urwerk - URWERK 210 pink gold
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
urwerk - URWERK 210 pink gold

URWERK 210 pink gold

urwerk

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

URWERK 210 pink gold

URWERK unveils the UR-210 in red gold
 
 
"Gold provides a unique feeling and emotion thanks to its density and its special appearance. In all the ancient and modern civilizations, gold was regarded as the material of the Gods. For me, as a trained sculptor and painter, touch is the first sense. This certainly explains my visceral attraction to gold. I like its solid, heavy, reassuring and eternal character “
Martin Frei, URWERK co-founder
 
The UR-210’s satellite complication with retrograde minute is both highly original and totally explosive. The principal feature is a high-tech, oversized, three-dimensional retrograde minute hand. Its function is to enclose the hour satellite and indicate the time as it transverses the 0-to-60-minute scale. This one-hour journey through time, tracing an arc of 120°, is smooth and fluid. But the true nature of the piece is revealed at the end of the 59th minute. Then a sharp distinct “click” signals the return of the minute hand to its starting point. In less than 0.1 of a second the hand flies back to dock with the next hour satellite. This lightning fast retrograde system is based on three key elements:
A central axis set in ruby bearings provides excellent stability for the satellite/retrograde complication. A cylindrical marine chronometer type spring runs vertically around the axis and generates the optimal tension required for the retrograde minutes flyback.
 
A minute hand, which also forms a frame for the hour satellites, displays the time in an extraordinary way. Milled from aluminum to exacting tolerances of approximately 3 microns, the whole structure has a total weight of just 0.302g and is counter balanced by a brass weight. This three-dimensional cage offers rigidity as it transfers energy from the cylindrical flyback spring in the top center of the carrousel to the double-star gear underneath.
 
A double coaxial star-shaped cam regulates the retrograde mechanism through its gearing and its rotation defines the trajectory of the minute hand. When the minute hand reaches 60, the double star trips a (one of three) hockey-stick shaped spring under the mechanism, which liberates the minute to fly back to the next hour satellite at 0-minutes.
 

Technical specifications

 
Case
 
  • Material: Titanium and red gold 
  • Dimensions: Width 43.8mm, length 53.6mm, thickness 17.8mm
  • Glasses Sapphire crystal
  • Water resistance 30m/100’/3ATM
  • Surface finishes Satin finish
 
 
Movement
 
  • Caliber UR-7.10
  • Jewels 51
  • Escapement Swiss lever
  • Balance Monometallic
  • Frequency 28,800v/h, 4Hz
  • Balance spring Flat
  • Power source Single mainspring barrel
  • Power reserve 39 hours
  • Winding system Self-winding coupled to turbines 
 
Materials
 
  • Plate in ARCAP P40; 3D minute hand in aluminum with brass counterweight central cylindrical spiral in spring-steel; hour satellites in aluminium
  • central carrousel and screws in Titanium Grade 5.
Surface finishes
  • Circular graining, sandblasted, circular and straight satin-finished plate; satin-finished and diamond-polished satellites; beveled and polished screw heads.
Indications

 

  • Patented revolving satellite complication with wandering hour and three-dimensional retrograde minute hand; power reserve indicator; winding efficiency indicator (patent pending).
  • Super-LumiNova treatment on markers, dials, indexes, hands, and satellites
Controls
  • Two-position winding crown 
On the back: winding efficiency selector
 

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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