The iconoclastic Freak watch series from Ulysse Nardin has just gotten even more rebellious with the unveiling of the Freak [X OPS] at Watches and Wonders Shanghai. Bringing the Freak into “stealth mode”, this latest boundary-pushing creation is poised to shock and delight collectors.
When the original Freak burst onto the watchmaking scene back in 2001, it caused an uproar. Here was a watch with no dial, no hands, and no crown. Instead, the bridges of the movement itself acted as hands, rotating around to indicate the time. The Freak’s radical design and use of new technologies like silicon components for the escapement disrupted the conventions of Swiss watchmaking.
Over the years, the Freak evolved with new innovations, materials and aesthetic twists, cementing its reputation as the Millennium’s first true collector’s watch. The introduction of the Freak X in 2019 added a crown but retained the iconoclastic Freak vibe.
Now in 2023, the Freak [X OPS] takes the Freak X as its base but cloaks it in dark and tactical elements inspired by military ops. The case, bezel and crown are rendered in black DLC titanium, creating a stealthy look. Striking khaki green carbon fiber composite flanks add dimension and intrigue. Even the stitching on the fabric strap is khaki green.
But the Freak [X OPS] isn’t just about aggressive aesthetics. At its core lies the self-winding UN-230 movement. As with all Freak watches, the rotating bridges form the hands, indicating the time in an avant-garde, nonconformist way. The movement itself has been colored khaki green and illuminated with Super-LumiNova.
Once again, Ulysse Nardin has leveraged the Freak as a canvas for technical artistry and out-of-the-box thinking. The Freak [X OPS] carries on the tradition of experimentation and forward-focused horology that the Freak first unleashed back at the dawn of the 21st century. This is watchmaking without limits, encased in a radical yet wearable package.
With the Freak [X OPS], Ulysse Nardin has uncovered yet another distinctive dimension of the Freak’s chameleon-like personality. This is a watch for those who relish living life off the beaten path. As the Freak collection continues to evolve in unexpected ways, the only thing we can expect is the unexpected from Ulysse Nardin. The iconoclast prevails!
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