On December 10, 2022, URWERK will present the Swiss Institute of New York with a one-of-a-kind work of art the first in its UR-102 “reloaded” series—in honor of the city’s burgeoning art scene.
“It represents the starting point for URWERK. The one that kicked it all off. It is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, just as URWERK itself is toasting its quarter-century of existence”, said Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei. It stems from their very first collaboration, the UR-102 – definitely one of the models that trigger the most nostalgia and cravings among URWERK collectors. “It was a watch reserved for our first circle, our friends, our family members. Those who were the first ones to believe in us, so it is a highly emotional piece.”
The motivation behind this project is crystal clear. Martin Frei, chief designer and co-founder of URWERK expresses it best: “After graduating from the University of Arts and Applied Sciences in Lucerne, I started my creative journey in New York. With a few friends, we created the U.S.A. association (United Swiss Artists), an anchor point far from home, a point of fall or rather of support in difficult times. It is the same philosophy that I find in the approach of the Swiss Institute. Our involvement in this project was therefore self-evident.”
Phillips is organizing an auction for the number one reloaded UR-102. Together with American contemporary artist Cooper Jacoby, URWERK has released a limited edition of the UR-102 “reloaded,” a reimagining of one of the company’s most recognizable and influential designs. Jacoby is a rising creative who highlights the practicality of the structures that control our daily lives. The artist’s electrifying sculptures are the result of novel treatments of materials like nickel, copper, rubber, and silicon, bringing to light what is usually overlooked.
Jacoby returns to the concept of finishing school here. This original “reloaded” UR-102 shows the time in both analog and digital form via a “wandering hour.” Jacoby has used thermochromic pigments on the dial of this one-of-a-kind timepiece to represent the body’s temperature regulation system.
As a result, the UR-102’s dial undergoes a metamorphosis through an unlimited spectrum of color tones, interacting with and adapting to temperature changes. A UR-102 that has been ‘reloaded,’ or modified, is in a constant state of change. Constantly evolving, the work of Jacoby and URWERK combines the methodical accuracy of chronometry with the balance of human biology.