Urwerk Looks To Space For Inspiration For Its New UR-100 SpaceTime Watch
The sci-fi elements in Urwerk’s timepieces have set the independent watchmaker apart from the other brands since its inception in 1997. With an eye for avant-garde design and its sights firmly set on the future, Urwerk has risen meteorically through the ranks, now sitting in the upper echelons of independent watchmaking. Its latest piece, the UR-100 SpaceTime, is every bit as science fiction‑inspired as it sounds.
While the watch displays time through the brand’s signature satellite hours and linear minute display, the UR-100 SpaceTime is innovative for its two additional displays—one at 10 o’clock, indicating the distance that earth has travelled on its own rotational axis, and another at 2 o’clock, showing the distance travelled by earth around the sun. Because of the nature of Urwerk’s satellite hours, both these distances are calculated over a time frame of 20min, essentially being a cosmic odometer for our planet.
Urwerk prepared four short films for the UR-100 SpaceTime. Watch the first one below:
Felix Baumgartner, co-founder and master watchmaker of Urwerk, shares that the design of the UR-100, while different from the brand’s current offerings, takes on more of a “back to the future” direction. He explains, “If you look closely at the UR-100, you will recognise all the codes of the UR-101, our first collection from 1997. We used some of the original design elements of our early creations and broke them down with a deconstructive approach.”
Here's episode 2 of the UR-100 SpaceTime short film:
With an aesthetic that is a blast from Urwerk’s “future‑inspired” past, it is little wonder that the displays on the new watch have a similar origin. The displays were based on a clock Baumgartner’s father, a watchmaker himself, found at an auction a few years ago. He shares, “The pendulum was not indicating time, but showed the distance of the earth’s rotation at the equator. It looked like a clock but was a kind of universal odometer, showing the way we all spin around the universe. This is the testimony of silent travel that we wanted to reproduce in our UR-100.”
Episode 3 as we see the UR-100 SpaceTime move back towards the equator.
Available in a stainless steel or PVD-coated titanium execution, the UR-100 SpaceTime is equipped with the UR 12.01 automatic movement that is regulated by the Planetary Turbine Automatic System, which has been futuristically named in the same vein as the watch. Baumgartner explains that the movement’s winding rotor is regulated by a flat turbine that minimises shocks to the rotor bearing. This design quirk is similar to anchor governors used in minute repeaters and effectively prevents wear and tear on the rotor.
Interestingly enough, the UR-100 SpaceTime is positioned as an entry-level piece among the brand’s collections. Baumgartner qualifies the decision, stating, “Yes, the UR-100 is at the same time the most affordable but also one of the most elegant collections we’ve created.”
(Related: Urwerk Creates A Special UR-105 Watch To Fete The 40th Anniversary Of The Hour Glass)
Watch the final instalment for the UR-100 SpaceTime videos below: