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High end watches

Destructured hours: Urwerk UR-105M

The maison founded in 1997 released a watch with an untraditional display in its first year of life.

By Vincent Daveau
Managing Editor France

Instead of hands, this watch uses a karussel with rotating satellites to display the time. The brand kept on using this kind of time display until it reached a sort of paroxysm with models equipped with ultra-complicated tool-posts. These embed rotating displays that include extensible elements depending on what time it is. Founded by Félix Baumgartner (the watchmaker) and Martin Frei (the designer), the brand also developed the Opus V in 2005, a piece with an ultra-complicated display mode. In 2013, they released the Urwerk EMC, a precise mechanical watch equipped with an electronic system self-powered by the owner. This is possible thanks to a type of dynamo that allows the precision of its adjusting organ to be controlled and corrected from the outside via a screw that serves to finely adjust the balance index. The mechanically innovating watch surprises with the use of traditional displays, which is a first in the brand’s history. However, its caliber is also the first the brand has completely produced in-house.

Previous calibers used by the brand were an assembly of embedded exterior elements for the heart, which allowed the owner to concentrate on the display only. Urwerk’s displays keep the brand’s initial spirit and are always original, from the very first piece they produced to this year’s UR-105 M. For said piece, we are talking more about graphic rather than technical innovation. The whole watch is driven by the satellites that rotate alongside the minute “tracks” that the maison now perfectly masters. This watch features the brand’s classical display, which has largely contributed to the success of the company thanks to its innovative design and materials as well as information supply such the “oil change” indication. Also worth mentioning are the power reserve and the small second, which has not been fitted on the back but on the watch’s edge.

Urwerk UR-105M

Manual winding caliber UR 5.01 with 38 rubies and a frequency of 28,600 vibrations per hour. 42 hours of power reserve.

Display: Brass karussel satellites and orbital reading structure PEEK (PolyEtherEthercetone) with minute “track” at 6 o’clock. Side small second indicator, power reserve indicator on the middle case edge and “Control Board” indicator of “Oil Change” and micrometer adjusting screw on the back of the watch.

Technical details

  • Indications: Hours, minutes and seconds on the dial
  • Side: seconds and power reserve
  • Case material: titanium and steel bezel
  • Strap: alligator
  • Special features: the watch comes in titanium (treated or not) and is equipped with a steel shock-absorber on its most exposed side. Reading through traditional karussel with beryllium bronze rotating cross.

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This article is an extract of our page dedicated to New Horology

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