For SIHH 2018, Ulysse Nardin is adding the next chapter to their Freak watch with the Freak Vision. It is said that by taking lessons from last year’s InnoVision 2 Concept Watch and having gone through a case redesign, the Freak Vision boasts a couple of new component innovations and a thinner case.
The case redesign took into consideration the lugs, bezel and case band. Because Ulysse Nardin saw the need to have a case that would be a lot more open with the new flying carrousel they had designed for the Freak Vision.
What makes the balance wheel so special is that not only is it made of silicium, like every other Freak watch before it, but this time round, Ulysse Nardin managed to create a process by which to weld nickel micro components on to. The welded nickel elements are meant to serve the wheel as inertia blocks. This is now a patented process and claims to result in a balance wheel that is incredibly lightweight.
Next, let’s look at the new escapement system created for Freak Vision: The Ulysse Nardin Anchor Constant Escapement. It’s a little difficult to see from the pictures provided, but if you peer past the balance wheel, you should be able to see clearly the pallet fork and the escapement wheel. The pallet fork isn’t by itself, rather it has a circular brace behind it. Now if you stare long enough at the pallet fork, you should also be able to see two micro-blades that are at 90° to each other.
As the pallet fork goes back and forth against the escapement wheel, with negligible friction (remember these are all silicium micro-components), these two blades bend alternately to keep the escapement mechanism running at a constant rate, compensating for any fluctuation in energy imposed on it, as a result of torque along the going train. Effectively making for a constant force escapement.
The last thing then that remains to be said about the Freak Vision in that it also incorporates the Grinder Automatic Winding System of the InnoVision 2 Concept Watch, which then makes the new watch the first self-winding Freak.
Technical Specifications: The Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision
Self-winding Calibre UN-250; hours and minutes; 50-hour power reserve at constant amplitude
45mm; platinum with rubber case side; water resistant to 30m
Rubber-like leather and titanium folding clasp