Futuristic In and Out, The New Carbon URWERK UR-100V C52
A featherweight carbon case, a textured rubber strap and Urwerk's primary palette of neon green and black for the latest UR-100.
In 2019 URWERK launched the UR-100 SpaceTime, a futuristic vessel capable of navigating through time and space. The ‘time’ component was covered by the brand’s signature satellite hour and minute hands, while the more complex concept of ‘space’ was represented by two indications displaying the distance travelled on Earth (rotations), and the distance travelled by Earth (revolutions) around the Sun in kilometres. Although neither indication could alter any of our predicaments on Earth, they represent the Urwerkian philosophy of Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner’s of finding new ways to represent the notion of SpaceTime. The latest model, the UR-100V C52, enters our atmosphere in a black carbon case and a technical rubber strap.
Since its debut just three years ago, we’ve seen the UR-100 materialise in different case materials like the Full Titanium, the Electrum, the steel and titanium GunMetal, the solid Gold, the Iron and even the scaly T-Rex. What we hadn’t seen until today was a carbon fibre case.
Composed of 52 layers of ultra-thin carbon, the case of the new UR-100V C52 reveals the characteristic marbling of carbon fibre. The formal name of the material is High-Resistance CTP (thin ply carbon fibre), an extremely resilient carbon consolidated with ultra-thin layers compressed in epoxy polymer resin. The result is a featherweight case weighing just 11 grams – including the titanium caseback. Using dark matte carbon on a 41mm diameter case with a length of 49.7mm and a height of 14mm attenuates some of the enormity and adds a unique mottled effect that will never be the same on two watches.
Designer Martin Frei and master watchmaker Felix Baumgartner were particularly attracted by the properties of carbon and how it underscores the geometry and curves of the case; they even managed to find a way to link carbon to the ancient Mesopotamian town of UR that inspired the brand’s name. “Carbon is a material dating back to the dawn of time. It is a raw material in the original sense of the term, a perfect UR-material. Carbon was also revered by the Sumerians of Mesopotamia, the pioneers of defining time as we still know it today, and a strong reference at URWERK. Enclosing and protecting the cutting-edge technology used in our models in an ageless case is a contrast that I seek out and particularly appreciate,” explains Felix Baumgartner. “Our carbon has all the qualities: it is resistant, light, resilient, and revisits URWERK black by offering nuances like nothing else.”
Time and Space
The time is displayed by the brand’s well-known rotating hour satellites that perform a little magic trick and reappear as kilometre indicators. When the red arrow-shaped minute pointers on the satellites hit the red 60-minute indicator, the next hour satellite is activated and starts its journey along the minutes track. However, instead of hiding and waiting for its next shift, the hand of the elapsed hour reappears again to display the astronomical indications in kilometres: distance travelled on Earth (at 10 o’clock) and distance travelled by Earth (at 2 o’clock) in a time frame of 20 minutes. It’s helpful to watch the video to see how the red arrow-tipped hands disappear temporarily and resurface again in the indicators.
The indicators corresponding to these distances are located on a raised black flange on the top half of the dial. You can see white inscriptions on the left with 555.55 km and the word ROTAT. (rotation); on the right, also in white, is 35,742 km and the word REVOL. (revolutions). Using the speed of Earth at the equator and the Earth’s orbital speed around the Sun, the watch displays the distance travelled from these different perspectives in about 20 minutes. For instance, at the equator, the circumference of the Earth is 40,070 kilometres, and since the day is 24-hours long, the speed is 1,670 km/hour. That gives you the 555.55 km travelled in about 20 minutes shown on the indicator at 10 o’clock. Similarly, the indicator at 2 o’clock shows the distance Earth has travelled around the Sun, a journey spanning some 35,742 km every 20 minutes.
Like so many legendary URWERK models, the black and neon green colour scheme is back in full force with hour and minute indications illuminated in bright glowing green for enhanced legibility.
The back of the UR-100V C52 reveals the calibre 12.02. Redesigning the carrousel to bring the hours closer to the minutes as they travel along the 60-minute scale was one of the upgrades made to the original calibre 12.01, making it easier and more intuitive to read the time. The full rotor you can see on the reverse side is drilled and governed by a profiled airscrew known as the Windfänger, a device used to minimise shocks and reduce wear and tear. The carrousel and triple baseplates are made of ARCAP, an alloy that does not contain iron and is not magnetic. The automatic movement has a frequency of 28,800vph and a power reserve of 48 hours.
Availability & Price
The UR-100V C52 Carbon comes with a new textured flexible rubber strap with rows of 10 embossed rectangles and a deployant buckle. The URWERK UR-100V C52 is limited to 25 pieces and retails for CHF 53,000 (excl. taxes).
For more information, please visit Urwerk.com.