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Ulysse Nardin Freak ONE OPS Watch

The Ulysse Nardin Freak ONE is the latest flagship model in the now larger line of Freak replica swiss watches. The Ulysse Nardin Freak ONE debuts in black and gold and reviewed here at aBlogtoWatch. Today I got my hands on the black and khaki green version of the Freak ONE, the Ulysse Nardin Freak ONE OPS. I saw this watch at Dubai Watch Week 2023, and I was impressed by how the engineers at Ulysse Nardin continued to make the Freak watch practical and useful while retaining its quirky character.

When the Freak series of watches debuted over 20 years ago, it was called the "Freak" not only because of how it looked, but also because of how it operated. The case has no crown, so the user needs to turn the bezel or case back to set the time or wind the watch. Of course, the main attraction of the Freak is the silicon-based gear train, which also doubles the minute hand. Much of it still exists today, but the Freak has become less weird as a high quality watches replica. Please note that in Freak ONE, the silicon used has a DiamSil coating. This strengthens the silicon with a diamond coating, an important element that makes silicon significantly less brittle.

One of the most impressive elements of Ulysse Nardin’s in-house UN-240 movement is the automatic winding system. The movement itself is composed of 229 parts, runs at 3 Hz, has a power reserve of 90 hours, and only indicates the hours and minutes. You can still wind the large barrel by turning the watch caseback, but now there is an automatic winding system. This system has the interesting name “Grinder” and was debuted by Ulysse Nardin in the Freak Vision watch in 2018. Grinder may be a silly name, but it's perfect for a system that requires minimal movement to drive the winding of the mainspring barrel. While I haven't been using it long enough to know how it operates compared to a traditional automatic winding system, in theory the Grinder's increased winding efficiency should allow it to maintain the main movement with relatively little movement. Barrel winding. The system is complex and expensive, so I don't see it appearing in much cheaper replica luxury watches anytime soon, but it's interesting to imagine how a system like the Grinder could replace many traditional automatic winding systems in more common watches.

Even though the Freak ONE OPS comes in black and dark khaki green, the dial reads reasonably well thanks to the beige hour markers and pointer arrows. Otherwise, you need a good eye and light to appreciate the "weird" parts of the dial, which include the gear train and the silicon components of the escapement and regulation system. The bezel surrounding the dial is made from a carbon alloy called Carbonium, which has a beautiful organic texture. The case itself is 44mm wide and made of DLC-coated titanium. The case is also 13mm thick and water-resistant to 30 meters. This relatively modest level of water resistance is due to the complexity of the case, which requires having a rotating bezel connected to the movement at the top and bottom of the case. Note the small tab on the lower part of the top bezel that says "Freak," which you lift up when you want to unlock the bezel to set the time.

The Freak ONE OPS is available in two straps, one predominantly black and the other predominantly khaki green. While I don’t mind the larger case size per se, I feel the strap is too thick and doesn’t require a bulky deployant clasp. Making a large watch like the FREAK ONE more comfortable to wear requires a comfortable strap that isn't thicker or bulkier than it needs to be. It’s not a big deal, but I think many people will wish this operational watch was more practical to wear and would ask Ulysse Nardin to provide a standard pin buckle for the Freak ONE OPS and other models in the range. Overall, this is a stylish and cool watch for the watch-loving nerd. The use of military-style colors and fashionable organic materials brings you highly complex exotic mechanical devices and fashionable wearing options.

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