The URWERK UR-110
January 29, 2011
URWERK recently unveiled their newest timepiece, the UR-110. As usual, the design and case shape have the signature controversial ultra modern design, a genre they invented. Their timepieces generally look like some sort of spaceship, much like the work done at MB&F, and this new timepiece is no different. Beyond the crazy design is a fully functional mechanical timepiece, and to me, that is the real beauty of these watches - how they work that is. And of course, the unique way in which they tell time.
URWERK Press Release
"The UR-110 is a watch with attitude. From the base of its unusual asymmetrical case to the three arrow-shaped "torpedoes" flying in formation with the mission of indicating the time, the UR-110 has serious attitude.
Enveloped in a secure titanium case, planetary gearing keeps the three hour satellites in parallel formation as they take turns to indicate the time as they pass the 60-minute track. An "Oil Change" indicator alerts the user when it is time for a service; a "Day/Night" indicator helps keep track of changing time zones; and twin turbines on the back minimize wear in the automatic winding system.
This new complication is made possible thanks to a construction with three levels of complexity. A central carousel providing the complication with stability and equilibrium. Planetary gearing assuring the parallel rotation of the three hour satellites as they orbit the dial. Three counter-rotating hour modules - each comprising an hour satellite, minute hand and counter balance - are each mounted on a planetary gear. These three modules are in constant counter-rotation to counter the direction of rotation of the central carousel.
The UR-110 continues URWERK's radical tradition of telling the time using orbiting satellite complications. In the UR-110, the time is always shown on the right side of the watch. The satellites follow a vertical line, graded from 0 to 60 minutes, in a downward motion. The ingenuity of this layout lies in allowing the wearer to view the time discreetly and elegantly without the need to pull a cuff or sleeve back.
"The UR-110 is a logical evolution of our creations. We imagined time as a 'silent journey' where the hour satellites make a full rotation of the dial. But it is a velvet revolution; between rotation and counter rotations the effect is subtle and fluid. There are things happening on the dial that are not obvious at first glance. Everything looks normal; however, in fact they are everything but." says Martin Frei.
"The beauty of the UR-110 is in its apparent simplicity. The development of UR-110 mobilized our entire team for nearly two years. Among the challenges posed by this complication was working out the optimal architecture for supporting the central carousel and the rotating hour modules. We finally opted for a technical solution that is radically different from any of our other creations: instead of ball bearings, a fixed axis runs the full height of the watch, providing maximum rigidity and minimum play. The whole complication is perfectly balanced on this axis " explains Felix Baumgartner.
The UR-110 is a timepiece in which its technology can be appreciated though the large panoramic sapphire crystal. As well as indicating the hours and minutes, the UR-110 also features a Control Board on the dial side with indicators for "Day/Night" and "Oil Change" - URWERK's service interval display, as well as small seconds on a sub dial.
The colour of metals prevail on the dial, a colour given pride of place on the predominately titanium case. The UR-110 is sober with few frills; its ornaments only apparent in the subtle perfection of its fine finishing. Turning the watch over, the titanium back encloses the innovative automatic winding system regulated by dual turbines."
Calibre: UR 9.01 mechanical, automatic winding
Frequency: 28,800v/h, 4Hz
Balance spring: Flat
Power: Single barrel
Power reserve: 39 hours
Winding system: Uni-directional rotor regulated by double turbines
Finish: Matting, circular graining and diamond-cuts
Satellite complication with rotating hour/minute modules mounted on planetary gears
Control Board: "Day/Night" indicator ; "Oil Change" alerting service intervals and small seconds
Case in Grade 5 titanium with bezel in 316L stainless steel
Dimensions: 47mm X 51mm X 16mm
Two position crown with integrated protection.
Water resistance: 3 ATM