The independent horology scene has never been so enlivened thanks to the likes of Laurent Ferrier and URWERK. There I just said it, the collaboration between these two great brands resulted to the Arpal One for the Only Watch 2017. Those who know these brands will probably be shocked since they are totally masters of different styles. One employs the traditional watchmaking techniques with emphasis on high-end with personalized or hand-finished touches while the other employs bold creativity with emphasis on avant-garde or futuristic designs. Technically, the combination of both is super fantastic.
The Arpal One watch is not a Laurent Ferrier or an URWERK, it’s a bit of both with an elegant twist. Perhaps it is safe to say that LF signature touches are mostly seen on the case which uses super smooth surfaces with highly polished looked. Pretty much, the Arpal One is truly unique coming from the merging of completely different watchmaking masters. Truly, URWERK’s out of this world modern approach of watchmaking looks very tantalizing with LF’s elegance. The classic technique of machining and presentation by LF has indeed a place in Urwerk’s space age concepts.
How the Arpal One came to being is simple, Laurent Ferrier simply took an URWERK UR–105 TA and did his magic. The grandeur of the Arpal One is phenomenal, it is futuristic yet classic. Urwerk usually emphasizes the bruteness of the watch in terms of large and rough corners which are replaced on the Arpal One with smooth curves and elongated lines resembling an aerodynamical design. This is perhaps the result of Laurent’s passion for cars. The classical finish of the Arpal One does not lose its versatility, it still sports bruteness at its best.
The case is crafted from a proprietary alloy called the ARPAL+ which has been specifically developed for this unique watch. It resists wear and scratches better than white gold or steel. Since it doesn’t oxidize, its color never fades. Since this material is easily worked, the smooth curves of the watch is powerful, there are no sharp edges at all. This is also seen on the crown located at the top or the traditional 12 o’clock. The overall appeal of the front face is monochromatic which is very cool.
When it comes to the movement, it’s still Urwerk, textured, sharp and modern. The Arpal One watch employs the wandering hours and satellite complication seen in the UR–105. Time is presented by four satellites, each bearing three hour numerals that successively sweep past the track of minutes located at the lower side of the front face. The movement sports automatic winding complete with the double turbine that governs the winding. This tech is seen at the back of the watch. The self-winding UR5.03 gives the Arpal One a solid 48 hours of power reserve.
The watch also wears on a comfortable sand-colored leather strap featuring hand stitches with matching thread. Those who don’t like the avant-garde approach of Urwerk will perhaps rethink their position with the Arpal One which is certainly a game changer for the extremely modern watch designs.