Urwerk is a fascinating company that has evolved from a partnership forged by Felix Baumgartner & Martin Frei in 1997. Initially Frei works from detailed sketches until the design is fully refined. Baumgartner then perfects the technical aspects of the complication over a period of two years. Due to the way this methodical process works new models are limited to a few pieces & a lot of excitement surrounds the release of new editions. At this level these pieces are no longer defined as watches but Horological Architecture.
The UR-110 is one of the latest releases from the company & looks pretty amazing. The futurist design is aesthetically pleasing on the eye & the attention to detail is first class. Elements like the intricate shaped Sapphire Crystal & top mounted crown are integral to the design. Available in four versions that can be distinguished by the choice of material used to manufacture the bezel: Red Gold, AlTin (Aluminum, Titanium & Nitrate) Tantalum & Stainless Steel.
The model I am reviewing is the UR-110 ST (AlTin). Out of the four this was definitely my favorite due to the horizontal grooves on the bezel. In my opinion this detail adds a whole new dimension to the styling. I was also massively surprised how comfortable it was to wear. At 51mm x 47mm x 16mm this is a large piece but doesn’t feel it due to clever design & ultra lightweight materials. I feel this watch wouldn’t look out of place worn at any occasion. What makes the UR-110 so special is the intricate design & choice of materials. In this instance the Bezel is made of AlTin & the case is made of Titanium. Over the last few years the trend is moving towards the use of industrial materials in watchmaking. This is opening a gateway for bigger bolder designs.
When wearing a watch like this you are pretty mesmerized by the unusual & complex display. Time is visible via a revolving satellite complication rotating hour/minute modules mounted on planetary gears. All this sounds pretty complex but I found it was fairly easy to read the time. Other features include an oil change facility (to notify the watch needs a service) Day & Night indicator & small seconds. All this is made possible by the engine (Calibre: UR 9.01) a bespoke 46 Jewel mechanical automatic movement powered by dual air turbines. The company states that this minimizes wear and tear when the winding rotor is freewheeling in the opposite direction.
The UR-110 is a beautifully designed watch that is exceptionally comfortable & practical to wear. The display is very legible & user friendly. Also the company is pushing horological boundaries with their in house complex mechanical movement.
The $120,000 price tag won’t suit everybody’s budget. However it will be a great addition to any collection for those who are fortunate to afford one.