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Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

At Baselworld 2016, Ulysse Nardin predictably introduced a couple of new limited edition Freak watches. This one is perhaps one of our favorite Freak watches of all time, and it is the 35-piece set Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition in cool black and yellow “bumblebee” tones. Not personally being too connected to the world of boat racing, the Artemis Racing team collaboration is fun, but it isn’t what seals the deal for me.

Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The watch is called the “FreakWing” because of the design of the movement/minute hand that is inspired by the “wing” mainsail of racing yachts. It is a subtle but nice addition to the overall design. The 45mm-wide case is produced in black DLC-coated titanium, with a black carbon fiber bezel. The textured leather strap’s surface pattern fits in nicely with both the carbon fiber bezel as well as the motif on the inner dial.

Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Recall that as this is a Freak watch there is no crown in the traditional sense. To adjust the time you need to flip up a small tab at the lower part of the case (where it says “FreakWing”) and then turn the bezel clockwise to set the time. Unlike other Freak watches which do not include the date, you cannot set the time forward or backwards in the UN-210 movement. Rather, turning the bezel counterclockwise allows you to adjust the date. I will also say that while I am not typically a fan of “exposed” date windows, I don’t mind the execution of the date window on the Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition.

Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Winding the Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing watch is done via the rear titanium bezel around the back of the case. Winding Freak watches has never been that easy given the awkward position of your hand and the sometimes high friction of the rear bezel (thanks to the need for water resistance – 30 meters of it), but the in-house-made caliber UN-210 manually wound movement does have a power reserve of eight days – so you only need to wind the watch about once per week. The movement operates at 4Hz, and is produced primarily from silicon parts.

Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The UN-210 contains a lot of Ulysse Nardin’s attractive in-house developed technology including the UlyChoc anti-shock system (in silicon, of course) and the Dual Ulysse Escapement system (which is also in silicon). This latter system employs not one but two escapements as part of ensuring a bit more accuracy over time. Ulysse Nardin like to call all its Freak watches tourbillons, even though only a few models actually have tourbillons. They say this because the majority of the movement assembly is visible on the dial and doubles as the minute hand. As the regulation system is on this minute hand and because it rotates around the dial once each 60 minutes, the brand sometimes takes the liberty to throw in the “tourbillon” term here and there. I don’t really care whether or not it is classified as a tourbillon, but I do like it when brands are a bit less liberal with these terms as some of them (such as luxury, limited edition, innovation, exclusive, in-house, etc…) tend to lose their meaning over time if care is not taken in how they are used.

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Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Ulysse Nardin Freak collection remains one of our favorite avant-garde high-end watches because of its technology, meaning to the modern watch industry, operation and design, as well as its defiance of traditional norms. There is just so much meaning packed in the concept, and I truly hope to own at least one someday. That isn’t likely to be this handsome and sporty black and yellow Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition as the 35 pieces will be spoken for very soon (if they are not already).

Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

By the way, that number comes from the fact that the upcoming America’s Cup race, in which the Artemis Racing team participates, will have its 35th occurrence (even though the event itself is from the mid-19th century). On the rear of the case is the Artemis Racing team logo, more carbon fiber, and a view into the large mainspring barrel that acts as a simple power reserve indicator (by allowing one to see how tightly wound the spring is). Price for this reference 2103-138/CF-ARTEMIS Ulysse Nardin FreakWing Artemis Racing Limited Edition watch is $78,000. ulysse-nardin.com

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Comments

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  • Every been so enthralled with a watch that you didn’t even notice when you took photos of it while having it strapped on upside down? I’m always excited to visit the UN booth at BaselWorld and I will miss then moving to SIHH starting next year. This one maybe not my all time favorite Freak but still on my grail list. Wait, I’ve got it now – I need 2 Freaks. A dress one (http://ablogtowatch.com/ulysse-nardin-freaklab-watches-hands/) and then this one for “Sporty” days. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  • MEddie90

    Not my favorite rendition of the freak but none the less an interesting concept. Seems to be aimed at the same crowd as urwerk with the sleek black look and bright contrasting numerals and accents. One of the few truly unique concept watches on the market.

