Until now, the URWERK EMC (clearly what can be a called a very special watch, we’ll get back on this later) was available in two editions: a raw titanium/steel one with white accents and (typically URWERK), a black DLC one with yellow accents. These editions are far from being shy but clearly, the focus was made on the technology itself rather than on the design or the elegance. Things are about to change, as Frei & Baumgartner imagined a bold, very unique edition of the URWERK EMC that enlightens the superb work of a very talented engraver, more used to apply his art on shotguns and handguns, explaining the name of this new iteration, the URWERK EMC Pistol.
Technically speaking (and even if there’s a lot to say about the technology used), this edition of the URWERK EMC remains identical to the two previous ones (here and here). On the other hand, while these two were voluntarily quite nude on the visual side, to leave the show free for the mechanical part, this URWERK EMC Pistol is loaded, much adorned – but in a very good way. URWERK have already found interesting partners, out of the watchmaking industry, to create special editions of their watches. It was the case with the engraved URWERK UR-103 Phoenix, the final edition of this iconic model, made together with master engraver Jean-Vincent Huguenot. However, we also and mainly think of the recent URWERK UR-110 EastWood, that was created both with ebony wood for the bezel and with a final touch by Timothy Everest, a bespoke tailor from London, that created wool tweed fabric straps. In one word: so-cool!
The idea is quite similar here, as Martin Frei (designer of URWERK) and Felix Baumgartner (Master watchmaker of URWERK) teamed up with Florian Güllert, specialized in engraving firearms. For 15 years he has demonstrated his talent by transforming shotguns and handguns into works of art. By using his skills, he proposes here a very different iteration of the URWERK EMC that highly contrasts with the clean, mechanical look of the normal editions. From his words, “I had to find a pattern that contrasted with the very mechanical and technical aspects of the object. I was looking for scrolls and arabesques that would break up the rectilinear architecture of the EMC. It was a rather unusual job for me, because the surface that you can decorate on a watch is restricted.” The main difficulty was coming from the case of the EMC itself, as the steel used in the EMC case turned out to be so hard that special tools had to be found.
The URWERK EMC Pistol will be available in 5 pieces only, all unique. Unique not because the pattern or the materials used are different but mainly because each watch will reveal the work made by hand, thus slightly differing one from another. This pattern could have been difficult to accept and way too loaded on a watch already quite bold (to say the least) but the result remains elegant and doesn’t obstruct the dial or the legibility. This engraving work is complemented by a specific strap, made by the Portalès leather company, an hidden workshop lead by two ladies, well known in watchmaking circles for their skill. The URWERK EMC Pistol features a (again) bold strap made of Nile crocodile with hornback scales.
This was for the design and esthetics. But don’t forget that the URWERK EMC Pistol is also a rather unusual watch on the mechanical side. As we explained you several times before (here and here), the EMC is a mechanical watch, with a purely mechanical movement (with barrels, mainsprings, an escapement, a balance wheel and a gear train) complemented by an electronic, “smart” device (no worries, it won’t count your steps or tell you when your best friend is around…). In fact, the mechanical movement is monitored by an optical sensor, which controls the accuracy of the balance wheel. The job of this optical sensor is to record the oscillations of the 28,800v/h balance (4Hz) over a period of three seconds. Then, the performance of the 4Hz mechanical balance is compared with an extremely high frequency quartz oscillator (that is just here for the comparison and that has no interaction with the movement).
Once compared, the result is displayed in a separated sub-dial (on the left of the EMC) to bring the actual deviation of the watch. Thus, you know if your EMC runs at +10s or -5s per day. Well, already quite cool itself, the best comes on the back of the watch, as not only you can monitor the rate of the watch but you can also correct it via a screw that is accessible on the caseback. It enables a precise adjustment of the fast/slow index that alters the effective length of the balance spring. Thus, your URWERK EMC Pistol will potentially always run on the most accurate rate possible.
For more information about the URWERK EMC Pistol and the EMC in general, you can check this link on www.urwerk.com.