When you talk about the founding fathers of the mechanical watch renaissance, you routinely hear the names Nicolas Hayek and Jean-Claude Biver, but another that belongs right alongside them, even if he is remembered for his work with a single brand, is the late Rolf Schnyder of Ulysse Nardin. Schnyder rescued and revived Ulysse Nardin in the 1980s before dragging it into the modern age of contemporary mechanical watchmaking. After meeting his longtime collaborator Ludwig Oechslin, now of Ochs und Junior, Schnyder pivoted his company from being a maker of traditionalist wristwatches to a brand dedicated to championing new technologies and materials, most famously silicon. Though Schnyder is no longer alive, his spirit lives on in the company he revived. Today we’re going hands on with the heir to one of Schnyder and Oechslin’s most famous creations, the Freak.
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