Urwerk WorldTempus welcomes Urwerk as a partner brand!
The acclaimed independent watchmaker brings its innovative creations to the pages of the Swiss Watch Authority.
There are certain names which reside deep within the hearts of those who love modern independent watchmaking. Founded in 1997, the brand Urwerk is undeniably one of these names. Their first big sensation was in 2004 when they astounded audiences as Baselworld with their breakout creation, the UR-103, which redefined the design vocabulary of avant-garde horology in the third millennium.
UR-103 or rose © Urwerk
Since then, the dynamic partnership of Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei has produced iteration after iteration of the centuries-old wandering hour display, a poetic — rather than prosaic — interpretation of the hours and minutes that has its origins in a 17th-century clock commissioned by Pope Alexander VII. The Urwerk wandering hour is a three-dimensional, highly kinetic display, utilising rotating hour modules that sweep across a minute scale. The physical point of contact between hour module and minute scale provides the reading of the time, an unconventional yet oddly intuitive configuration.
The timepieces of Urwerk, despite utilising the same time-telling system in the majority of models, are highly variable in design. The early models took inspiration from the natural world, named after fierce beasts which dominated their ecological environments — the UR-103 “Mexican Fireleg” and UR-202 White Shark, for example, borrowed from the distinctive colour schemes of their eponymous creatures. More recently, the UR-105 T-Rex donned the scaly bronzed hide of the majestic reptile as frequently depicted in film. Other sources of aesthetic influence, such as classic tailoring (UR-110 Eastwood) and mediaeval armour (UR-105 Iron Knight) found their way into the Urwerk catalogue, demonstrating their true stylistic versatility.
UR-110 Eastwood © Urwerk
In the last decade, Urwerk have taken a dramatically innovative turn in some of their exceptional timepieces. The EMC had a built-in high-precision quartz oscillator gauge that measured the accuracy of the fully mechanical movement, allowing the wearer to accurately adjust the watch to compensate for environmental factors. The AMC, which was awarded with the Audacity prize at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, went a step further with a self-regulating mechanism tied to an atomic clock.
AMC © Urwerk
Whatever exciting new developments are in Urwerk’s future, WorldTempus will be right there alongside, sharing every step with our audience.