The introduction of the Freak in 2001 revolutionized the watchmaking industry, redefining traditional timekeeping conventions. With its unique design, devoid of a dial and hands, the focus is solely on the movement itself as it displays the time. This marked the first instance where a movement was deconstructed to independently express time. Ulysse Nardin’s latest offering, the Freak X Enamel Blue, exemplifies the fusion of ancient métiers d’art and cutting-edge technology from the brand’s independent integrated manufacturer. The expertise held by Ulysse Nardin’s craftsmen seamlessly combines with the world of Haute Horlogerie.
The standout feature of the new Freak X Enamel Blue lies in its enamel dial. Enamelling, a decorative technique passed down through generations of skilled craftsmen, is now employed exclusively by the most prestigious watchmakers. This meticulous process involves the delicate work of an enameller, from meticulous preparation to the application of enamel. Due to its demanding nature, this technique is mastered by only a select few craftsmen possessing talent, knowledge, and experience.
Preserving this exceptional craftsmanship, the Manufacture of Donzé Cadrans in Le Locle, owned by Ulysse Nardin, upholds the tradition. The dial of this remarkable timepiece undergoes treatment using the guilloché technique, which adds a modern touch through its geometric lines. Multiple layers of water-based enamel are then carefully applied.
The enamel is crushed with a pestle in a mortar and mixed with water. Each layer of coloured enamel is dried in an oven at approximately 800 degrees, with just one minute of cooling time between each layer. Three to four layers of coloured enamel, along with at least five cycles in the oven, are necessary before applying a final layer of translucent enamel known as “fondant.” The success of the entire process relies on this final layer.
As a guardian of specialized enamelling techniques, Ulysse Nardin continues to play a pivotal role in the past, present, and future of Haute Horlogerie. The mastery of ancient métiers d’art, such as enamel, harmoniously merges with the Freak’s innovative and disruptive design principles.
The Freak X Enamel Blue is powered by an automatic UN-230 Manufacture movement, featuring manual winding and setting through a crown. The movement showcases a flying carrousel that rotates once every hour to indicate the time.
Ulysse Nardin excels in the use of silicon for balance wheels and escapements since 2001, and this technology is integrated into the timepiece. The watch boasts a grey titanium case and case back, offers a power reserve of 72 hours, and has a diameter of 43 mm.
The piece will be available through PMT The Hour Glass and its network in the entire region.
Ulysse Nardin Freak X Enamel Blue in a blue alligator leather strap with white stitching and a titanium folding clasp retails for SGD 56,400 with tax.