This year Urwerk turns 20. That’s something I never thought I’d say – not because of any fault in their watches, simply because the brand seemed too unique a snowflake not to melt. Time however proves us all fools and just to rub it in, founders Felix Baumgartner (not that one) and Martin Frei have released the URWERK UR-105 CT Streamliner.
As part of the UR-105 series it shares its shape with signature pieces like the T-Rex and Clockwork Orange. It shares the same movement too, with its system of four satellites displaying three hours each. If there was ever a basis to work on for a commemorative Urwerk, it’s the UR-105.
There’s plenty going on design-wise. The Streamliner is Art Deco but in a contemporary interpretation on the movement’s architectural hallmarks. It was apparently inspired by the New York skyline – a city close to both founders’ hearts – and while it’s not exactly the twin of the Chrysler Building, there’s still something of the roaring 20s in its (stream) lines.
The headline of the piece however isn’t really what’s on the outside but what’s inside or, more accurately, being able to actually see it. After all, despite being similar, the architecture of the movement has been aesthetically changed and Urwerk is rightly proud of it, which is why they’re allowing us to literally lift the lid.
The reveal is of a redesigned movement, one that might function in the same way but looks far cleaner, something you actually want to look at. The carousel has been fully opened and everything feels architecturally lighter. There’s also the addition of a fantastic digital seconds display that indicates tens of seconds.
The URWERK UR-105 CT Streamliner might be a celebration of 20 years, but fortunately it’s not a watch stuck in the past. That simply wouldn’t be Urwerk. Instead, it celebrates the spiritual home town of Urwerk while advancing their signature model even further. Maybe rather than being too unique to survive, they’re too unique to not?; www.urwerk.com
- Timepiece commemorating 20 years of Urwerk
- Art Deco style celebrating the architecture of New York City
- A redesigned version of the same automatic movement found in the rest of the UR-105 collection
- Digital seconds indicator displaying tens of seconds, made using a photolithographic process
- Available in titanium and mirror-polished steel or titanium and black PVD coated steel
- Price: CHF 65,000 (not including taxes)