In 2001, Ulysse Nardin introduced silicium in watchmaking with the first Freak. Both the watch and the use of a silicium escapement rocked the watch industry. Since then, Ulysse Nardin remains the undisputed master of silicium in watchmaking. Continuing to surprise, Ulysse Nardin now presents an extraordinary new FREAK X model, which uses a decorative technique called silicium marquetry. An innovative material at its core, Ulysse Nardin proves the worth of silicium once again, displaying its virtues on its watches’ dials for the second time. Two previous models of the FREAK X Silicium Marquetry, one in titanium and one in DLC-coated titanium, were presented in 2019.
A revelation in the world of watchmaking, silicium marquetry involves assembling slivers of silicium cut into segments with a plasma accelerator. The silicium used for this technique is highly fragile and flakey when moved. The successful execution of the silicium mosaic dial is therefore closely linked to the skill of the craftsman executing the work. Each segment needs to be interlocked, as any superimposition would result in chipping of the edges. A true achievement of “technological craftsmanship” – each collage of segments is assembled by hand to create astonishing mosaics. The result delivers a remarkable impact as the eye is dazzled by the glittering marquetry, which resembles a galaxy of interacting laser beams. And only Ulysse Nardin knows how to do it!
For this new Freak X, Ulysse Nardin used advanced technology, still in silicium, to produce a matt effect on the blue part of the decorative plate, thus creating a visual contrast with the green “X” in silicium marquetry. Silicium marquetry gives off a magnificent display of reflections of unmatched brilliance, with fragments in different sizes illuminated as the light sweeps around the watch.
The FREAK X watch makes its debut as the entry point into the FREAK collection. With its 43 mm titanium case, the watch is easy to read once you figure it out. There are no hands and no dial. The movement is a carrousel that turns on itself every hour, one of the wheels shows the hours, and the central bridge acts as the minute hand. The FREAK X has a crown for time setting compared to the FREAK VISION, which sets the time by the bezel. The clearly visible extra-wide, super-light balance wheel in silicium beats on the inside. The watch is powered by the UN-230 manufacture caliber with a 72-hour power reserve. The timepiece will be limited to 30 pieces, available only in Ulysse Nardin boutiques worldwide. The price will be EURO 29,500. Find out more at www.ulysse-nardin.com
About the Author
Susanne Samuelsson is from Sweden but has lived in Switzerland for most of her life. She has spent the last 20 years working for luxury watch publications in sales and marketing. She has worked for Europa Star, Revolution, Elite Traveler,Quintessentially and The Rake. She loves wearing men’s timepieces and since she started The Watch Pages has a list as long as your arm of new watches she would love to buy!