Conceived in 2001 by the most advanced minds, the Freak is returning to its home port after sailing the high seas of cutting-edge technologies. As spectacular as ever with its Carrousel-Tourbillon, the new Freak Cruiser is hoisting its sails and taking to the waves, the natural home of Ulysse Nardin. Completely redesigned, it is surrounded by waves with a bezel dressed in aquatic fluting and a floating anchor in the form of a swing bridge. It’s a bold step into the future!
Never before has a watch accomplished such a conceptual and technological leap forward for watchmaking – a feat that remains unrivalled even today. Stripped of its dial and hands, the Freak Cruiser is designed so that the movement revolves on itself. Linked to the center of this unusual vessel, the lower bridge indicates the hours, while the upper bridge – bearing the gear train, the balance spring and the exclusive Dual Ulysse silicon escapement – shows the minutes. Named the Carrousel-Tourbillon, this system, which defies the imagination, is entirely free-floating, as it no longer includes the center pin that previous incarnations bestowed with the sapphire crystal to support the entire structure.
The Dual Ulysse escapement also takes watchmaking to revolutionary new horizons. Its architecture abandons the traditional anchor and anchor wheel, and instead locates two silicon impulse wheels at its center. Each one is equipped with 18 active teeth which engage in turn, activating an alternator which transmits its energy directly to the balance staff — first in one direction, then in the other. This structure, which requires no lubrication, ensures that the force is always released in the direction of the balance rotation, thereby minimizing friction.
Furthermore, the natural oscillation of the silicon 1.1.1 balance spring – which beats at the high frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz) – is only very slightly disturbed. In fact, the contact between the balance and the escapement takes place over a 32° arc, whereas this lifting angle is 48° on a Swiss lever escapement. The amount of disturbance is therefore reduced to a minimum.
But these are not the only secrets of the incredible manual-wind caliber UN-205, which generously reveals all through the sapphire case-back. Stripped of its crown, the Freak Cruiser is adjusted in a phenomenal way. Located between the lugs at 6 o’clock, a safety catch is used to liberate the rotating bezel. This adjusts the hours and minutes when turned in either direction. As for winding the barrel – designed to offer a power reserve of more than seven days – this is done using the rear bezel mounted on ball bearings. These two bezels, front and back, are an integral part of the movement.
With a diameter of 45 millimeters, mounted on an alligator strap with deployment buckle, the Freak Cruiser is as awe-inspiring as any treasures hidden on the seabed, available in 18-karat rose gold and 18-karat white gold. When slipped over the wrist, it will transport you to the oceans of your dreams.