urwerk - UR-202 White Shark
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
urwerk - UR-202 White Shark

UR-202 White Shark

urwerk

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The Urwerk UR-202 White Shark - a special edition of 12 pieces - is the first of Urwerk's Rare Species and is available exclusively from Chronopassion (Paris), The Hour Glass (Singapore) and Urwerk (Geneva). Time is monochrome on the Urwerk UR-202 White Shark, with its case, dial and hour satellites all in an original shimmering silver/white hue emitted by titanium, steel and ARCAP. The White Shark, is a timepiece unadorned with no makeup, its only ornament is its technicality. The White Shark, eschews colourful display to concentrate focus on l’art mécanique. The black numbers of the hours on the satellites stand out clearly against the light background; however one number of the 12 hour digits is the bright red exception to the rule that identifies the individual piece number in this limited edition of 12.

Technical specifications

Case
  • Micro sand-blasted to matte finish stainless steel - Titanium back; case
Diameter
  • 45.7 mm X 43.5 mm X 15 mm
Caliber
  • UR 7.02 (Automatic winding)
Functions
  • Hours, minutes, moon phase, day/night indicator
Dial
  • ARCAP P40
Bracelet
  • Black alligator
Special
  • The satellite complication and the telescopic minute hands.

Who's who

Laurent Picciotto has been a partner for many of the watches at Chronopassion right from the outset. And in some cases, he’s there even before the start. Urwerk is one of those instances, working as it does on the principle of subscription. In 2002, when the brother of one of the brand’s founders went to rue Saint Honoré, all he had in his pocket were drawings; all he had in his mind were projects, or even just visions. But these were enough to win over the owner of the premises. The idea involved of a new way of telling the time, satellites, and more besides. So did Urwerk’s founders have their heads in the clouds? “In appearance only,” says Laurent Picciotto. “Urwerk’s staff and its work are very discreet, but the roadmap is anything but approximate. It’s meticulous, professional work, perhaps somewhat on the fringes of our little watchmaking universe – but with a very clear vision of who they are and where they’re going.” The first Urwerk fulfilled all this promise: it imposed its style, a completely new movement and an all-new way of telling the time. The watch made its own mark amongst more familiar ranges of contemporary watches. However, the new features did not win everybody over right away: “When the first watch arrived in 2004, by subscription, we had to do a lot of evangelism,” admits Laurent Picciotto. In the end passion, pragmatism and this educational approach won the day – and the timepiece was a great success. Chronopassion quickly became established as the exclusive retailer for Urwerk in France. The store now accounts for a significant share of the brand’s worldwide sales. Some ten years after its launch, Urwerk is still cultivating its individuality. It remains faithful to its founding principles – displaying the time using satellites – but makes constant changes at regular intervals: “I’m still amazed by the brand’s ability to bounce back,” stresses Laurent Picciotto. That’s why Chronopassion’s boss has continued to work with Urwerk, offering every one of the models developed so far. Certain limited editions have been literally snapped up. The beginnings of a queue actually formed in rue Saint Honoré for these timepieces – or at least, enough people to be sure that demand would definitely outstrip the scarce supply. Laurent Picciotto believes this is due to “customers who suddenly rediscover the child inside themselves. There are some who have very traditional tastes but who really go to pieces when they see an Urwerk.” Is it rational to swear by the likes of Bréguet or Audemars-Piguet and then abruptly go overboard for the satellite craziness of Urwerk? Of course not. But then again, as playthings go an Urwerk is anything but rational.

Journalist : Olivier Müller (01/13)

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