The new URWERK UR–111C watch restores the linear retrograde minutes in place of the signature wandering hours indication. What I like about it though is its relation to the UR-CC1 King Cobra, being its direct descendant.
URWERK has been using the unique wandering hours for 20 years inspired by an archaic way of presenting time. However, the brand briefly introduced the linear and retrograde indications on the iconic UR-CC1 King Cobra. The watch indicates the hours by a jumping and rotating cylinder, the minutes with a retrograde cylinder and the seconds with both a digital and linear mechanism. To me this is cooler and easier to read.
The design of the new URWERK UR–111C features out-of-this-world inspirations courtesy of Frei and Baumgartner. It is definitely URWERK though even if the shape has changed to a bolder, more unconventional, and more menacing look.
The technical aspect of the new URWERK fascinates me in a sense that it’s definitely unique. The indication of the hours, minutes or seconds displays more than one unusual indication. The front side of the watch has three curved sapphire crystals: one indicates the hours and the other 2 for the minutes via truncated cones. On the left side is where the jumping digital hours are displayed and on the right is the progressive minute display.
The central piece showcases a linear display of the minutes. If you look closely, you’ll notice that it slants diagonally across its aperture – this way the cylinder rotates 300 degrees about its axis to bring the helix to the 60th minute, at the same time arming a long, coiled spring. To bring the helix back to the start, the spring releases to snap the cylinder forward another 60 degrees and make the hours jump to the next hour.
The URWERK UR–111C also features a superb digital seconds counter mounted alternately on two tiny wheels: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 on one wheel, and 5, 15, 25, 35, 45 and 55 on the other. The non-conventional display of the seconds is perhaps the first circular window ever fashioned from optical fibers.
Moreover, adjustments to the watch are also done in a unique manner, a given of course, but it’s exciting to speak about it anyway. A long fluted cylinder integrated on the top of the case is used as a winding system. Much like the crown system, swinging out a lever from the right side of the case and turning the roller in either direction does the trick.
For the URWERK UR–111C, the brand’s hallmark design is undeniable. While the shape may differ using more angular and less organic styles, it still showcases URWERK’s DNA. At 42mm x 46mm and 15mm in height, the watch is hefty. 2 models are available: a classic polished and brushed steel case and a matte gunmetal finish.
Finally, the URWERK UR–111C will be a limited edition of 25 pieces for each model, with a price of CHF 130,000 before taxes. Visit URWERK here.