Urwerk‘s co-founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei first discussed their ideas for a new piece back in 1995 and officially founded the company in 1997. That same year, they launched the UR-101 and UR-102 watches at Baselworld, sci-fi-inspired creations with wandering hours running on a semi-circular minute track at the top. Recently, these two simple yet visually striking models have soared in popularity. The time has come for the brand to travel back in time and present its first vintage re-edition, the UR-102 Reloaded, launched as a boxed set containing its two versions.
Along with the other inaugural model, the 101, the UR-102 is considered a foundation piece, a watch that sealed the beginning of Urwerk’s adventure and marked the starting point. A round watch with a neo-futuristic look, the UR-102 is rather shy compared to the contemporary creations of Baumgartner and Frei, but it introduced the most important feature of them all, the arched window with the time displayed without hands, with the now emblematic wandering hour system – inspired, like the AP Starwheel, by a clock made for Pope Alexander VII.
The concept is now back to the future with the UR-102 Reloaded. There are some design adjustments, but still, it looks very close to the original 1997 concept. The case, available in uncoated or PVD-coated titanium and steel, with a sandblasted surface, has grown in size. From 38mm originally, it now measures 41mm, with a reasonable height of 11.30mm. Yes, if you compare that with a UR-112 Aggregat, it is most definitely a compact model. The pebble shape of the case, with its semi-circular arch on the upper half, has been kept too, but the crown is now merged into the case and placed at 4 o’clock. Its lugs are larger, recalling the attachments on the Sputnik space satellite; they are solid, angular and designed to position the “machine” perfectly on the wrist. So yes, things have changed slightly, but the emblematic shape is there.
The display of this Urwerk UR-102 Reloaded is… well, the display you would expect from a UR-102. And that means wandering hours and an arched minute scale. Like a satellite, it travels across the firmament from 0 to 30 and then comes back during its descent to the 60 mark. The raw titanium version has a blue-coloured arch, a nod to the original UR-102. The element framing the satellite is printed with historical mentions. And experts of the brand will have noticed that the opening for reading the time is no longer a perfect semi-circle but has sloping edges, giving it a more dynamic look.
Inside the case is an automatic base movement with a 4Hz frequency and a 48h power reserve. It is used to power the in-house module with wandering hours. No more details have been given yet by the brand regarding the origin of the base movement.
The Urwerk UR-102 Reloaded is presented in a boxed set issued as a 25-piece limited edition, comprising the “Titanium” and “Black” versions. The price of the set is CHF 56,000 (excl. taxes). For more details, please visit www.urwerk.com.