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”.
Urwerk UR-210 “Maltese Falcon”
Price: 137,000 CHF
Availability: From October 2010
As you can see in the image below, situated above the signature Urwerk satellite hour display is the UR-210 minute hand — a three-dimensional cage inspired by the beak of the Maltese Falcon — it encloses the hour satellite during it’s movement along the 120 degree arc at the bottom of the dial:
Note also that the dial of the UR‐210 features a traditional power reserve indication at one o’clock (red/white indicator). In a near mirror image at 11 o’clock we find a similar indication (red/green): a world‐first complication, the “winding efficiency” gauge.
During periods of minimal activity, the indicator will be tending towards the red zone to tell you that your UR‐210 is running on stored energy. During moments of more vigorous activity, the indicator will point towards the green zone, indicating that that the watch is being wound by the automatic rotor and thus you are replenishing your watch with new energy. According to Urwerk, this entirely new indication does not measure mainspring torque, but calculates the difference between the consumed and generated energy of the mainspring. And here is where the genius of this complication comes in:
Armed with knowledge of both winding efficiency and available power reserve, you are now able to intervene. If your UR‐210 indicates an insufficient supply of energy, you can position the winding efficiency selector (at the back of the watch) to “FULL”.
The rotor will then convert the slightest movement into stored energy. In this configuration, a turbine connected to the rotor provides smooth, unimpeded power. But if you are more active, then that may provide more power than required and unnecessarily wear the mechanism. In that case, you would position the winding efficiency selector to “REDUCED” to engage the rotor damping system. An air turbine compressor mounted on ruby bearings spins and creates internal resistance – enough friction to slow down or dampen the automatic winding rotor. In “STOP” mode, the automatic winding system is disabled completely and the UR‐210 runs off reserve power and may require manual winding.
Back to the dial side. The UR‐210’s satellite complication with retrograde minute is highly original, yes — but perhaps the future has drawn from the past? Yes, recall the Harry Winston Opus V which was created by Urwerk co-founder Felix Baumgartner — it also had a retrograde minute indicator (in addition to the first-seen “satellite” system that is now the Urwerk signature). Of course the execution here is different, but it is quite possible that the UR-210 started to come to life in Baumgartner’s mind many many years ago.
The principal feature here is the high‐tech, oversized, three‐dimensional retrograde minute hand. Its function is to enclose the hour satellite and indicate the time as it transverses the arc of 120° at the bottom of the dial which marks 0‐to‐60‐minute scale. At the end of the 59th minute, a sharp “click” signals the return of the minute hand immediately to its starting point — it all takes less than 0.1 of a second, which Urwerk attributes to key elements. The description of these three elements is a bit technical, but I’ll reprint it here for those who are engineering-minded:
A central axis set in ruby bearings provides excellent stability for the satellite/retrograde complication. A cylindrical marine chronometer type spring runs vertically around the axis and generates the optimal tension required for the retrograde minutes flyback.
A minute hand, which also forms a frame for the hour satellites, displays the time in an extraordinary way. Milled from aluminum to exacting tolerances of approximately 3 microns, the whole structure has a total weight of just 0.302g and is counter balanced by a brass weight. This three‐dimensional cage offers rigidity as it transfers energy from the cylindrical flyback spring in the top center of the carrousel to the double‐star gear underneath.
A double coaxial star‐shaped cam regulates the retrograde mechanism through its gearing and its rotation defines the trajectory of the minute hand. When the minute hand reaches
Interestingly enough, Urwerk’s Felix Baumgartner went on the record as saying: “In terms of the degree of evolution of the satellite carousel, I feel with the UR‐210 that we have reached the pinnacle of what we can do with this complication.”
He continues: “The UR‐210 represents a serious accomplishment for URWERK. This timepiece opens a new chapter in the evolution of our complications. It doesn’t just measure a universal value in a completely original way, but starts a real dialogue between the watch and its wearer. The UR‐210 indicates your personal activity; this is yours and nobody else’s.”
Well done guys!
UR‐210 ‐ Technical Specifications
Material: Titanium and steel | Dimensions: Width 43.8mm, length 53.6mm, thickness 17.8mm | Glass: Sapphire crystal | Water resistance: 30m/100’/3ATM | Surface finishes: Satin finish
Caliber UR‐7.10 | Jewels 51 | Escapement Swiss lever | Balance Monometallic | Frequency 28,800v/h, 4Hz | Balance spring Flat | Power source Single mainspring barrel | Power reserve 39 hours | Winding system Self‐winding coupled to turbines | Materials Plate in ARCAP P40; 3D minute hand in aluminum with brass counterweight; central cylindrical spiral in spring‐steel; hour satellites in aluminium; central carrousel and screws in Titanium Grade 5. | Surface finishes Circular graining, sandblasted, circular and straight satin‐finished plate; satin‐finished and diamond‐polished satellites; beveled and polished screw heads. | Indications Patented revolving satellite complication with wandering hour and three‐dimensional retrograde minute hand; power reserve indicator; winding efficiency indicator (patent pending). Super‐LumiNova treatment on markers, dials, indexes, hands, and satellites | Controls Two‐position winding crown | On the back: winding efficiency selector