Twenty-one years after the launch of Ulysse Nardin’s Freak changed the watch industry forever, the Freak S reinvigorates the collection with a new aesthetic and crazy mechanics reminding us of the modern roots of this company.
About Joshua Munchow
I am the resident “nerdwriter” for Quill & Pad. I revel in the complicated aspects of watchmaking thanks to a lifelong love of gears and clever mechanisms. With a background in model-making, machining, and dissecting anything I could as a child, I bring a natural technical curiosity to my writing.
My day job with a design firm as technical development lead (in other words, head prototype-maker guy) gives me a thorough understanding of how things are supposed to work. Combining this with a healthy dose of geekery in numerous subjects sometimes results in interesting word explosions that are all me – like “awesomazingatude.” You may have already seen these “wordinations” on watchuseek.com, where I began my writing career thanks to founder Ernie Romers.
Entries by Joshua Munchow
The Oscillon duo of Buser and Devanthey have created the second release of Naissance d’une Montre with the Naissance d’une Montre 2. Using Oscillon’s own L’instant de vérité caliber as a base, one already designed to be made entirely by hand, the Naissance d’une Montre 2 brings the glory of the past to something that would make sense in any futuristic setting.
In 2022 Bulgari comes at us with yet another world record in the Octo Finissimo Ultra, which instantly set the title of world’s thinnest mechanical watch. It blew Joshua Munchow’s mind not just because it’s the thinnest watch in history, but because it broke the record with flair (and a bit of controversy).
Joshua Munchow had the opportunity to spend some time with the slate-grey Tutima Flieger Automatic, a simple three-handed pilot’s watch with date that comes in at an incredibly affordable price. He shares his thoughts here.
The Oscillon Fundamentum is a basic, time only watch that should fly perfectly under the radar and appear to many as a simple, classically modern watch. But that belies it’s nearly totally handmade perfection.
The Kodo Constant Force Tourbillon is a full manifestation of the precision excellence one finds at Grand Seiko. It is also a tacit indication that there should be no doubt in any aficionado’s mind whether Grand Seiko belongs in the top tier of haute horology.
The Rotonde de Cartier Masse Mystérieuse appears magical thanks to the apparent lack of any connection to the case while putting most of the mechanics on full display. It may be a time-only watch with no complications or tourbillons, but it is a most impressive accomplishment. Joshua Munchow explains the magic trick.
Young independent brand Petermann Bédat has launched its second timepiece, the Reference 2941 Split-Seconds Chronograph, after its successful first model, the 1967 Deadbeat Seconds. And in Joshua Munchow’s opinion, the brand is getting better with each release.
What would happen if a watch brand makes a chronograph that looks almost exactly like a simple, time only watch? You end up with the most low-key, under-the-radar, stealth chronograph on the market: the De Bethune DB Eight!
The Ferdinand Berthoud Chronométre FB 3SPC represents an entirely new collection and a core part of the Ferdinand Berthoud ideology, impeccable horology based on the history of the brand’s namesake, all built to the highest modern standards. The FB 3SPC is a stunning journey into horological history.