urwerk - Urwerk UR- T8
urwerk - Urwerk UR- T8

Urwerk UR- T8


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Urwerk UR- T8

Urwerk Watches, the watch brand led by founders Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, is the product of a journey that led them through New York, Rome, and London before landing in Geneva, Switzerland. The Urwerk T8 watch, as with other models from the brand, offers not only a unique titanium case design, in this case a black Reverso format, but also a unique way of telling the time, with an hour and minute display based around a multiple-carousel satellite wandering hours movement, with winding and power reserve on each opposing side of the case, at a remarkable price. Of course, on one level, what Frei & Baumgartner have made, this time, with the Urwerk watches Urwerk T8 watch is not revolutionary, the Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso being just one example of a contemporary Reverso format watch, but the Urwerk T8 is not only a “mystery object for the wrist”. In fact, the “mystery element for the wrist” Reverso element of the Urwerk T8 anniversary model from the Urwerk brand is just one facet, excuse the pun, of what the Urwerk T8 does, and so comparisons with the Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso are to that extent misplaced. Indeed, there is quite simply so much going on with the Urwerk T8, as you would almost certainly expect from a watch model launched to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the brand, that the Urwerk T8 pretty much defies comparison with any watch from any brand, least of all the Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso.

What the Urwerk T8 does do, as you would expect from a 20th anniversary watch from the Geneva, Switzerland based brand, is to combine, this time, elements that anyone familiar with Urwerk’s watches has seen before, but not in the specific natural and black titanium, black PVD coating shield case design watch, with the trademark Urwerk brand wandering hours complication and time display’s wandering hour indication of the initial series of watches visible from beneath the titanium shield. In the universe of Urwerk brand watches, a black titanium case design, albeit reverso in this case, with carousel driven satellite hour movement, highly legible hour and minute display and power reserve and the lack of a ‘normal’ dial are exactly as one would imagine. Even the price of the Urwerk T8 from Urwerk Watches Switzerland accords with other models from the brand. It is the combination of elements that makes the Urwerk T8, each taken to its own radical, but a natural conclusion.

Complex planetary gearing sits behind an elaborate three armed carousel configuration at the heart of the automatic winding satellite wandering hours complication. 12 hours are arranged in three groups onto a rotating satellite module with four hour indicators, each module and its respective three hour numerals sitting within arm of the three armed carousels and moving to display a single one of the hour numerals on the indication scale across the range of 60 minutes, thus showing hours and minutes time both digitally and analogically. 

When compared to earlier and initial series watches, this evolution of the satellite complication via the use of the three armed carousel, itself with planetary gearing for rotation of the hour numerals, has the benefit, clearly desired by Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, that on the Urwerk T8 20th anniversary automatic movement watch from Urwerk watches Switzerland, the satellite carousel hours digits are always positioned perpendicular, in this case on a horizontal, rather than in a curved manner, on the hours and minutes track. This is ample evidence, as if any more were actually needed, of just how elaborate the carousel configuration needed to be, and the exact nature of the planetary gearing required to implement the satellite wandering hours complication in this guise, if time were to be displayed more perfectly both digitally and analogically at the same time.

The buying public for the creations of Frei & Baumgartner in the form of Urwerk brand watches has grown used to the watches being ingenious double-sided pieces, with action on both the dial side case front and the case back. The irony here is of course that rather than the case back providing a window into a Haute Horlogerie movement as is the ‘case’ with so many other high end Swiss watch manufactures, brand Urwerk has always chosen to offer something a little different on the often black PVD coating equipped titanium case back and watch side case, in the form of some type of dashboard control over watch functions, winding and power reserve display.

With the Urwerk T8 watch, Urwerk watches take this a step further, producing a T (for Transformer) watch, which just like the Transformers of old, is capable of changing into a completely different watch, or non-watch, mystery object on the wrist, or not so classic Reverso. A press of the two buttons on the side of the black PVD coating equipped titanium case unlocks the case from the case cradle, whereby it can be lifted and spun to put the case back in pole position, which itself, reveals nothing. In this form, the wearer can protect the face of the watch and its time indication beneath the mystery object they are wearing on their wrist, with the time function concealed safely beneath titanium.

Unlike other earlier and initial series watches from the Urwerk brand, on the Urwerk T8 from Urwerk Watches Switzerland the pneumatic control of the self-winding system is not showcased, despite its technical merit. By virtue of a spinning vane connected to the winding rotor acts to absorb harsh movements to the rotor without compromising the watch’s self-winding efficiency. Power reserve and water resistance for the Urwerk T8 are described by the brand as adequate.

The Urwerk T8 20th-anniversary model, released in an initial series of only 60 limited edition pieces, is an evolution and combination of many of the trademark and hallmark characteristics that have become synonymous with Urwerk watches over the twenty years of the brand. The Urwerk T8, in both uncoated and black PVD coating, adorned titanium Reverso transformer-style case versions, featuring a self-winding automatic movement that is remarkable for its carousel-based satellite wandering hours complication movement and super-legible hour and minutes display puts a massive amount of watch power at the watch wearer’s side, and at the very price at which it is offered by Urwerk, many are sure to dial the number of their most favored watch dealer to discuss this beauty from the Geneva, Switzerland based brand. No time wasters.

Technical specifications



Calibre: Selfwinding UR 8.01

Balance: Monometallic 


Frequency: 28,800v/h, 4Hz

Balance spring: Flat

Power: Single barrel 

Power reserve: 50 hours

Winding system:  Uni-directional rotor connected to a spinning vane

Finish:   Brushed, circular grained and diamond-cuts 



Satellite complication with rotating hours modules mounted on planetary gears



Flip-over case in Grade 5 titanium 

Dimensions: 60.23mm X 48.35mm X 20.02mm

Water resistance: 3 ATM



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