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Urwerk UR-210 Watch from Urwerk Watches Switzerland

Launching in July some years ago now, the self-winding automatic Urwerk UR-210 Watch series from Urwerk Watches of Switzerland, the brand headed by Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei, has carved out a special place among watches and the watch buying public over a number of years, not least because of its contemporary (often black) case design, unusual system for the display of the hours and minute by virtue of a single hour ‘hand’ used to point at a static minute track, and an ingenious “power efficiency indicator” for the level of energy usage of the movement.

While the July launch date wasn’t necessarily an important time, the Urwerk UR-210 nonetheless is and remains an important watch for Urwerk watches of Switzerland, with many details of its design, including the special display system for the hours and minutes using the 6 o’clock positioned single hour hand to point at the 120 degree curved minute track and innovative power reserve indicator for movement energy use have remained a constant over time, over the years of production and model iterations, innovations and limited editions instead focusing on updates to the case materials and colorways (including the use of rose/red gold, black PVD coated platinum (of the Urwerk UR-210 Black Platinum Edition men’s automatic self-winding watch), titanium, richly decorated versions (most notably the Urwerk UR-210 Full Metal Jacket (steel case/steel bracelet) “Amadeus” and Florian Gullert engraved Dubai Edition).

Regardless of whether or not July is an auspicious time to launch a new watch, or a new Urwerk watch, the Urwerk UR-210 watch, titanium case (black PVD coated or not), movement, power efficiency indicator for energy level and use and the single hour hand used to point at the time on the curved minute indicator track has proven to be an exceptionally popular recipe for the Geneva, Switzerland based brand led by Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner. So how then, do the different platinum, black PVD coated platinum, titanium, red gold, and engraved cases look, and what then, are the exact details of the power efficiency indicator fitted to demonstrate energy level and usage as fitted to the Urwerk UR-210 from Urwerk Watches Switzerland, and how specifically are the hours and minutes time indicators configured so that the movement, through the use of only a single hand that is really just a pointer, can provide a time display of both hours and minutes on a single curved minute track?

Even one of the most recent additions to the Urwerk UR-210 range of men’s automatic-winding automatic watches from Urwerk Watches Switzerland, the Urwerk UR-210 Black Platinum model, utilizes the same movement as earlier versions of the watch. Clearly, Urwerk is supremely confident in the underlying architecture and movement layout of the UR-210 to opt for a black PVD coated Platinum model – and quite some movement and dial layout it is. It could, of course, equally be said that Urwerk use of a black PVD coated Platinum case for the Urwerk UR-210 Black Platinum model is also in line with the long held tradition of the brand being content to cover up haute horlogerie finery beneath more design led componentry in the name of securing jaw-dropping aesthetics.

This is of course, less true on the Urwerk UR-210 series compared to other models from the brand, with much of the watch’s internal architecture visible enough through the sapphire crystal case front. The heart of the movement is the revolving satellite complication display offering a three dimensional retrograde, flyback minute hand. What would be called the hour hand in any other watch, but is actually one arm on the rotating satellite complication display and is perhaps best referred to as an hour indicator and minute hand, is arranged so that while continuing to indicate the relevant hour time, the hour satellite sweeps over the curved minute indicator track until reaching 60 minutes, at which point, the hour changes and the arm is seen to flyback and will come to rest at the point corresponding to 0 minutes. In addition to the beauty of the intriguing time display of hours and minutes by virtue of the revolving satellite complication display and three dimensional retrograde “flyback” minute hand, the dial face side of the watch, beneath the wondrously curved sapphire crystal case front, is also home to the “winding efficiency indicator”, the watch calculating how full of energy the watch is continuously compared to how much energy is being put into the automatic winding system.

Through the use of the indicator of winding efficiency, the wearer can not only see whether the UR-210 winding efficiency indicator is running as desired, as the energy efficiency indicator will point at “green” or “red” in terms of energy usage and efficiency and then make a choice. The wearer can either chose to become more or less active themselves, thereby inputting more or less energy into the automatic self-winding movement and the automatic winding rotor itself, or, having noted the indicator level for winding efficiency in hours, use the winding efficiency selector, a three position selector switch for winding efficiency showing either full, reduced or stop, which regulates the efficiency of the winding rate. The winding efficiency indicator is matched with a power reserve indicator on the opposite side of the dial face, the operation of which is, at least by Urwerk standards, relatively normal, displaying power reserve hours or stored energy in conventional fashion.

The Urwerk UR-210 is in many ways as close to a classic piece of traditional haute horlogerie as any Urwerk watch is likely to get, if that means the ostentatious display of movement rather than case complications, as for once, this time, with the UR-210, at least some of the movement complications that feature on all Urwerk watch are in fact more than partially visible. The incredibly distinctive hours and minutes display of time by virtue of a single hour and minute, three dimensional retrograde, flyback minute and hour ‘hand’ to both indicate the hour and point at the correct minute on the curved 120 degree minute track, combined not only with the excellence of the power efficiency indicator system for the automatic self-winding rotor system and power indicator that combine to show both energy level and usage, in a stunning range of case materials including black PVD coated platinum as well as the more ‘mundane’ titanium, differentiate the Urwerk UR-210 as watch that is as innovative as it is playful as it is serious. The Urwerk UR-210 exceptionally legible time display for both hours and minutes, wearable case size makes this watch a hugely attractive proposition. Perhaps in future Urwerk will release all their new watches in July. 

Technical specifications

- Material : Platinum and titanium with black DLC coating
- Dimensions :  Length 53.6mm // Width 43.8mm // Height 17.8mm 
- Glass Sapphire crystal 
- Water resistance 
- Pressure tested to 3ATM/30m 
- Calibre UR-7.10 
- Jewels : 51
- Escapement : Swiss lever 
- Balance wheel : Monometallic 
- Frequency 28,800v/h, 4Hz 
- Balance spring : Flat
- Power source : Single barrel
- Power reserve 39 hours
- Winding : Automatic winding dampened by turbines 
- Baseplate in ARCAP P40,
- 3D minutes hand in aluminium with brass counterweight
- Central cylindrical spring in steel
- Hours satellites in aluminium
- Central carrousel and screws in grade 5 titanium. 
- Sanded and circular-grained baseplate
- Satin finished and diamond-polished satellites
- Chamfered and polished screw heads. 
- Patented satellite complication showing wandering hours
- 3D minutes hand
- Power-reserve indicator
- Patented winding efficiency indicator.
- Hours, minutes and markers painted in Super-LumiNova® 
- Two-position winding and setting crown 
- Winding regulator on the back

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