OK people, here is the new “Double Freak,” better know as the Freak Diavolo watch from Ulysse Nardin. This is a first look at the watch – and it is strictly a prototype. So you’ll see stuff on the the piece here that will clearly be improved, removed, or otherwise changes. Take for instance the black around the bezel that will eventually be black vulcanized rubber. That application on the bezel is for display purposes only. Oh, and you like that little “NOT FOR SALE” reminder on the back of the watch? I wanna see a store try to peddle this one off. The Freak Diavolo isn’t a replacement for the original Freak, but rather a different watch. According to Ulysse Nardin, the standard Freak (is it really that “standard?”) isn’t going to stop being produced. The Freak Diavolo will be a more complex, more expensive watch that features a tourbillon on top, of what is sort of already a type of tourbillon.
You can see the tourbillon at the end of the minute hand (otherwise known as “the Freak” hand). Plus, the tourbillon is a flying one minute tourbillon and the minute hand carousel system is also flying, on the original Freak, it had a small pinion connected to the sapphire crystal that acted like a palette. There is an image of the standard Freak mother model below so that you can compare. The Freak Diavolo is totally a ‘flying machine,’ and if you liked the original Freak, you will more than likely enjoy the Diavolo. You can compare the two watches to see the style changes on the dial. Much of the watch is the same though. Including the case – which he is 44.5mm wide and in 18k white gold matched to a black alligator strap.
You’ll recall that the Freaks are crownless watches. You rotate a ring about the caseback of the watch to adjust the time, while the bezel is rotated to wind the watch. Cool right? The movement contains a high-tech silicium escapement (seen in blue), as well as a silicium hair spring. Ulysse Nardin was/is a big innovator, as it was the first brand to use silicium parts. Laughed at, at first, brands like Breguet and Patek Philippe now commonly use silicium in their movements. The movement here is very accurate according to Ulysse Nardin, and has a long 8 days of power reserve.
You can hate the Freak or you can love it. Personally I am fascinated by it and have utter respect for its complexity and bravery. Few such wild watches are as stimulating and fun to read. The watch does have an hour hand that sits on a sit before the large Freak minute hand. So telling the time isn’t hard. Though for my bravado in earnestly desiring to wear this watch, I am faced with the insurmountable hurdle of its price which is destined to be above $100,000. Look for more updates soon on the upcoming Ulysse Nardin Freak Diavolo.
Some basic technical data from Ulysse Nardin:
Power Reserve more than 8 days, slip-spring
Frequency 4Hz (28’800 A/h)
Moment of inertia 8 mg*cm2, adjusting over 4 screws.
Hairspring Silicium, exclusive Ulysse Nardin design.
Escapement right-angle lever, silicium, non lubricated.
Tourbillon 1 revolution in 1minute.
Orbite 1 revolution in one hour.
Winding Manual winding over the bezel on the back of the case. 1 full rotation is equivalent to 12 hours of power reserve.
Time setting forward and backward over the bezel.
Case 18-karat white gold, water-resistant.