urwerk - Urwerk UR-105 CT
urwerk - Urwerk UR-105 CT

Urwerk UR-105 CT


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URWERK in a New York State of mind.

Urwerk UR-105 CT Watch

The Urwerk UR-105 CT Watch from Urwerk watches is a watch that stems directly from the history and imagination of brand co-founders Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner. The watch, or rather, series of Urwerk UR-105 watches that have been produced by Frei, Baumgartner and Urwerk watches is both testament to the time the pair spent in New York City (NYC) while in their formative years, and the city’s art deco architecture and ambiance that would provide such strong Art Deco influences to their work, this piece included, but also something much more contemporary and forward-looking. Aside from the fact that it has an  automatic movement, the original Urwerk UR-105 CT  has spawned a series of related but remarkably different Urwerk UR-105 CT  designs, including the Streamliner, which allowed them to further develop their art with the model, Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner matching the automatic winding movement with case materials as diverse as titanium that has been mirror polished and similarly mirror-polished steel, the use of black PVD coated steel, variations on hours and seconds display and the hours form itself, the use of turbines and the even kryptonite moniker. The story of the Urwerk UR-105 CT from Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner takes in not only New York and its famous landmarks of Brooklyn, and the Comcast, Chrysler and Empire State building, but modern cultural icons such as Gotham City before crossing the Atlantic to Lucerne and Geneva in Switzerland, and the established names of contemporary Haute Horlogerie watchmaking including Richemont, Hermes, H. Moser and Greubel Forsey.

The story of the Urwerk UR-105 CT from Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei began with the Urwerk UR-105 CT Iron Knight and Urwerk UR-105 CT Dark Knight models, which if nothing else, established the basic framework for the Urwerk UR-105 CT design. Time would be indicated by virtue of orbiting and rotating satellites, with a wandering hour indication provided by a wandering hour complication. As with other Urwerk pieces, the Urwerk UR-105 CT utilizes the Swiss brand’s fabled automatic winding system complete with two pneumatic turbines in the case back which can control the self-winding rate via a lever.

Updates to the original Urwerk UR-105 specification have included a fully open carousel which itself carries the satellites, and the upgrade to a digital second to the left of the time display, with power reserve on the right side. The analog-digital display and the digital display of time are thus made of three numerals for hours, minutes and the digital seconds down to tenths of seconds, with the carousel, which carries the satellites successively offering sweep minutes on the scale which mixes an analog scale and analog-digital to display time. The case back is very nearly as interesting as the case front and ‘dial’ of the Urwerk UR-105 CT, to the extent that it has one, dominated as the case back is with the twin pneumatic turbines for automatic self-winding adjustment and its setting lever. When the adjustment lever is moved to the stop position, it is then possible to disengage the two pneumatic turbines that offer self-winding automatic movement adjustment and wind up the Urwerk UR-105 CT usually the conventional crown placed in the 12 o’clock position high on the watch case.

Variations on the Urwerk UR-105 CT from Urwerk Watches and the minds of Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei, while maintaining the automatic self-winding movement and twin turbine winding regulation technology, hours and seconds display and wandering hour format, have taken the watch, and particularly the case, through a range of art inspired developments. Thus the Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei Urwerk UR-105 has seen a case color art design change and color change from the predominantly silver tones of mirror-polished steel and mirror polished titanium for the Art Deco Skyscraper reminiscent vertical lined ‘targa’ sapphire dial cover, to variants in a darker vein, in titanium with black PVD coating and neon yellow accents, to the Urwerk Watches Switzerland Urwerk UR-105 black Kryptonite model and its dazzling glow in the dark intense green colored light of the luminescent hour and other markers for the wandering hours complication. The Kryptonite continues the black theme with a black fiber themed strap and matching black subcomponents.

The “Targa” look for the Urwerk UR-105 from Urwerk Watches, first seen on the Urwerk UR-105 Streamliner, offers the wearer of this incredible watch not just the visibility of the hours, minutes and seconds indications being generated by the automatic twin pneumatic turbine movement, but when the Targa top is raised, a complete picture of the skeleton look openwork automatic self-winding movement beneath the sapphire crystal below.

The twin turbines used as the regulatory mechanism for the automatic self-winding mechanism of the movement are not visible from the dial side of the case but are given pride of place on the case back, the two turbines placed towards 11 and 2 o’clock, above the automatic movement’s self-winding mechanism locking lever. In contrast to the mirror-polished steel or mirror-polished titanium of the Streamliner and earlier models, introducing a “hunter case” that while maintaining the art deco inspired skyscraper lines to the case top of the Streamliner, reproduces this in titanium with black PVD coating, ostensibly to conjure up the mood of Gotham City. The case coating of the UrwerkUR-105 Kryptonite is, in fact, an extremely deep black AlTiN coating, which when matched with the black fabric strap and stealth hours and seconds display produced by the wandering hours complication which is only partially visible when the “hunter” case cover is closed, give the watch from Urwerk a menacing tone.

All of this darkness could not be a greater contrast at night, when the intense green light of the hour markers and minute track, and the more subtle blue glow of the seconds and power reserve indicator is visible within a radius that some miles. There are very real watchmaking art and watchmaking artistry on display here. Nonetheless, there is a special edition of the Urwerk UR-105 which takes art and watchmaking art to a completely different level, in the form of collaborations with Florian Gellert and the Urwerk Watches Urwerk X Revolution UR-105 Bronze Samurai by Johnny “King Nerd” Dowell to name just two.

The Urwerk 105 series of watches from Urwerk watches, with models such as the Streamliner and Urwerk UR-105 Kryptonite, demonstrate that it is perfectly possible to mix radical technical innovation, Haute Horlogerie complication while playing with cultural motifs and cutting edge sci-fi-like tech, taking the men's automatic self-winding movement, not least down to the twin turbines system of regulation, black case design and ingenious displays for hours, minutes and seconds through the use of the wandering hour complication, to places where few have gone before. But then again, with the power of kryptonite at your disposal, you can take the art of the automatic self-winding movement wherever you like.


Technical specifications

Caliber: UR 5.03 with the self-winding system governed by twin turbines 
Jewels: 52
Frequency: 28,800v/h - 4Hz
Power reserve: 48 hours
Materials: Satellite hours turning on Geneva crosses in beryllium bronze; openwork aluminum carousel; openwork digital seconds; carousel and triple baseplates in ARCAP
Circular graining, sanding, brushing
Chamfered screw heads
Hours and minutes painted in SuperLuminova
Indications Wandering hours; minutes, digital seconds, Power reserve 
Materials: UR-105 CT in titanium and mirror-polished steel
Dimensions: Width 39.5mm; length: 53mm; thickness: 17.3mm
Glass: Sapphire crystal
Water resistance: Pressure tested to 3ATM (30m) 

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