Felix Baumgartner (not that one) and Martin Frei, the duo behind Urwerk, could well be spending their weeks of isolation giving seminars on industrial design; between their huge, machined cases and unique orbital complications, they show up any other watchmaker that tries to dabble in it. That said, their latest take on the UR-100 takes a more luxurious bent than we’re used to.
The UR-100 is the latest model in Urwerk’s collection, with a space-ship shaped case and one of their signature orbital timekeepers, open to show all its revolving, orrery-like parts. So far we’ve seen it in a trio of industrial finishes: steel, blackened steel and gunmetal (more on that here). Now the whole 41mm machine has been draped in yellow gold and it is stunning.
More C3PO than Death Star, the whole thing is milled from a solid block of 18K yellow gold with a soft, satin finish across the board. From the top the silhouette lies somewhere between a classic flying saucer and the Millennium falcon, complete with the crown placed right where the starflight engines would be. It’s a solid chunk of metal, though manages to keep to 14mm thick, impressive given the obvious complexity of the movement.
That movement doesn’t just tell minutes and hours – though even those it does in Urwerk’s signature wandering way. It also shows the distance travelled by the Earth around the sun at 2 o’clock and the distance the Earth has rotated at 10 o’clock, both in 20-minute segments. You know, just in case the space-faring theme wasn’t quite clear enough.
This is the most luxurious Urwerk we’ve seen in a while, despite the fun, sci-fi inspirations and obvious horological geekiness innate in the design. After silver, black and grey it’s a nice change besides; here’s hoping we see plenty more of this side of the UR-100 in the future. I can’t imagine anyone missing it.
Price & Specs:
Model: UR-100 Gold Edition
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter x 14mm height, 18k 2N yellow gold
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre UR 12.01, automatic
Functions: Satellite hours and minutes, spacetime indications with Earth’s rotational and orbital distance
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48h
Strap: Alligator leather
Price: 58,000 CHF (Swiss Francs), limited edition of 25 pieces
More details at Urwerk’s website.