‘Here comes the sun” . Kind of takes you back to the era of the ‘Beatlemania’ now doesn’t it? The comparison here is quite relevant too. Be it ‘Rubber soul’ or ‘Revolver’, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Ringo often incorporated classical elements, traditional pop forms and unconventional recoding techniques to their music and in innovative ways. Much like the ever so unconventional methods of URWERK!
Today the brand has introduced a new sunny yellow addition to the UR-100 collection, the Electrum. A veritable treasure back in the day, this gold and silver alloy was much coveted among Ancient Greeks, Amerindian civilisations and Ancient Egyptians. While the first coins were minted from this metal, the noble, flamboyant, luminous material gradually fell into oblivion… while awaiting a much-deserved new lease on life.
In addition to the iconic satellite-type hours and minutes display, the UR-100 Electrum now provides some more information. Once the 60th minute has passed, the minutes hand vanishes and reappears as a kilometre counter illustrating the 555 kilometres travelled every 20 minutes by every inhabitant of the Earth. Quite something isn’t it? This in fact corresponds to the Earth’s average speed of rotation calculated at the Equator. The Earth’s revolution around the sun – corresponding to 35,740 kilometres per 20 minutes is displayed exactly opposite. On the face of the UR-100 Electrum, hours and kilometres thus share the same status, the same scale of value. These units are illuminated in incandescent green for the hours and in blazing white for the kilometres.
“This creation was inspired by a gift from my father, Geri Baumgartner, a renowned restorer of antique clocks. It is a clock made by Gustave Sandoz for the 1893 World’s Fair. Its distinctive feature is that instead of counting off the hours, it indicates the distance travelled by the Earth at the Equator”.
Felix Baumgartner, master watchmaker and co-founder of URWERK
Martin Frei, designer and co-founder of URWERK, fought hard to have this indication appear on the dials of the UR-100 “In my view, a watch is both a physical and abstract reproduction of our situation on Earth. It anchors us to a precise time and longitude, while at the same time testifying to the fleeting nature of that position.”
In addition to its sunny yellow colour, this 25-piece edition features a highly distinctive aesthetic. Martin Frei, co-founder of URWERK. “The case of the UR-100 Electrum is covered with grooves. Everyone can project their own universe into this design. I see the tiers of an ancient Greek theatre, the subtle pleats of an Iris van Herpen dress, a piece of raw earth hollowed out by the imprints of time, the Seigaiha motif of a traditional kimono… This creation is an invitation to embark on a temporal and sensory journey.”
The *circular graining, *sand and bead blasting, circular satin-finish, chamfered screw heads and Super-LumiNova®-painted hours and minutes markings add just the right amount of character to this bright wrist machine. The rhythm and rhyme of time are played out in the centre of this golden arena. Beating beneath the dome of the UR-100 is URWERK Calibre 12.01 with its three-satellite time display. The satellite indicating the exact time moves from 0 to 60 along the minutes track.
I’m not sure how often I will use the added information/function offered here, but with the UR-100 Electrum, URWERK has surely recreated the magic of ‘here comes the sun’ as the Beatles famously sang.
Price: CHF 62,000.00 (Swiss francs / tax not included)
- Circular graining: A circular finishing on high end calibres that is both an aesthetic and a utilitarian delight. Circular graining is a finishing that displays a pattern of concentric circular lines with the essential purpose being to capture dust particles that circulate within the movement.
- Sand & Bead blasting: Finishings that will give the surface texture of your watch a matte and somewhat rugged look.