Urwerk’s new EMC watch (“Electro Mechanical Control”) is comprised of a manually wound movement, as well as an electronic rate monitor. I was given a sneak preview of the UR-EMC caliber back in May at Baselworld which left me scratching my head, but now we have a complete picture.
Watch aficionados well know that changes in position and temperature, as well as shocks, can all adversely affect the isochronism (timing regularity) of a wristwatch. What Urwerk has done with the EMC is enable the wearer to not only obtain the precise timing rate on demand, but also to then use that information to accurately adjust the precision of the watch. Capability of this sort is the preserve of professional watchmakers and their Witschi machines, but now anyone with an EMC watch will now have similar capability thanks to the watch’s incredibly complex hybrid electronic/mechanical architecture.
These things said, while I can appreciate the concept, for a watch that will reportedly sell for around $120,000, it all seems a bit frivolous to me. You can decide what you think of the Urwerk EMC after reviewing the pics and info below.
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Not a fan of diamond-decked watches, but must say this one goes well in a baguette-set. There are even diamonds on the satellites. Time on the UR-202 is displayed using telescopic minute hands operating through the middle of three orbiting and revolving hour satellites. The UR-202 is also the first to feature an innovative new winding system regulated utilizing miniature, adjustable turbines which are coupled with the rotor to absorb shock and reduce wear. Check ‘em out at http://www.urwerk.com/
Urwerk UR-202 Baguette
Coming October 201, the Urwerk Maltese Falcon. You saw the first look at the Urwerk Maltese Falcon here at Perpetuelle just a couple weeks ago, and now here is some live video of the piece, courtesy of Urwerk. Watch closely at around the :27 second mark and you will see the retrograde hand snap back. There is also another look at the :55 mark.
Urwerk UR-210 Maltese Falcon (Live Video)
Price 137,000 CHF (~$145,000 US at current f/x)
World First: “Winding Efficiency Complication“
Never has a timepiece displayed such feedback and attachment to its owner: “The UR‐210 embodies the symbiotic relationship between man and his watch.” says Urwerk co-Founder Martin Frei. Or, put another way, this is one brilliant watch. A year after presenting the UR-110 Torpedo, which replaced the watch that launched the brand (the UR-103), Urwerk now unveils the successor of the 200 series, the UR-210, aka the “Urwerk Maltese Falcon” as it is so dubbed.
From the aggressively styled case to the world-first winding efficiency complication to the Opus V-like retrograde minute indicator inspired by the beak of the Maltese Falcon, there’s a lot of ground to cover — but the journey is well worth it.
Follow along as Perpetuelle brings you the first look and an in-depth examination of the new Urwerk UR-210 “Maltese Falcon”.
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Continuing with Perpetuelle’s special coverage of the “Unique Masterpieces” commissioned exhibit by MARCUS London for its 10th anniversary, here is a striking rendition of Baumgartner & Frei’s (Urwerk) CC1 Cobra. This black and red edition CC1 Cobra, a modern horological masterpiece, was brought to life as a piece unique for MARCUS. The full exhibit of masterpieces, all in a theme of “black and red” or “white and red” and many of which I have written about in the past two months (links below), are now on display now through the end of September at the MARCUS Bond Street boutique in London.
Urwerk CC1 Cobra for MARCUS London
45.7mm x 43.5mm case in 18 carat in white gold with AlTiN (Titanium Aluminium Nitride) finish, Titanium base plate
Linear jumping hours, Linear retrograde minutes, Digital and linear seconds (world first)
Monochrome, a watch blog I’ve mentioned several times now, has a great “weekly watch photo” post that I look forward to. This week’s photo is particularly cool — a lume shot of Urwerk’s UR-110 watch! Definitely a rarity. Turns out the photo was taken by widely published watch journalist Elizabeth Doerr — check her out on Facebook.
Urwerk UR-110 Wrist Shot
Baselworld 2012: Urwerk, famous their avant garde designs, which I greatly admire, are introducing the UR-110 TTH and UR-110 ST.
