In 2011 the URWERK UR-110 was awarded with the prize for Best Design Watch at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève . Recently they released a new version of the UR-110, now with a red gold top-case. Again a masterpiece of horological design.
URWERK has been at the forefront of watchmaking excellence and innovative ways to display time, ever since they launched the first models like the UR-101, UR-102 and UR-103. The UR-110 features an orbiting satellite complication, like the fore-mentioned models, however now the hours and minutes are displayed on the right side of the ‘dial’.
That’s where the minute track is and one of the three hour-satellites, with arrow-shaped indicators, points at the minutes as it passes from top to bottom. The other two hour satellites have time ‘preparing’ for when they have to indicate the time. This preparation means that the hour indicators rotate in order to show the correct hour when it approaches the minute indicator track.
Although it’s no rocket sience, at least not literally, it’s incredibly complex to create this delicate and ingenious mechanism: First of all you need a central carousel providing the complication with stability and balance. Furthermore the planetary gearing must rotate the three hour-satellites parallel, as they ‘orbit’ the dial. And the three counter-rotating hour modules – each comprising an hour satellite, pointer and counter balance – are each mounted on a planetary gear. These three modules are in constant counter-rotation to offset the direction of rotation of the central carousel.
It always takes some time to get used to reading time on a watch with a different way to display time. From experience I can say that it’s absolutely possible to see time in the blink of an eye, even on these kind of watches. It just might take half a day to adjust your ‘system’. Of the many watches with a different way to display time, I believe the UR-110 could well be the easiest to get used to. Wonder why? Well, it reads like a vintage digital watch, because the hour and minute are almost next to each other and only devided by the arrow shaped indicator.
And it looks cool when it peaks from under your sleeve!
“We are known for complications that require cutting-edge high-performance materials, yet gold has always been one of our favorite materials,” says Felix Baumgartner, URWERK co-founder and chief watchmaker. “All of our collections feature a version crafted in this noble metal, from the very first UR-101 to the UR-110. More than a tradition, it is a milestone for us and we feel that a collection is only complete once a gold version has been created. Gold and titanium are the main components of this new UR-110, a watch of contrasts.”
Martin Frei, URWERK co-founder, adds: “Gold provides a unique feeling and emotion thanks to its density and its special appearance. In all the ancient and modern civilizations, gold was regarded as the material of the Gods. For me, as a trained sculptor and painter, touch is the first sense. This certainly explains my visceral attraction to gold. I like its solid, heavy, reassuring and eternal character. Our UR-110 collection could not be complete without a counterpart in gold. We have now achieved this.”
Even from the side it looks like an intriguing machine, rather than an ordinary timepiece.
Besides indicating the hours and minutes, the UR-110 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.
Turning the watch over, the titanium back shows the dual turbines that regulate the automatic winding system.
Technical Specifications UR-110 RG
- Case in Grade 5 titanium with bezel in 5N red gold
- Dimensions: 47mm x 51mm x 16mm
- Two position crown with integrated protection
- Water resistance: 3 ATM
- Calibre: UR 9.01 mechanical, automatic winding
- Balance: Monometallic
- 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
- Finish: Matting, circular graining and diamond-cuts
- Satellite complication with rotating hour/minute modules mounted on planetary gears
- Control Board: “Day/Night” indicator; “Oil Change” alerting service intervals and small seconds