urwerk - Raging Gold UR-105
urwerk - Raging Gold UR-105

Raging Gold UR-105

urwerk | 75'000 € Tax inc.

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Raging Gold UR-105

Martin Frei, URWERK’s co-founder and designer is also a self-confessed victim of the lure of gold: “There’s always this little inner voice that reminds me how much I love this metal. Beyond the march of technology, changes in fashion, new functions, new materials; gold is always gold. It’s forever. It’s the metal that lights me up.” The designer’s infatuation for the noblest of materials that lives forever without a stain on its glory is how the UR-105 Raging Gold came to be. A shield of red gold carved in an intriguing pattern serves as the bezel on a titanium case. 

“Once again, we try to engage all your senses,” explains Felix Baumgartner, URWERK’s co-founder and master watchmaker. “Our UR-105 “Raging Gold” should not only be a pleasure to look at, but a pleasure to touch. The lines and the texture of the case go back to classic principles. The pattern derives from the hobnail motif "Clou de Paris" that was popular in high-class watches. It's a little bit like my "Madeleine de Proust". Embed this little touch of history in a disruptive model gets me a thrill from bringing a conservative style to a revolutionary watch.” confesses Felix Baumgartner, master watchmaker and co-founder of URWERK. 

Technically, the UR-105 works on the fundamental concept of Urwerk’s watchmaking, the wandering hour principle, in which each hour travels in turn across a 60-minute arc. This ancient and more intuitive way of telling the time is made easier by a mask made of PEEK, a semi-crystalline polymer, which hides the hours that have completed their 60-minute patrol. The mask is also superbly decorated in proper traditional style. 

This 105 version incorporates the latest developments in Urwerk’s constant efforts to add value to the wandering hour principle. The most intricate part of the mechanism, the carousel, which carries the hours in groups of three on four satellite discs, is hidden. It silently and unerringly brings the right hour to the right place at the right time. “In our earlier models,” recalls Felix Baumgartner, “the satellites were mounted on Maltese crosses and suspended from the rotating arms. We’ve found a way to improve on this idea. You can feel the result in your fingertips when you set the time. There’s no friction, no jolts, just the dance of the satellites. Our efforts have been absorbed into a much more fluid transmission.” 

On the back of the UR-105, turbines control the selfwinding system. Switch the lever to FULL and the winding rotor reacts to your slightest movement to wind the mainspring. In the RED (reduced) position, the rotor’s movements are dampened to avoid excessive tension in the mainspring. In the STOP position the selfwinding mechanism is disengaged and the watch can be wound manually with the crown.

Technical specifications

UR-105 “Raging Gold” 

UR 5.02, selfwinding mechanism regulated by a double turbine 52

28,800v/h - 4Hz
48 hours power reserve

Satellite hours turned by Geneva crosses in beryllium bronze Orbiting structure in PEEK (PolyEtherEtherKetone)
Carousel and baseplates in ARCAP. 

Circular and straight graining, sanding Chamfered screw heads 

Wandering hours, minutes. Hour numerals and minutes track handpainted in SuperLuminova 

UR-105 case 4N gold and the back in titanium with black PVD coating Width 39.50mm; length: 53mm; height: 16.8 mm
Sapphire crystal
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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