From the earliest days, the creative process of Urwerk, the brainchild of Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, has been punctuated by sci-fi inspirations and innovative, original displays of the time. Whether you look at the inaugural watch, the UR-101, or Urwerk‘s latest creation, the UR-120, there’s an undeniable touch to these watches. And while we’re talking about the latter, it has just been unveiled in a new edition, with the brand’s signature style combining a black canvas with striking neon-coloured accents. Meet the Urwerk UR-120 Space Black.
As our editor Denis explained in his extensive retrospective here, the UR-120 has picked up the vibe of the UR-110. Still, the recent invention kept the recognisable Urwerk look and feel but created an even more dynamic display with the diverging and joining satellite hour-cube indicators action in a case with improved ergonomics and smooth surfaces.
Urwerk’s signature wandering hours look familiar; the satellite carousel moves along the minute sector at the right-hand side of the case. The satellite in position on the minute scale tells the hour and the minute. What is new, and Urwerk should be praised, among other things, for continuing to innovate its avant-garde displays, is that each satellite comprises two cubes that split, rotate, and converge in sequence to display the hours. When the satellite separates open, it reveals rectangular blocks that form a V-shape as if recreating the Vulcan “Live long and prosper” greeting (hand up, palm forward, fingers parted in the middle). Since the most famous Vulcan was Spock, the UR-120 is now known as Spock.
Once separated, both blocks spin on their axis and merge to display the new hour, so the satellite carousel spins on the central axis, each satellite counter-spins, and each block spins on its axis – a mechanical spectacle. The gilded lyre-shaped spring facilitates the splitting and merging of each cube. The UR-120 steel and titanium case was 44mm long, 47mm wide and 15.8mm thick, made up of two interlocking parts, equivalent to a caseback and a bezel, connected with lateral screws. Also, the case featured articulated lugs.
This year, this impressively complex, totally Urwerk model comes back in a new colour scheme, under the name Space Black. Joining the existing titanium and black editions, this new edition features a case combining sandblasted titanium and stainless steel (for the bezel), which have been treated in black DLC and then coated with silicon… And on the side of the dial, classic neon yellow accents have been added to the display – on the lateral minute track and on the splitting cubes. This new UR-120 Space Black is worn on a calf leather strap with an embossed Cordura pattern.
Powering this complex display is the calibre UR-20.01, with in-house developed satellite construction mounted on a reliable base movement, a Zenith Elite automatic calibre, with a propeller-shaped Windfänger on the rotor to moderate the winding rate.
Released as part of the permanent collection (no limitation announced, but production is limited by the brand’s capacities) the Urwerk UR-120 Space Black will be priced at CHF 110,000 (excl. taxes). For more details about the “Spock watch” please visit urwerk.com.