Close-up: Ulysse Nardin Freak Diavolo

Ulysse Nardin could not have chosen a more appropriate name for the “Freak.” When it debuted in 2001, it introduced an entirely new way of designing a mechanical watch with no true dial, no crown, and no hands. But the “Freak’s” unusual design didn’t scare collectors away. On the contrary, it would quickly become one of the most exciting pieces, presenting a revolutionary feature: escapement wheels constructed of silicium.


The “Freak” may not have been a conventionally beautiful watch, but it would play an important role in the development of new materials in the industry. And besides it’s complex engineering, it also introduced a more user-friendly interface. The lower bezel rotates to wind the watch, while the upper bezel lets you set the time.


After a 2010 revamp to celebrate the 75th birthday of former Ulysse Nardin owner Rolf Schnyder, the brand launched the third edition of the Freak, the Diavolo, in 2011. While it borrows heavily from past editions, the new “Freak” has added a flying tourbillon, which indicates the seconds, as well as lightweight escapement components made entirely of lightweight silicon. This one’s a true monster!


Ulysse Nardin makes 20 of these pieces every month, meaning that number 95, which we saw at the Ulysse Nardin boutique in Miami, is one of the first to come out of the manufacture.

Photo Credit: Haute Time. For more information, please visit the official Ulysse Nardin website. 


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