Time is written, intangibles are transcribed, and the passing hours are given substance. This has been one of the “impossible missions” handed to the lords of time for thousands of years. They have used their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and even boldness to attest to the passing of days and hours, from the pyramids of Ur to the gnomons of China and lunar calendars etched in rock. Today, URWERK pays tribute to this near-heroic work with its new 100V Time and Culture collection, limited to only 20 pieces.
Introducing the first episode, which is based on SJX’s original concept…Time and Culture is the name of the new 100V line dedicated to the perceptions of time throughout history and across cultures. “This line is about history, cultures, our place under the stars, and the study and observations that have been carried out all across the world using the same sky over our heads as a source of information. It fascinates me to observe how these singular observations, made thousands of kilometers apart, have given birth to a common language, time,” says Martin Frei, co-founder of URWERK.
As a result, we’re being treated to a trip through space and time. And, in order to make such a journey a reality, the UR-100V, which combines minute and kilometer signals, proved to be the right vehicle.
Navigating Through History
The 100V Time and Culture line’s first stop transports us to the Central American countries in the year 1479. The themes of the “Sun Stone,” one of the most iconic pieces of Aztec art, are included on the pediment of this timepiece, which is now housed in Mexico City’s National Anthropology Museum. This monolith is a carved disc with a diameter of 3.6 metres. Imposing. Massive. The third circle represents the 20 days of the month, while the fourth represents the 260 days of the year, according to the Aztec calendar.
As a result, this design is reproduced on the UR-100V Time and Culture I’s copper-coloured dome. The end result is quite delicate. The engraving milling cutter features a point that is just 0.05 mm thick. To appreciate the work’s precision, it must be viewed with a magnifying glass. To accentuate the volumes and honour this priceless history, the motif’s ridgelines are satin-brushed, while the hollows are micro-sandblasted to provide a velvety texture.
The three elements of beauty, history, and mysticism are all linked. The international relevance of this new URWERK is further emphasised by the fact that the piece’s idea came from Singapore. Su Jia Xian, better known by his initials SJX, presented Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei with an idea three years ago: add an extra dimension to the UR-100 by closing the top like the first edition of the UR-103, creating something special that transcends space and time, literally and figuratively. As a result, the UR-100V Time and Culture I has established itself in Central America.
“This timepiece has several interpretative keys, starting with its obvious universal significance: it is inspired by Aztec culture; it was made in Switzerland, based on an idea from Singapore; it will end up in the windows of a retailer whose nationality is unknown, and it will appeal to an equally unknown watch lover,” says Felix Baumgartner, co-founder of URWERK. It does, however, conceal some secrets.
A new piece of information has been added to the hours and minutes display on this UR-100V from the Time and Culture line. After the 60th minute, the minutes hand vanishes and is replaced by a kilometre counter. It depicts the 524.89 kilometres that any person in Mexico travels every 20 minutes. This is the average rotational speed of the Earth calculated in Mexico City. The Earth’s revolution around the sun is depicted on the opposite side of the spectrum, at 35,742 kilometres per 20 minutes. Hours and kilometres consequently share the same status, the same scale of worth, on the UR-100V’s face. When reading the hours, these components are illuminated in incandescent blue.
They’ve strewn secret references across their work. A signature, an acronym, or a Mayan numbering system will be discernible to the keen eye. Are you ready to join this treasure hunt?
INR 55,41,051 approximately (excluding tax)