  • I could certainly live without the “freak wing” badge, and I’d prefer Orange, but outside of those two little quibbles, it’s freakwing amazing!

  • IanE

    I hate the carbon fibre finishing and I’m not really a fan of silicon (or the price!). Pretty cool though!

  • wallydog2

    $78000+tax+…? For a novelty watch?

    • DanW94

      I once paid 29.99 for a novelty mounted talking fish. Same principle, just a different financial universe. (A few drinks in you and damn if that fish ain’t entertaining…)

      • Berndt Norten

        If that fish was named Wanda you got a bargain?

      • Billy Bass, the singing fish? I got one of those for my kids years ago when they were small. The loved it (well, for a month or so anyway). Silly but fun. Just like watches I guess. But yeah, a whole ‘nother price league.

      • wallydog2

        Now that was $29.99 well spent! I have always wanted a talking fish, but someone in my household has always said “no” – and not nicely. I have also always wanted one of those electric Santas that does the hip swivel. Again, “no”.
        I think some of Jeff Foxworthy’s relatives consider a twelve-pack and a bug zapper as constituting an evening’s entertainment. My kinda people. You know you’re a redneck when…

    • SuperStrapper

      All watches are novelty.

  • Yojimbo
  • I adore the Freak range, and this variant is particularly cool looking. The transmission, the dual Ulysses escapement, the means by which you wind and set – so much fun and bag loads of cool tech. This is too much fun for a watch geek.

  • Omegaboy

    I like it. Looks a bit like a tire. Nice atire for a race!

  • SuperStrapper

    Very cool. Still not my favourite Freak, but UN has never made a bad one.

  • Berndt Norten

    This Freak is not as chic as others in the range but it’s still a marvel. I do wonder about the long term value of carbon fiber watches. We like them today but who knows what tomorrow brings? Precious metals are a safer bet but at this price I guess price (and materials) is immaterial!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Not a fan.

  • cg

    Does it bite?

  • Marius

    This Freak is not butch at all. No sir, it’s not. It doesn’t pop. In fact, it’s one of the ugliest Freaks that I ever had the misfortune of laying my eyes upon. Other than that it’s a great watch with a very interesting movement.

    • TrevorXM

      Agreed. It just doesn’t do this great watch any justice when rendered like this. As somebody mentions above, it looks like a G-Shock from ten feet away.

  • Shinytoys

    The one and only baby… Let your freak flag fly if you have the means:)

    • Berndt Norten

      I’m with u on that Jimi.

  • mtnsicl

    At ten feet away it looks like a G-Shock.

    • Time for that eye test!

      • mtnsicl

        50 years old and 20/15 vision! Thank you!

        • Well I sure don’t know how you would confuse this for a g-shock! Never seen one look even a bit like this…

          • mtnsicl

            I did say ten feet away.

          • Lol, I have really good eye sight. I guess from a decent distance you could mistake any black watch for a g-shock? Anyway, what your watch looks like from across the street should feature low down on your purchasing decision IMO.

        • Bill W

          But what’s your resting heart rate? 🙂

          • mtnsicl

            Typically 45 BPM, BP is typically 120 over 80, 5’9″ tall, 165 pounds and 9% body fat. Do you need a picture too?

          • Bill W

            Only if it includes your ex. You know, the model. And don’t say “which model ex” as I’m already jealous enough. 🙂

          • mtnsicl

            Only two models. Many porn actresses though. I’m I allowed to say that here?

          • Bill W

            Judges??
            Yes, we’ll allow it.

          • mtnsicl

            Oh and a former Miss New Mexico. But really, average women are much better.

  • Bill W

    So the hour hand is directly on the center dial and rotates with it?

    • Yes the centre wheel is essentially a disk with an indicator on it. Under neath the dial it is driving the minute bridge, which engages with the inward teeth around the edge of the dial. It’s absolutely bananas.

      • Bill W

        I asked because I was wondering how weird it would look at 6 when “Ulysse Nardin” is upside down.

  • funNactive

    Skeleton hand and a disc. Unique. Way too large.

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