For some, strategic games, such as Modern Warfare, Call of Duty, Counter Strike, and Max Payne, have been an integral part of their young adulthood. Honouring the imaginative power such games wield, Ulysse Nardin has launched the latest Freak [X OPS] edition: Ref. 2303-270-2A-KAKI/0A (black strap) and 2303-270-2A-KAKI/0B (green strap). The new timepiece, which seems to be an ode to gaming culture, was unveiled at the ongoing Watches and Wonders Shanghai. Since 2001, the Freak has been breaking the rules of conventional high-end watchmaking. Initially, there were no dials, no hands, and no crowns. In 2019, Ulysse Nardin broke the conventions of the unconventional Freak by introducing the Freak X, still with no dial. But this time, it did have a crown.
The new 43 mm Freak [X OPS] takes off from the 2019 variant. It now comes with a black DLC titanium case, a bezel, and a crown at 3 o’clock. There are khaki green carbon flanks on the watch, blending black carbon fibres with green epoxy resin on the case of this model. Technically, the watch doesn’t have a dial; its movement doubles up as its minute hand while the hour hand is a pointer set on a rotating disc that sits under the movement.
In other words, this new Freak [X OPS] watch has neither a big hand nor a small hand. Instead, its one-hour orbital carousel tourbillon becomes the minute hand and the hour hand, as mentioned earlier, is replaced by a pointer on a rotating disc. It is a challenging design, but there is no difficulty in reading time. The hour and minute indicators and the hour markers are coated in matching khaki green Super-LumiNova® that turns green in low-light conditions.
The Ulysse Nardin Freak [X OPS] is powered by UN-230, a self-winding movement with a 72-hour power reserve. The movement’s flying carousel with its silicon balance wheel and escapement is suspended by a bridge that acts as the minute hand; a second bridge serves as the hour hand. Finishing the watch are a khaki green fabric strap and a black fabric strap, made of recycled fishing net, with hooks and loop fasteners.