urwerk - UR-202 S Turbine Automatic
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
urwerk - UR-202 S Turbine Automatic

UR-202 S Turbine Automatic

urwerk

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“The UR-202 has the force, the character and the aggression necessary to hold onto the minutes. The UR-202 is like a living machine adapting to its environment, reacting and transforming its temporal path.” MARTIN FREI

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

REVOLVING SATELLITE COMPLICATION WITH TELESCOPIC MINUTES HAND

The UR-202 S Turbine Automatic features the patented revolving satellite complication with the added bonus of an innovative new winding system regulated by compressed air! The UR-202 is the world’s first watch with the winding rate regulated by fluid dynamics.

As long ago as the 18th century, clockmakers were using air friction to regulate the speed of chiming clocks, and their techniques evolved to become the preferred method of regulating the rate of chimes on minute-repeaters.

With the UR-202, URWERK have taken the traditional idea of using air friction and refined it to control the rate of automatic winding. The traditional rotating vanes of the past have been replaced by cutting-edge miniature twin turbines - miniature air compressors - which can be seen spinning on the back of the watch.

The UR-202’s twin turbines are coupled with the winding rotor. According to the position of the selector lever, the turbines act as shock absorbers. In normal activity they cushion sharp movements of the rotor. This reduces wear and increases the lifespan of the movement. While the selector position is continuously variable, the three principal positions are: normal activity, where the turbines spin freely; vigorous activity, where the air pressure generated by the turbines reduces the winding rate by approximately 35%; and extreme activity, where the turbines and rotor are fully blocked.

Technical specifications

Case : 
  • Case in AlTiN Steel, caseback in titanium (UR-202 AlTiN)
  • Dimensions : 46.6mm x 43.5mm x 15mm
  • Glasses : Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Water resistance : Pressure tested to 3 ATM 
Movement : 
  • Calibre UR-7.02 self-winding
  • Jewels 34
  • Escapement Swiss lever
  • Balance Monometallic
  • Frequency 28,800v/h, 4Hz
  • Balance spring Flat
  • Power Single mainspring barrel
  • Power reserve 39 hours
  • Winding system Unidirectional winding rotor coupled to twin air-compression turbines
  • Materials : Baseplate and satellites in ARCAP, transporters in bronze beryllium treated with MOVIC, telescopic hands in titanium
  • Surface finishes Circular-grained and rhodium-plated baseplate, chamfered and polished screw heads
Indications :
  • Revolving satellite complication with wandering hours and telescopic minutes hands, day/night indicator and moon phase indicator
  • Control Board: Day/Night indicator; 'Oil Change' alerting service intervals and small seconds
  • Super-LumiNova® on markers
  • Controls
  • Two-position winding crown with integrated protection
  • On the back: Winding-rate control lever

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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REOPENING THE 21 OF aUGUST

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