urwerk - UR-103T
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
urwerk - UR-103T

UR-103T

urwerk

Sold out Contact us
Notice of laurent

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
Urwerk’s latest addition to the UR103 collection has a few genetic codes borrowed from one of the most famous members of the world of arachnids: he Tarantula! In the new UR103T, the titanium cross has been replaced by a completely redesigned structure in ARCAP, a very stable copper/nickel alloy. The dark ARCAP wraps around the hour satellites in a protective embrace. This new configuration ensures that the numbers on the hour satellites can only be seen when they are required to tell the time while passing the arc of the minutes. The actual mechanism for rotating the satellites has been completely modified on the UR103T. With this model the satellites rotate simultaneously behind the scenes in multiple stages, in preparation for their turn to indicate the time. They actually perform a four-beat 480° pirouette. Each satellite turns four 120° turns in the period between leaving the minute arc and arriving again with a new numeral displaying. The orbital satellite complication is over 300 times heavier than traditional hands, a factor that requires absolute precision in the manufacture of its minuscule components, and in assembling, balancing and regulating the complication to obtain the excellent chronometric performance Urwerk demands of its exceptional timepieces.

Technical specifications

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)
Read more