URWERK

We don’t try to bring out new versions of existing complicated mechanisms,” explains watchmaker Felix Baumgartner, co-founder of URWERK. “Our watches are unique because they are all designed as original works, which makes them rare and priceless. Our main aim is to go beyond the traditional horizons of watchmaking.” The original styling of each URWERK model is signed by chief designer Martin Frei, the company’s other co-founder. “I come from a background where creativeness has no limits. I am in no way prisoner of the traditional constraints of watchmaking, and I can therefore be freely inspired by my cultural heritage.”

Although URWERK is a young company established in 1997 (already 20 years old!) it is recognised as one of the forerunners of the new wave known as nouvelle horlogerie. Producing just 150 watches a year, the company sees itself as a craftsman’s studio where traditional expertise coexists with avant-garde styling. The company manufactures modern and complex watches that are unprecedented and in keeping with the most demanding criteria of fine watchmaking: independent design and research, advanced materials and handcrafted finishes.

The name URWERK comes from the ancient city of Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia, founded nearly 6,000 years ago where the Sumerian inhabitants first established units of time based on the shadows cast by its monuments. Ur in the German language also means primeval or original and Werk means an achievement or a mechanism. Thus URWERK can be translated as an original movement — a tribute to generations of watchmakers whose work has resulted in what we know today as haute horlogerie, or superlative watchmaking.

Some timepieces to
discover

UR-105 CT “Kryptonite”

  • Description
  • Technical Specifications

Luminosity is at the heart of URWERK’s latest creation. Its name “Kryptonite” derives from the intense green light emitted from the hour markers. You have to slide the catch on the top of the case to reveal the mechanism of the UR-105 CT. It’s a wandering hour indication based on a new openwork carousel, which carries the four satellites, each bearing three numerals for the hours. The hours successively sweep past the minutes scale for an analogue and digital display of the time. A power-reserve indicator and digital seconds make up the rest of the information displayed on the dial. The digital seconds are remarkable in that they indicate tens of seconds.

The mechanism was made using a photolithographic process, with each marker openworked to make it as light as possible. It thus weighs less than a tenth of a gram. Two pneumatic turbines on the back govern the selfwinding rate, which can be set with a lever. In the FULL position, the slightest movement of the wrist is harnessed to rewind the barrel springs. Turn the lever to STOP to disengage the selfwinding system and wind up the UR-105 using the crown.

  • Reference
  • UR-105 CT "Kryptonite"
  • Limited edition
  • 50 pieces
  • Case material
  • steel and titanium
  • Case diameter
  • 39,5 x 53
  • Case thickness
  • 17,8
  • Caseback
  • Sapphire
  • Water resistance
  • 30 metres
  • Movement
  • automatic system governed by twin turbines
  • Winding
  • automatic
  • Power reserve
  • 48 hours
  • Frequency
  • 4Hz
  • Dial color
  • black
  • Dial material
  • ARCAAP
  • Dial decoration
  • circular graining, sanding, brushing, chamfered screw heads. Hours and minutes painted in SuperLuminova
  • Functions
  • Wandering hours; minutes, digital seconds. Power reserve
  • Bracelet material
  • Alligator leather
  • Buckle type
  • pin buckle
  • Buckle material
  • titanium

EMC “X-Ray”

  • Description
  • Technical Specifications

The unorthodox EMC TimeHunter is a watch in the subversive URWERK tradition. This unique concept combines a precision mechanical movement with an electronic module that monitors its rate. Simply by pressing a button you discover whether your watch is running fast or slow and the amplitude of its balance. Furthermore, you can adjust it accordingly for optimum timekeeping.“We have perfected one of the most reliable way of regulating a 100% mechanical watch by making mechanics intelligent,” explains watchmaker Felix Baumgartner, co-founder of URWERK.

The intelligence comes from the interactive dialogue that links the watch to its owner. “In the EMC TimeHunter we have conceived and developed a purposefully accurate movement with an unusual balance-wheel and twin mainspring barrels for a constant power output,” he adds. “We then grafted on to this mechanism an electric monitor that tells the owner how his watch is performing. With this information, he can effectively control his EMC, adjusting it to the second.”

  • Reference
  • EMC "X-Ray"
  • Limited edition
  • 15
  • Case material
  • titanium
  • Case diameter
  • 43x51mm
  • Case thickness
  • 15.8mm
  • Caseback
  • Sapphire
  • Water resistance
  • 30 metres
  • Movement
  • Stacked double mainspring barrelscouple in series
  • Winding
  • Manual
  • Power reserve
  • 80 hours
  • Frequency
  • 80 hours 28'800 a/h /4Hz
  • Dial color
  • black
  • Dial material
  • ARCAAP
  • Dial decoration
  • openworked baseplace, Geneva stripes, snailing, sandblasting. Chamfered screw heads
  • Functions
  • Hours, minutes, seconds, rate indicator, amplitude, power reserve, index adjustment screw
  • Bracelet material
  • Alligator leather
  • Buckle type
  • pin buckle
  • Buckle material
  • titanium

UR-111C

  • Description
  • Technical Specifications

In the URWERK tradition, none of the indications of the UR-111C watch are conventional: The minutes are shown in two different ways – linearly for eyes and digitally for precision. Never has a roller on the case performed the functions of the crown, nor have the running seconds meandered across a cluster of optical fibers. URWERK created a new interface with the watch. Instead of the conventional crown, they conceived a roller integrated into the top of the case.

Rolling the long fluted cylinder with your thumb to wind the watch is indeed a new sensation, but making it possible requires miniature gearing, complex articulations and intermediate wheels. The same applies to the original way of setting the time. Instead of pulling out a crown you swing out a lever from the side of the case and turn the roller in either direction. The hours and two versions of the minutes are displayed within glass sapphire covers along the side of the case so that you can see them at a glance without turning your wrist or letting go of the steering wheel.

  • Reference
  • UR-111C Iron
  • Limited edition
  • 25
  • Case material
  • steel
  • Case diameter
  • 42 x 46 mm
  • Case thickness
  • 15mm
  • Water resistance
  • 3atm
  • Winding
  • automatic
  • Power reserve
  • 48 hours
  • Frequency
  • 4Hz
  • Dial color
  • black
  • Dial material
  • aluminium
  • Functions
  • Jumping hours, retrograde linear minutes, digital minutes, digital seconds.
  • Bracelet material
  • aligator leather strap
  • Buckle type
  • pin buckle
  • Buckle material
  • titanium

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