Urwerk's Special Project UR-111C in the metal.

Sep 12, 2018,18:14 PM

I was very fortunate to get to meet Felix Baumgartner, co-founder and master watchmaker of Urwerk, together with Urwerk's US based representative Phil Ogle earlier this week to see Urwerk's most recent Special Project the UR-111C.

They had the two variations of the new watch on hand, one in a gunmetal finish (most of the pictures below) and another with a polished steel finish.

As one might expect the 111C is a conversation starter.  While it wears reasonably well, my wrists are small, the combination of the in usual case design and unorthodox time display ensure it doesn't go unnoticed.

The case itself is three pieces, as you look down from top it's basically a large central piece and two pieces on each side.  The case back then is solid, the movement is inserted from the side (tricky).

It also has no crown.  Instead you wind the watch using the long cylinder you see in the center top of the case.  This also controls the time setting but to switch from wind to time setting you first pull out the little lever which is positioned on the right hand side of the case.  

And the time? Jumping hours, a linear retrograde minute display, a digital minute display and digital seconds.  The retrograde minute display provides only a general sense of time in 5 minute intervals, to see the precise minute one needs to look at the digital seconds. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but the idea as I understood it was to give the wearer a general sense of where the minutes were at a quick glance, and that it achieves.  

It's the digital seconds display that may be the little star of the show when it comes to the time display.  There are two rotating discs buried deep within the movement, one showing 0,10,20 etc the other 5,15,25 etc.  They come together in the center and with the use of optical fibers (which Felix referred to as an image conduit) the display of running seconds is essentially projected from the depths of the movement to the surface.  While there's no magnification occurring this is (to my uneducated non scientific mind) the cyclops of the future! 

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I prefer the Urwerk orbital time display to this new concept.

 By: M4 : September 12th, 2018-18:51
Thanks for the report and pics. M4

Wow! Congrats!

 By: patrick_y : September 12th, 2018-19:01
Very lucky of you to be able to see this tremendous piece! Congrats!

Wild and cool!

 By: MichaelC : September 12th, 2018-19:40
I like this sort of craziness.

LOL. [nt]

 By: Pretty Boy : September 13th, 2018-00:41

An acquired taste!

 By: sham1 : September 12th, 2018-20:45
All very clever but a niche watch if I may politely say so. Thank you for the informative review.

A very unique and cool watch imho .

 By: Watchonthewrist : September 12th, 2018-22:51
Looking forward to see it in person and try it on the wrist . Thanks for the report .

This watch is dynamite!

 By: Esper : September 12th, 2018-22:55

Super comfortable.

 By: Esper : September 21st, 2018-19:04
The case back actually curves on the wrist.

As crazy as the watch looks, the execution feels mature

 By: kykw : September 13th, 2018-01:45
Urwerk also deserves a lot of credit for continuing to innovate and improve. AMC earlier in the year, and now we've got the second generation of the cobra. Am really looking forward to seeing this in metal next week. Ken

Yes Ken. Always moving forward is something very admirable.

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 13th, 2018-04:17
I think people sometimes see the evolution of the 103 to 105 to 105CT and think nothing new is going on there but with this, the original Cobra, the AMC as you mentioned it's clear there's a lot going on. Felix mentioned that their aim is to have one new ... 

As a proud URWERK owner I applaud their continued innovation

 By: NickO : September 13th, 2018-10:20
But this one is just hard to read the exact time on. One of the things I always loved about URWERK was their innovation around mechanics but it was always easy to read the time on their watches. They never lost the essence of function in their creations. ... 

Nick, very valid point. The linear minutes as I mentioned is not an exact time indicator but it is what you see easiest and quickest.

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 13th, 2018-17:12
Felix said something to the effect of we just wanted that display to give you a sense of the time on a very quick glance. And I think it will do that. Would need to handle it again to really determine if one can easily see the jump hour and the linear min... 

Certainly a fine technical achievement. IM$O it should not be a chore...

 By: Ronald Held : September 13th, 2018-12:37
To read the time. Prefer the other Urwerk watches

Thanks again for posting. [nt]

 By: doubleup : September 14th, 2018-11:57