After regaining its independence, Ulysse Nardin is successfully charting new worlds.
An innovative flying carousel movement of the Ulysse Nardin Freak S presents time without a dial or hands.
Breakups are never easy, but most times, they are for the best. Take, for example, the relationship between watchmakers Ulysse Nardin (ulyssenardin.com), its sister brand Girard-Perregaux (girard-perregaux.com) and Kering, the global luxury group. Both companies grew thanks to the relationship. With Nardin, Kering gained entry to the world of haute horology. With Kering, Nardin was introduced to a broader audience of affluent watch enthusiasts.
But the brands also grew apart. While the conscious uncoupling didn’t happen officially until May, in March, Ulysse Nardin wowed the crowds at Watches and Wonders with the Moonstruck, The Freak X Aventurine and The Freak S.
Part of Ulysse Nardin’s Vertical Odyssey
“On the sound foundation laid thanks to Kering’s support and investments, we have the right setup and resources to implement a plan capable of ensuring the long-term development of both brands,” says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin since 2018.
Ulysse Nardin has always been a little “freaky.” Founded in 1848, the brand first gained fame for its marine-based timepieces that revolutionized navigation and therefore changed the course of history.
The groundbreaking Freak S
When the brand introduced the Freak in 2001, it rocked the world again. It has no crown, no dial, no hands and a revolving movement with a gear train and escapement. It was one of the first haute horology pieces regulated by a brand-new “dual direct escapement” with silicon escapement wheels.
Now the newly independent Ulysse Nardin is freer to build on that disruptive history. The Freak S looks like an alien spaceship. What appears to be twin thrusters house the brand’s first double oscillator. Ulysse Nardin calls it the Grinder system and claims it is twice as efficient as a traditional winding system.