6. 24-Karat hard gold wheels: According to Ulysse Nardin, use of hardened 24k gold as opposed to the more traditional brass material offers “better and more efficient transfer of force.” This is used in gear wheels which in the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 are produced from hardened 24k gold and cut using laser lithography (LIGA).
7. Glass bridge with integrated shock protection for the balance wheel: In addition to materials such as silicon and sapphire, the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2’s movement uses some glass. In this instance, a form of glass is used as the balance cock which holds the balance wheel. Ulysse Nardin claims that this particular system is preferred because it is also designed to absorb shock in a manner which is apparently more simple than a traditional shock-protection system such as Incabloc.
8. Super-LumiNova filled channels integrated into the glass balance wheel bridge: The above mentioned glass balance cock (bridge) apparently has small channels cut into which are filled with SuperLumiNova luminant. This is a merely cosmetic element, but should look cool. Its application process has a pending patent.
9. Eye-catching 1 – 11 and 13 – 23 time display: Most Freak watches indicate the time in a 12-hour format. The Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 is able to add to that by having an hour numeral disc that changes each 12 hours, thus operating as a sort of AM/PM indicator. Thus, the time is still indicated in a more traditional 12-hour format, but each 12 hours the disc changes to indicate hours 1-11 and then 13-23. The 12 and 24 hour marker (the same spot) doesn’t change.
10. Three-dimensional glass minute hands: One of the interesting innovations in the original Freak watch was creating a minute hand that was also the housing for most of the movement’s essential parts such as the regulation system and gear train. That remains true in the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2. What Ulysse Nardin did here is once again use glass (such as for the balance wheel bridge) for the minute hand, which is also where most of the silicon movement is and also happens to look like a science fiction space ship. This is not only a highly uncommon material in the watch industry and still being tested by Ulysse Nardin, but it should offer a bold view of the movement’s operation in a way that people may have never experienced before.
Ulysse Nardin is the first to point out that some of the innovations and materials used in the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 concept watch are experimental and still being tested. How else can you test these things save for putting them into concept watches? The message here isn’t just that Ulysse Nardin is trying new things, but also that they are continually trying to help improve and redefine what a traditional watch movement can be in today’s modern era.
Products like this demonstrate that the old watch industry can not only exist in contemporary times, but also that it can thrive. However, it takes a bold spirit, courage, and a rejection of the classic conservatism which is a virtue in the Swiss watch industry but that can also be a detriment if left unchecked. This is Ulysse Nardin at its best, as well as an homage to its late leader and the incredible mind and life of Rolf Schnyder. His presence and energy is missed, but his legacy, and those of people like him live on in concept watches like the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2. ulysse-nardin.com