The UR-110 TTH
The UR-110 derives its strength from its bezel crafted in tantalum, a particularly hard and dense metal, well known for resistance to corrosion and for its bio-inertness. Indeed, the TTH stands for “Tantalum Hull”.
“Tantalum is a rare metal of which the name comes from Tantalus, a Greek mythological figure synonymous with temptation,” explains URWERK co-founder and chief watchmaker Felix Baumgartner. “We therefore naturally succumbed to its charms! Its colour is such that we decided to use it in its natural state while satin-finishing and sand-blasting helped to enhance the natural beauty of this intriguing material.”
The UR-110 ST
Its dial marries perfect smoothness of the sapphire crystal with grooves in the AlTiN bezel. The change of surfaces sounds seamless.
“A watch worn on a daily basis should be a source of pleasure – the primal pleasure of possession, naturally, but also the pleasure of the experience of it on the wrist,” says URWERK co-founder and artist-designer Martin Frei . “There is a quote I like from French poet and diplomat Paul Claudel: ‘Sculpture is the need to touch.’ I very much hope the UR-110 ST creates this need.”
In the UR-110 TTH and the UR-110 ST, the time is always shown on the right side of the watch. Three hour satellites follow a vertically arced line, graded from 0 to 60 minutes, in a downward motion. Planetary gearing keeps the satellites and their arrow-shaped “torpedoes” in parallel formation as they take turns to indicate the time as they pass the 60-minute track.
Another “Rare Species” emerges…
Following the Urwerk White Shark (a limited edition take on the Urwerk UR-202), the Urwerk Champagne Supernova is a limited edition twist on Urwerk’s UR-110 Torpedo watch launched early this year. Like MB&F’s Horological Machines, Urwerk’s ultra-limited, super-pricey timepieces are of their own world and tend to foster love or hate by those who view them. I, for one, am still trying to “warm up” to these unique creations — but I do not hesitate to give big props to Urwerk Chiefs Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei for their ability to create what they love while at the same time pushing the limits of horological design.
Anyway — as to the UR-110 Champagne Supernova — the radiant and very nice looking color comes from a coating of Zirconium Nitride on the bezel, which provides the distinctive pale gold hue that gives rise to the “Champagne Supernova” nickname. Zirconium Nitride is a high-performance ceramic coating that provides superb scratch, wear and corrosion resistance. As far as inspiration goes, I guess that Urwerk drew on one (or both, hehe) of the following: 1) a song by English rock band Oasis, written by guitarist Noel Gallagher (video here), 2) a supernova known as SN 2003fg (or SNLS-03D3bb by the Canada-France-Hawaii Supernova Legacy Survey) – see ‘Champagne Supernova’ Breaks Astronomical Rules, CBS News, 2006. Anyway…here it is….
Urwerk Champagne Supernova Watch
Limited Edition of 12 pieces
Functions include Urwerk’s revolving satellite system with rotating hours and minutes modules mounted on planetary gears; day/night indicator (top of dial) and “oil change” indicator (lower dial — alerts you when the watch needs service); small seconds
The Urwerk UR-110 Champagne Supernova is available exclusively from Chronopassion (Paris), Marcus (London), The Hour Glass (Singapore) and Westime (Los Angeles) with a six-figure price tag.
by Kyle Stults on July 11, 2011
The Top 10 Most Interesting Watches In the Scott Rothstein Watch Auction…
If I’ve ever been early to a story, this would be the one — I first wrote about the pathetic ponzi perp Scott Rothstein on December 29, 2009 (see: Another Possible Ponzi Perpetrator’s Watches Heading to the Auction Block). Naturally, it was an enormous Franck Muller wall clock (see it here) which first brought the story to my attention, but little did I know that this was just the tip of a wristwatch-iceberg, perhaps the largest ever to be seized by Federal authorities in connection with such a crime. Today’s update on the story is to highlight some of the more intriguing timepieces I found in Scott Rothstein’s 262 piece watch collection that is to be auctioned on July 13, 2011. I hope you enjoy the “Top 10 Most Interesting Watches in the Scott Rothstein Watch Auction”, straight ahead.
