Flying the navy blue flag
Born from a pioneering spirit in 2001, and completely redesigned in 2013 to bring it into line with the seafaring theme cherished by Ulysse Nardin, the Freak Cruiser is hoisting the mainsail and heading for blue ocean waters. As spectacular as ever with its flying “Carrousel-Tourbillon” and its Dual Ulysse escapement in silicon, this exceptional timepiece now wears its bezel, rotating lower bridge and rotating upper bridge in deep aquatic colors. Like an old sea-dog, it has acquired the name Blue Cruiser on its voyages.
Never before has a watch accomplished such a conceptual and technological leap forward for watchmaking – a feat that remains unrivalled even today. Stripped of its dial and hands, the Blue Cruiser is designed so that the movement revolves on itself. Connected to the center of this incredible ship, the rotating lower bridge indicates the hours, while the upper bridge, in the form of a skeletonized ship's anchor – bearing the gear train, the balance spring and the exclusive Dual Ulysse silicon escapement – shows the minutes. Named the flying Carrousel-Tourbillon, this system which defies the imagination is entirely free floating, as it no longer includes the center pin which in previous incarnations was stowed with the sapphire crystal to support the entire structure.
The Blue Cruiser is also unusual in the way it is operated. Stripped of a crown and push-pieces, it is set using the rotating bezel, in both directions. As for winding the barrel – designed to offer a power reserve of more than seven days – this is done using the rear bezel mounted on ball bearings. These two elements – the front and lower bezels – are thus an integral part of this breathtaking manual-wind movement, visible through the open back.
In 18 ct white or rose gold, this avant-garde vessel measures a respectable 45 mm in diameter, a dimension that appeals rather than repels. Very elegant mounted on a blue or brown alligator strap with deployment clasp, the Blue Cruiser is, by its very nature, suited to voyages of all kinds.
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