback

 

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