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Ulysse Nardin debuts a pair of Freaks hailing from Coral Bay, Western Australia

Ulysse Nardin debuts a pair of Freaks hailing from Coral Bay, Western Australia

#FirstClassFriday

Text: Angelyn Kwek


From the waters Down Under comes two one-of-a-kind Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision watches inspired by the famous Coral Bay Reef

Diving deep for the latest incarnation of its iconic Freak Vision collection, Ulysse Nardin is making waves with a pair of new novelties sporting decorative dials taken straight out of Australia's famed snorkeling reef. Rightly christened the Freak Vision Coral Bay, these unique one-offs don't just capture Coral Bay Reef in miniature but are métiers d'art creations resulting from the maison's brand new bonding technique and meticulous micropainting — the latter of which Ulysse Nardin is a recognised master.

Creating true-to-life depictions of vivid-looking coral, one half of this new Freak duo mimics the delicate patterning of the real thing by using thousands of 24K gold threads laid down by a bonding machine. Fun fact: This is the same veining you'll find on computer chips, as the bonding technique was adopted from the electronics industry but cleverly re-purposed by Ulysse Nardin to create fabulously intricate designs instead. The finished product is a blue and yellow shaded heliopora coerulea (otherwise known in normal speak as the blue coral) edging along the 45mm-sized dial.

Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision Coral Bay

Its sister timepiece, however, gets TLC from a master artisan who goes about hand painting the teeny tiny details with lacquer colours, firing it up in an oven in between each application to set the paint. Using a mix of red and white, every stroke is done under a magnifying glass, using extremely fine brushes. In total, 20 whooping hours are required just to complete this black coral version of the Freak Vision Coral Bay.

Defo complex to the nth degree, its mechanics are also up there with its artistic exterior, equipped with the UN-250 calibre that rocks a super-light silicium balance wheel and self-regulating micro-blades, contained within an even thinner casing. As they say in slang from Down Under, these babies are fair dinkum Freaks, alright.

For last week's #FirstClassFriday, click here.

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