Given their stark industrial style and cases dredged from some kind of military production line, you’d be forgiven for assuming no human hand has ever touched an Urwerk, at least outside of the movement. That’s why the idiosyncratic watchmaker is going back to basics with the UR-100V Iron.
The thinking behind the watch is that, with fewer aesthetic distractions, the latest in the UR-100 range highlights the basic building blocks of an Urwerk watch, namely hand-finishing across the whole case, which is done entirely in-house. That alone is worth a round of applause.
The combination of polished, matte, sanded and what Urwerk call shot-peened (otherwise known as shot-blasted) stainless steel can titanium creates an impressive, multi-faceted look to the otherwise pared-back – or as pared-back as an Urwerk can get – case.
There’s something old-school about it, harking back to the early days of Urwerk when their signature satellite movements were novel enough to keep attention by themselves. The watchmaker’s come a long way since then, with colours and finishes ranging from the odd to the over-the-top. It’s good to see them going back to their early roots, not to mention one of the most handsome Urwerk’s to date.
The watch is powered by the latest 12.02 calibre, which offers a slight redesign of Urwerk’s signature carousel time-keeper. The main change is that the satellite hours have been brought closer to the minute track, making it a touch easier to read at a glance. It also has a shiny new planetary turbine to regulate the calibre.
The movement too is finished to within an inch of its life, with sanded and shot-blasted anodised aluminium, sanded and ruthenium-plated brass and individually circular-sanded screws. It lends itself to the overall more elegant look to the UR-100V Iron. It may still be avant garde, but it’s also incredibly wearable.
Other than the monochromatic metal, the only highlights are the blue hour numerals and minute scale, and the red minute arrow and 60-second marker. Finished on a blue alcantara strap fitted with a titanium buckle, it’s the only Urwerk where you can actually say less is more.
Price & Specs:
Model: Urwerk UR-100V Iron
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter x 14mm height, titanium and stainless steel
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre UR 12.02, automatic, winding rotor governed by a Windfänger airscrew, 40 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48h
Functions: Hours, minutes, rotational distance at the equator in 20 minutes, orbital distance in 20 minutes
Strap: Blue Alacantra fabric with a titanium buckle
Price/availability: CHF 48,000 (excl. tax), limited to 25 pieces
More details at Urwerk.