urwerk - Urwerk 105 TA Orange
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
urwerk - Urwerk 105 TA Orange

Urwerk 105 TA Orange

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

Urwerk 105 TA Orange

The UR-105 TA (TA for Turbine Automatic) isn't round, has no hands, and no tourbillon: It is 100% pure URWERK. It is the watch that the team had the most fun in designing, the most pleasure in developing its mechanisms, and the most satisfaction in its hand finishing and assembly. The UR-105 TA is a real watchmaker's watch that explodes with creativity with a palette of zesty colors thanks to URWERK’s unconventional chief designer Martin Frei. 

URWERK presents the UR-105 TA a.k.a. the "URWERK Knight". 

The UR-105 TA revisits URWERK's iconic satellite indication, which has been an emblematic and instantly recognizable signature element of the brand for 18 years. Four satellites, each bearing three hour numerals, successively reveal themselves from under a sublime guilloche black cover in PEEK (polyetheretherketone) as they parade past the minute rail to display the time. Everything exudes precision and refinement, from the carrousel chassis to the dial, from the touches that are invisible to those on full display through the large sapphire crystal. For example, the hidden ARCAP satellite carrousel has been treated with ruthenium then micro bead blasted to a finish meeting the very highest standards of haute horlogerie.

“With the UR-105 TA we wanted to get the best of two worlds. We have enjoyed demonstrating the extent of our savoir-faire, from the micron-precision mastery of our CNC machines, to the superb hand finishing carried out in our ateliers. It is a piece that delights the eye. Observed under the loupe, it reveals all the little subtleties that we have incorporated into it,” says Felix Baumgartner, and URWERK co-founder and chief watchmaker. 

The UR-105 TA also embodies all the years of research invested into URWERK’s wandering hour satellites. Here, the ingenuity of this mechanism lies in the invisible carousel responsible for the operation of the satellite hours. The carousel operates precisely, silently, subtly and in harmony with the rest of the timepiece.

“With our previous timepieces, our satellites were supported by an orbital cross at the top. We rethought this concept and made some refinements. The fruits of this can now be felt when setting the time on the UR-105 TA: There is virtually no friction, no jerking movement, just the ballet of satellites. It is the fluidity of the gears that quietly reveals all our hard work,” continues Felix Baumgartner. 

The “TA” of the UR-105 TA stands for “Turbine Automatic”. That is because the movement’s automatic winding is optimally regulated by dual air turbines on full show on the back. These turbines are bead-blasted, satin-finished and treated with black PVD for perfect aesthetics. The winding mode is selected by a small lever. 

In the “FULL” position, only the slightest movement is needed to wind up the mainspring. "RED." (for “REDUCED”) moderates the winding so as to minimize excessive tension on the mainspring. On "STOP" mode, the winding system is disabled and the UR-105 TA can then be hand-wound if necessary by the crown.

“The UR-105 TA is our URWERK Knight,” says Martin Frei, artistic director and co-founder of URWERK.  “The bezel evokes the breastplate of a knight’s armor, protecting the mechanism from the ravages of time. The UR-105 TA is an haute horlogerie creation, with all high-end codes respected, but in the Black Orange or Black Lemon versions, it's their zesty appeal that really arouses the senses.”  

While the UR-105 TA is available in two "classical" versions – "All Black" in titanium and steel, and "RG" in titanium and red gold − and in a first for the brand, the UR-105 TA also comes in more vibrant hues. 

"Black is one of the signatures of URWERK aesthetic. However, with the UR-105 TA we decided to push much further with color. While the black is still there, it no longer dominates; the vivid colors inspired by our SuperLuminova really announce their presence,” explains URWERK's chief designer Martin Frei.

The UR-105 TA "Black Orange" and the UR-105 TA "Black Lemon" are timepieces with a joyous attitude. Sand blasting and micro bead blasting are applied with the same care as with more classical timepieces. However, the addition of bright colors has these watches bursting into life, and infusing them with real energy.

Red Gold, All Black, Black Lemon or Black Orange, the UR-105 TA collection cannot help but please.

Technical specifications

Movement 

Caliber: 5.02 UR automatic winding regulated by a double turbine 

Jewels: 52 

Frequency: 28,800v / h – 4 Hz 

Power reserve: 48 hours 

Materials:  Satellite hours driven by Geneva crosses in beryllium bronze; 

Orbital structure of PEEK (polyetheretherketone)

Carrousel and triple mainplates in ARCAP 

Surface finishes: Perlage, bead-blasting, satin-finishing , Beveled screw heads 

Indications Satellite hours; minutes – hour and minute markers treated with Super-LumiNova

 

Case  Materials: UR-105 TA "Black Orange" – titanium case, black PVD steel bezel 

 

Dimensions: width: 39.50mm; length: 53mm; height: 16.80 mm 

Crystal: Sapphire Crystal 

Water Resistance: Pressure tested to 30m / 3ATM

 

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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