At the time of my initial article, Rothstein had plead “not guilty” to perpetrating a $1.2 billion Ponzi fraud, but now he is a convicted criminal facing 50 years of hard time. I haven’t the least bit of sympathy for someone like Rothstein — the man lived a King’s life with ill-gained money, owning more luxuries than many can even dream of. Yachts, cars, fancy houses, watches, perhaps even a politician or two (he was friends with former Florida Governor Charlie Crist) — Rothstein seemingly had it all. And then it came all crashing down — like all Ponzi schemes eventually do (just ask Bernie Madoff and his Monoblocco Rolex)!
Scott Rothstein Showing Off Some of His 250+ Luxury Watches
Many of Rothstein’s possessions were sold at auction on January 23, 2010 — including the aforementioned Franck Muller wall clock. However, Rothstein’s previously seized watch collection (250+ luxury watches, many worth tens of thousands of dollars apiece) has been held by the United States Treasury Department — until now. This Wednesday, July 13, 2011, Rothstein’s watches will be sold to the highest bidder at auction.
Scott Rothstein in a white suit, hat and matching grin
(pictured with his then wife to-be, Kim, and former Florida Governor Charlie Crist)
Would you trust your money to a man who dresses like this?
The July 13 auction will feature Rothestein’s absurdly huge collection of some of the world’s finest watches. Yes, he owned many of the well known status symbols: Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breguet, Piaget, Hublot, Roger Dubuis, and Panerai (but curiously, no Omega). But like a spoiled kid in a candy store, Rothstein also scooped up many rarely seen watches made by smaller, independent watchmakers such as Richard Mille (2), Harry Winston (2), Urwerk (2), Pierre Kunz (several), Daniel Roth (several), Gerald Genta (several), and others.
I combed through each of the 262 lots to be auctioned and came up with a list of the Top 10 Most Interesting Watches in the auction:
“The Top 10 Most Interesting Watches In the Scott Rothstein Watch Auction“
(in no particular order)
Lot 21, Harry Winston Ocean Dual Time (White Gold)
Lot 25, Pierre Kunz “Insanity” (Titanium)
Lot 72, Urwerk UR-103 (White Gold)
Lot 110, Richard Mille RM011 “Felipe Massa” (Titanium and Gold)
Lot 77, Azimuth MR. ROBOTO
Lot 102, Piaget Tourbillon Relatif (White gold)
Lot 104, Daniel Roth,Limited Edition 2/15
Lot 111, Audemars Piguet, Case Engraved “Especially Made for Arnold Schwarzenegger” (Titanium)
Lot 165, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “Survivor”
Lot 208, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “SHAQ”
See them all at http://www.treasury.gov/auctions/treasury/gp/ftl_watches.html.
Any comments? Feel free to weigh in!
Continuing my previews of the one-of-a-kind watches to be auctioned for ONLY WATCH 2011, today we look at the Urwerk UR-103 Phoenix. It is a visually stunning watch from the very first glance, with white gold case that has been hand-decorated by master engraver and artist Jean-Vincent Huguenin (he’s no stranger to Urwerk). I think the “Phoenix Rising” motif is a great choice both for its fit with the UR-103 case style and for the noble cause of the Only Watch event (proceeds go toward research for the debilitating disease known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy). If you are not familiar with the Phoenix, it is one of the great symbols of mythology representing rebirth, a life that is never conquered by death, always rising from the ashes to fly again (more Wikipedia, Google).
It’s a spectacular piece for a great cause. Nicely done, Urwerk!
Urwerk UR-103 “Phoenix”
Says watch artist and URWERK co-founder Martin Frei:
In our daily lives we all have objects that are slightly talismanic. We love to have them at our side, in touching distance. Without giving them a mystical value, we assign them a virtue, an ‘aura’. With this in mind, we have designed the UR-103 as a veritable talisman – a source of energy for its future owner.
Master Engraver Jean-Vincent Huguenin decorating the UR-103 Phoenix
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