FREAK x AVENTURINE
Geneva, March30, 2022.
More ingenious than unusual, it has been a true pioneer. It has broken down barriers and inspired dozens of watchmakers who understood that nothing was set in stone. Since then, watches have become a huge playground. Who am I?
We are in 2001. Watchmaking still relies on the bases established 180 years perviously, when mr Lépine invented the structure of the movement that bears his name: a plate at the bottom, wheels and a barrel in the middle, bridges on top. Around 1845, Adrien Philippe had invented the crown to replace the bulky keys. And then, Ulysse Nardin threw everything in the air and imagines the Freak…!
Eighteen years later, in 2019, Ulysse Nardin created the Freak X, with a very sleek carousel that had the advantage of retaining the spirit of exploration of the very first Freak. Freak X thus became the first Freak to be equipped with a winding crown on its right-hand side. In 2022 at Watches and Wonders, Ulysse Nardin is continuing its Vertical Odyssey, from the abysses to the cosmos, proposing a sparkling version of this Freak X with a blue aventurine décor: The Freak X Aventurine.
Like a fragment of a celestial vault, this galaxy of infinitely small and brilliant particles elegantly adorns the new Freak X. Its glittering effect can be admired, like that which sailors often observe on the surface of the Ocean in the dark of a full moon night. The surface of the sea always gives a clue to the secrets of its depths. Aventurine is an ideal material for beckoning us on a journey.
Though the stars appear to be randomly spread in the cosmos, nothing here has been left “to change.” Legend surrounding aventurine recounts that in the thirteenth century, on the island of Murano in Venice, home to the famous glass-makers, a craftsman inadvertently let some copper fillings fall into a pot of molten glass, so creating aventurine glass or “avventurina” in italian, meaning “by accident”.
The Freak X Aventurine is equipped with a regulation organ – balance wheel, anchor, escapement wheel – made of silicium. While emphasizing a speed design, this 43mm watch perfectly lives up to the pedigree of its Freak predecessors. A blend of the UN-118 and UN-250 (Freak Vision) calibers, the movement is fitted with a carousel, turning once on itself every hour to indicate the time. It serves as a minute hand circling above the aventurine plate decorating the movement. Inside and clearly visible, a super-light and extra-large silicium balance wheel with nickel inertia-blocks oscillates at 3Hz. its blue PVD vitamin and 5N rose gold case has a distinctive look with gently rounded curves. The Freak x Aventurine is available on a blue alligator strap with light grey “points de bride” stitches and a blue PVD titanium and 5N rose gold folding clasp. it is manufactured in a limited edition of 99 timepieces, fallen from the sky.