When you think about the brand URWERK, your mind automatically pictures something technical, complicated, mechanical, digital and made of modern materials (such as titanium, Altin or DLC coating)… Well, in a word a proper machinery. Thus, it’s far from being a warm feeling. So in a sense, it was surprising to see a manufacture like URWERK going for natural, fair trade materials such as wood and tweed fabric. That’s the strength of Frei & Baumgartner: surprising us with crazy timepieces – and these new URWERK UR-110 EastWood look absolutely cool.
The URWERK UR-110 a.k.a ‘Torpedo’ has always been a really cool piece of engineering with its satellite complication and its totally unusual shape. It’s not what you can call an easy-to-match-daily-beater but it remains on of the most extreme watches ever created by the brand. Launched in 2011, it received that same year the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève prize for Best Design Watch and has since been released in many variations, such as titanium, platinum, red gold and black DLC. However, URWERK is not like certain brands and watches are not made to stay forever in the catalog. It’s time now for the ‘Torpedo’ to say goodbye and to celebrate this event, Frei & Baumgartner decided to go for something unusual and highly cool, a strange combination of materials that reflects their personal tastes: precious woods and fine tailoring.
As we said in the intro, URWERK usually involves a mechanical and modern feeling, something cold, metallic and far from the idea of nature and fair trade. The two editions of the URWERK UR-110 EastWood are just the proof that the brand has a link to earth and has partnerships with other crafts than watchmaking, case-making and coating cases with unknown futuristic materials. To reflects their personal tastes, the two owners of URWERK chose to go for precious woods inserted into the bezel of the steampunk-inspired UR-110. The round bezel of the ‘Torpedo’ is now hollowed to leave some space to insert Indonesian Macassar ebony or South African Red Ivory wood, some of the hardest, densest timbers on the planet. Seamlessly combining a titanium baseplate with highly polished ebony is a great challenge but the result is astonishing. It’s precise and smooth.
In addition of this noble and warm natural material, the URWERK UR-110 EastWood also boasts some tailor-made, British coolness with some wool tweed fabric straps. Once again, we’re far from the usual alligator straps or metallic bracelets used by the brand. It complements the richness of the wood bezels with a refined, eccentric touch. Chosen and made by Timothy Everest, a bespoke tailor from London, it bring a vintage twist to a watch usually seen as the quintessence of modernity.
These additions to the URWERK UR-110 Eastwood may totally renew its look, however the mechanics remains the same. We can find back the satellite complication that rotates first on its central axis and that follows a vertically arced line, graded from 0 to 60 minutes, on the right side of the dial. The three counter-rotating hour modules follow this motion too but also rotates on their-selves every hour, once the current hour had passed. The UR-110 EastWood also features a Control Board on the dial side with indicators for “Day/Night” and “Oil Change” – URWERK’s service interval display – as well as small seconds on a sub dial. On the back, we can see the two turbines that regulate the strength of the winding mechanism in order to protect the movement in case of over-winding.
The URWERK UR-110 Eastwood is a limited edition of 10 pieces – 5 for each wood type. Price is to be announced. More details on Urwerk.com
Specifications for the URWERK UR-110 “EastWood”
- Case: Case in Grade 5 titanium with bezel made of precious wood – 5 pieces with fair trade, Indonesian Macassar ebony bezel – 5 pieces with fair trade, South African Red Ivory wood bezel – Dimensions: 47mm x 51mm x 16mm – Two-position crown (winding, time-setting) with integrated protection.
- Strap: Tweed selected by tailor Timothy Everest
- Indications: Satellite complication with rotating hour/minute modules mounted on planetary gears Control Board: “Day/Night” indicator; “Oil Change” alerting service intervals and small seconds
- Movement – Calibre: UR 9.01 mechanical, automatic winding – Frequency: 28,800v/h, 4Hz – Jewels: 46 – Balance spring: flat – Power: Single barrel – Power reserve: 39 hours – Winding system: Uni-directional rotor regulated by double turbines – Finishing: Matting, circular graining and diamond-cuts