Ulysse Nardin chief executive Patrick Pruniaux was in London this week to present the latest addition to the brand’s Freak family, the Freak Next.
Still at the prototype stage, but with a commercial launch planned for later this year, the Next is described as a showcase for the watchmaker’s technological expertise.
All Freak watches have their regulator and gear train mounted and visible on an oversized seconds hand but the Next has a new flying oscillator made from silicium and controlled by the Ulysse Anchor flying escapement that first appeared in 2015.
The central idea of this regulating organ is to totally eliminate the axis of the balance wheel in order to create a virtual pivot point that operates like a flywheel. The architecture uses less power than a traditional flywheel and allows the self-winding watch to keep working for 70 hours without being worn
The 45mm Freak Next has an ultra-contemporary look in white with phosphorescent touches. The bridge of the baguette UN-25X movement on the sweeping second hand has a slightly trapezoidal shape inspired by the spaceships from Star Wars, and is framed by four luminescent tubes filled with Superluminova for a phosphorescence effect that is visible only at night.
Mr Pruniaux says he hopes that the prototype will be in commercial production in time for “a few” pieces going on sale before the end of the year.