Ulysse Nardin revisits its best-selling model, the Freak X, to release a unique and hypnotising version that takes inspiration from camouflage and concealment, as well as contemporary art. Featuring a “decorative movement plate integrating the minute gear train” instead of a conventional dial, meet the new Freak X Razzle Dazzle.
Given the watchmaker’s heritage in the marines and navies of the world, the Ulysse Nardin design department decided to employ the razzle dazzle pattern on the dial, inspired by a painting technique called dazzle painting or dazzle camouflage. This technique was used extensively in World War I and rarely in World War II to camouflage British ships.
While the typical purpose of camouflage is to blend into one’s surroundings as a form of concealment, dazzle camouflage uses its repetitive crossing lines pattern to draw attention to itself. The lines are meant to confuse the viewer, making it difficult to estimate the range, speed, and direction of the ship – in hopes to mislead the enemy and influencing them to make poor target firing decisions. For the watch, Ulysse Nardin combined three different dial-making techniques, including lacquer, electroplating/galvanic treatment, and laser to create the mesmerising optical illusion that you can now wear on your wrist.
For easy reading and operating of the watch, the Freak X Razzle Dazzle comes in a generous 43mm size. It includes a crown for time correction, but comes without hands – as expected from the Freak X collection, which is notorious for its in-house flying carousel movement. Instead, it uses the central bridge as a minute hand and one of the wheels to indicate the hours. Inside beats a super-light balance wheel in silicium – extra-wide, with nickel flyweights and stabilising micro-blades. Powering the watch is the Calibre UN-230 self-winding movement, which is a fusion of the manufacture Calibres UN-118 and Freak Vision UN-250, promising a power reserve of 72 hours and up to 50m water resistance.
The Ulysse Nardin Freak X Razzle Dazzle is available in titanium with a black DLC case, with the option between a black openwork rubber leather strap with point de bride stitches and rubber, or a white openwork calfskin leather strap with point de bride stitches. The watch retails at RM108,800, and more information can be found on The Hour Glass or the official Ulysse Nardin website.
Photos: Ulysse Nardin