In 2001, the watch world got a shock when Ulysse Nardin unveiled the “Freak”. Lacking a crown, it had an innovative way of adjusting the time thanks to a cleverly designed bezel that rotated to adjust the eye-catching, industrial looking hands. Looking like it hitched a ride on the end of the minute hand is the Freak’s signature oscillator, part of the fully rotating flying carousel movement. Developed in-house by UN, the movement (along with the rest of the groundbreaking timepiece) truly broke the mould and set watch design on a new path.
2019’s edition, the Freak X, is a pared down version of the forerunner. At 43mm, it’s slightly smaller than the Freak and with a more conventional crown system, less reliant on mechanical trickery to adjust the time. The dial has been cleaned up for a slightly less busy look but one no less industrial than before. Inside, the UN-230 movement offers 72 hours of power reserve while SuperLumiNova treatments to the hands and indices provide visibility in the dark. Set on a veal leather strap with red accents, the UN Freak X is a watch apart from the competition, having blazed its own trail.