Watches from the future by Urwerk

Written by:Enrico L.|

Have you ever wondered how the future of watches will be? Are we going to keep wearing them?

Urwerk says yes in its “classic” futuristic style.

Today we’ll be discovering the latest proposals from the young Swiss maison, founded in 1997 by Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner (a homonymous of the famous Austrian record man).

UR 105-CT “Maverick”: “Ode to the crazy and brilliant wises”

This latest bronze and titanium version breathe life from all the creativity and ingenuity of its creators, that matched technicism and complexity from a satellite-hours movement with strength, grit and sportiness, keeping it fascinating and mysterious at the same time.

Activating the sliding switch on the center of the watch, it’s possible to unveil the mechanism that brings this model to life.

Inside the case, we find a new skeletonized aluminum carrousel incorporating the four Geneva Crosses, needed supports for the hour-indicating satellites’ movement.
In their turn, they slide over the minutes track on the lower part of the dial.

As Baumgartner said, the new carrousel has been entirely redesigned with technical nuances implements to make the watch quieter and more efficient.

Live, the great effort by Urwerk is immediately noticed: the gears move smoothly, no snaps, friction or jolts. On the wrist, the big titanium case expresses a strong and aggressive personality, partly softened by the bronze bezel and the leather strap.

Its ergonomics and weight are amazing, dimensions are disappointing though.


Specifics of the watch:

Movement:
Caliber:                     UR 5.03 double-turbine regulated automatic
Finishes:                    Perlage, sandblasting, satin
Power reserve:         48 hours
Rubies:                       52
Beveled screw heads
SuperLuminova painted hours and minutes indexes

Case:
Materials:                   Titanium case, bronze bezel
Dimensions:              Width: 39,5 mm; lug-to-lug: 53 mm; thickness: 17,8 mm
Glass:                         Sapphire crystal
Waterproof:               30m

Price:                      €60.000


The art-dressed UR T8

Urwerk presented two special editions in collaboration with two master engravers and chiselers: Emmanuel Esposito, specialized in knives decorations, and Johnny Dowell aka “King Nerd”, metal decorative engravings expert.

The UR-T8 is a very particular watch that gets attention immediately, starting from the case shape, wider than longer, to the peculiarity of being reversible, like a futuristic “Reverso”.

(For the ones who don’t know, the Reverso is a Jaeger-LeCoultre icon)

Exactly like the older maison, Urwerk decided to leave the back side to expert artists to create unique and exclusive watches. In limited edition, of course.

Emmanuel Esposito’s version is characterized by hundreds of diamond-cut black mother-of-pearl dowels joined with a mosaic technique, to obtain a light play. The “Colibrì” knife, sold with the watch, has been decorated with the same technique as you can see in the picture.

Johnny Dowell decided to free his imagination and flair hand-engraving the bronze on the back.

Looking at his guns-engraver background, he decided to decorate this UR-T8 with something that truly represents him and his art: the skull. This element gives character and aggressivity, as well as a dark and “violent” look that didn’t convince us.

When worn, both watches look very big and unwieldy, immediately showing their delicacy.

That being said, we think these pieces are more appropriate for a collection oriented to art, over being actually worn, also considering their limited availability: one piece only for the Esposito’s UR-T8, five engraved pieces for Dowell’s.

The version you can see pictured next to the “Johnny Dowell”, non limited, looks fresher and more wearable, without sacrificing the strong soul of this model.


Specifics of the watch

Movement:
Caliber:                     Selfwinding UR 8.01
Finishes:                    Brushed, circular grained and diamond-cuts
Power reserve:          48 hours
Satellite complication with rotating hour modules mounted on planetary gears

Case:
Materials:                   Titanium and bronze (Johnny Dowell’s), Titanium with black-lip mother of pearl (“Colibri”)
Dimensions:              60.23mm X 48.35mm X 20.02mm
Waterproof:               3 atm

Price:
UR-T8 Emmanuel Esposito           On request
UR-T8 Johnny Dowell                    €126.000


UR-111C Black

With this new watch as well, Urwerk pushed itself outside horology schemes, betting on new lines, new shapes and new ways to devise the watch.

From the design, we already understand the will to amaze

Beside the big metallic case made from steel and titanium, the watch features 4 sapphire windows that allow to read very easily hours, minutes and seconds from every angle, without the need to move the arm.

An interesting particular is the linear minute display: it’s made from a rotating cylinder with a kryptonite green spiraled line across its length. While the cylinder spins, a helix slides over a graduated scale, that shows five minutes intervals.

Noteworthy is the absence of a traditional crown.

It’s been replaced by a horizontal cylinder in the center of the watch and a selector on the right side. The selector allows to switch the central cylinder from the charging mode to time setting, while the cylinder itself works as a regular crown.

In addition to the innovative charging and hour setting mechanism, it’s worth to focus on the seconds, displayed on a window just above the already mentioned cylinder.

These are actually digital (displayed by digits instead of hands) and “projected” by a mechanisms to our eyes, thanks to a magnifying and transmitting optic fibre.

On the wrist, it definitely is the best piece of the collection

Ergonomic, versatile and well balanced between peculiarity and discretion, also thanks to its black coloration. A fascinating watch, with a combination of colors and a very appealing time-telling system: a really good sensation on the wrist.


UR-111C Black – 25 pieces limited edition

Specifics of the watch:

Movement:
Caliber:                     automatic caliber
Power reserve:     48 hours
Frequency:               4Hz

Case:
Materials:                   316SL steel and grade 5 titanium
Dimensions:              width 42mm x lug-to-lug 46mm x thickness 15mm
Glass:                         sapphire
Waterproof:        30m

Price:                      €114.000


Pictures by Vincenzo Finizola (@vfphotograf) for ItalianWatchSpotter

Translated by Lorenzo Spolaor (@itsdoc_oclock)

Author

Enrico L.
Author
Est. 1994. He is a watch and car enthusiast. He is mostly fascinated by the use of cutting-edge materials mixed with the pure class and elegance of the watchmaking art.

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