Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision #SIHH2018 | SENATUS

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Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision #SIHH2018

25 February 2018

By Peter Vossner

The Freak Vision is the first automatic watch in the Freak Collection, certainly a Haute Horlogerie wonder as it has incorporated the revolutionary innovations unveiled in the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 Concept Watch from last year's SIHH.

Time is still indicated in the "Freak" manner that sets the collection apart: by the baguette movement itself, a "flying carrousel" rotating around its own axis. Put differently, its entire movement inside is a tourbillon, and acts as the minute hand as well, as it rotates once an hour inside the case. 

However, there has been some design updates in this newest addition: The new 3D carved upper bridge is inspired by a boat's hull. A new box-domed sapphire also allows for a thinner middle and bezel. Finally, the entire case itself is refined — horns, bezel, the rubber on the side — making for a look that is much more open and generous.

The first Freak timepiece launched in 2001 possessed within it an unprecedented mastery of silicium - the manufacture's specialit -- this time, it has pushed the technology further by welding silicium in another patented first, with solid nickel elements, to create an even lighter balance wheel. It then adds silicium micro-blades to stabilize amplitudes and significantly increase accuracy. 

Other technical firsts found in the Freak Vision include firstly the Grinder Automatic Winding System, which completely revolutionizes energy transmission, with the oscillating rotor linked to a frame containing four arms, giving the automatic (winding) system twice the torque – like having four pedals on a bike instead of two – while a flexible guidance mechanism drastically limits friction. 

The second is the Ulysse Nardin Anchor Escapement is based on the principle of flexible mechanisms, exploiting the elasticity of flat springs. It presents a constant force escapement made entirely of silicium, with the end result a positive energy balance that maintains the oscillations of the balance wheel at a constant rate without influence of torque variation from the mainspring. 

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