Introducing the first automatic watch in the Ulysse Nardin Freak Collection, the Freak Vision. Ulysse Nardin is a pioneer of innovations in timekeeping, not least for its use of silicium, which it introduced to the haute horlogerie world in the first Freak timepiece in 2001. Now it pushes the technology further by welding it—another patented first—with solid nickel elements, to create an astonishingly light balance wheel. It then adds silicium micro-blades to stabilize amplitudes and significantly increase accuracy.
This new watch evolves from the innovative InnoVision 2 Concept Watch unveiled at SIHH 2017, by incorporating the super-light silicium balance wheel with nickel mass elements and stabilizing micro-blades, and a new case design made even thinner by a box-domed crystal. Time is still indicated in the “Freak” manner that sets the collection apart (the baguette movement itself, a “flying carrousel” rotating around its own axis), yet the design components are completely different. The new 3D-carved upper bridge is inspired by a boat’s hull.
Other technical firsts are:
The Grinder Automatic Winding System, which completely revolutionizes energy transmission, surpassing existing systems for efficiency by a factor of two. Grinder takes perfect advantage of even the slightest movement of the wrist. The oscillating rotor is linked to a frame containing four arms, which gives the automatic system twice the torque – like having four pedals on a bike instead of two – while a flexible guidance mechanism drastically limits friction.
The Ulysse Nardin Anchor Escapement is based on the principle of flexible mechanisms, exploiting the elasticity of flat springs. It presents a constant force escapement made entirely of silicium, and features a circular frame with a pallet fork that moves without friction. The pallet fork is fixed in the center and supported in space on two minuscule blade springs. Mounted perpendicular to each other, they are subjected to a bending force that curves and keeps them in a bi-stable state. The result is a positive energy balance that maintains the oscillations of the balance wheel at a constant rate without influence of torque variation from the mainspring.
The Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision comes in a 45 mm platinum case and will be available for 95,000 CHF.