Case in Point

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 22nd, 2022-12:40

Do the cases on Urwerk get overlooked?  I hear so much praise in certain parts of our watch world for cases made by so and so case maker or manufacture.  Or that such and such case maker is now making cases for brand X and how this is such a significant change for the brand (making it now even more attractive, more important).

But I look at this watch and note that there is more detail on this 105 case than any other watch I own, and perhaps more than any other watch I’ve handled.  Now, perhaps it’s not as refined as some of those other cases, but it’s infinitely more detailed.

What am I missing here? Or am I missing anything?  Does Urwerk merit more acknowledgment of what it has done for the last 20+ years and what it still does in terms of case design and manufacture?

Any thoughts? 

The case designs of Urwerk are my favorite part of their offerings

 By: Cozmopak : September 22nd, 2022-14:54
My 202 in black platinum is the strangest watch I own but the case finishing and complexity of design is executed at the very highest level.

This is so cool I even started googling black platinum but with sparse results. Is the black platinum a surface coating over platinum or an actual black alloy?

 By: Fastwong : September 22nd, 2022-15:53

A very high quality coating

 By: Cozmopak : September 22nd, 2022-16:02
They may be the only ones who have ever done this. The way the case reflects the light is mesmerizing

It’s an unusual one, platinum in disguise. Very Urwerk.

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 23rd, 2022-02:39

I love this 105

 By: whatmakesmetick (andrea) : September 22nd, 2022-14:55
It's one of the most beautiful watches the brand offers... The case is fantastic, it feels nuanced and modern

Yes Andrea.

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 23rd, 2022-02:41
It was the nuanced aspect I was getting at. There’s a lot of detail in this case, and I don’t know if people give that the credit it may deserve.
And then there’s the design. As Patrick mentions below that is probably just too polarizing to get the true objective credit it deserves.

Let them speak... I don't see anything to say against this case. Ok, it is a matter of taste and it cannot be everyone's taste, but what the hell...

 By: amanico : September 22nd, 2022-15:40

It’s not to be negative against others, it’s rather a question of whether these cases are overlooked.

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 23rd, 2022-02:43
It’s likely they are in large part because as you say the design is not everyone’s taste. It’s easier to gush over a classic case shape, with classic lugs etc.

Yes, true. Which is an asset, here.

 By: amanico : September 23rd, 2022-05:37

There case designs are not for everyone but I really like them .

 By: Watchonthewrist : September 22nd, 2022-15:53

There a futuristic and quirky sometimes but thats why i like them so much

For sure they are, maybe the “futuristic and quirky” overshadows the work sometimes though.

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 23rd, 2022-02:44
Not to those who have bought into the brand, but for the general watch world.

What a cool "hooded" case...

 By: patrick_y : September 22nd, 2022-16:13
The main reason why Urwerk is so overlooked is because it's an extremely polarizing brand.  Very few people know of it.  And the ones who've seen it either get no reaction (they say, "it's nice, but might not be for me") or they get a huge reaction and really lust after one.  The example on your wrist is my favorite Urwerk.  And I lust after one like a drooling rabid dog.  The extremely complex case on this is definitely a sight to behold.  Other cases that are extremely unusual include the Patek Philippe 5135 and even the less expensive JLC Reverso.  My father used to be involved in computer chip "packaging" (analogous to casing) and I always downplayed the importance of the "packaging" after all, I thought it was just a plastic shell.  But, it turns out, it's much more complex than that...  You've got to get all the wires and the pins out, you need to maintain the right heat levels within the chip, and there's so much to consider in the manufacturing of the packaging as it determines how the rest of the chip is manufactured (the two are obviously heavily integrated).  Cases in general are definitely underappreciated.  This "hooded" Urwerk is especially!

I agree with Patrick.

 By: jp884 : September 22nd, 2022-16:39
Urwerk is one of those brands you either hate or love not a lot of in between. I personally fall into the latter group. I think they are innovative and unique and carry an heir of you are only limited by your imagination. Sort of the things we grew up believing in as children. MB&F is another brand that comes to mind that sparks similar feelings.


 By: Cozmopak : September 22nd, 2022-18:13
They borne of childish imagination, in the best possible way.

Definitely very unusual and individualistic timepieces!

 By: patrick_y : September 22nd, 2022-22:42
Honestly, even the Patek Philippe Nautilus was a polarizing watch when it came out. It wasn't universally liked. But back then, people bought what they liked, and they weren't influenced by social media. Today, everyone likes the Patek PHilippe Nautilus because it's one of the hottest watches on social media after the Rolex and around the same level as the AP Royal Oak. But your Urwerk and MB&F is definitely a more sophisticated person's choice! Polarizing choice too - they're not universally liked pieces due to their unusual layout and size. And is simply not as popular as a Rolex, an AP, or a Patek Philippe.

Yours also, just look at that case and crystal.

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 23rd, 2022-02:48
The same for the Frog. I think we are not understanding enough or appreciating enough these cases.

Case design is very much overlooked

 By: Cozmopak : September 22nd, 2022-19:36
Especially among the modern day independent watchmakers. Too much emphasis on movement finishing these days, in my opinion.

Hmm! You bring up a good point!

 By: patrick_y : September 22nd, 2022-22:46
I'm one of those people who've been focused on movement finishing ever since I liked watches. I remember looking at the movement of a JLC as a teenager and saying to myself - I really like the Reverso's art deco style, but I wished those bridges were polished on the beveled edge. For a moment, I really conisdered a Patek Philippe 5124J or 5124G salmon dial model. But in the end I got a sportier model. I didn't get that JLC Reverso I wanted until nearly 10 years after I bought my Patek Philippe. Today, I'm more forgiving on movement finishing and I focus more buying something that's truly special and handmade. Something that oozes quality.

Movement finishing is one (small) component I look at

 By: Cozmopak : September 23rd, 2022-01:50
Although I own all of the Loupe Systems from when such things were more important to me haha

It was definitely very important to me and it’s still important.

 By: patrick_y : September 23rd, 2022-17:27
But perhaps not as important as before. Now. I want to meet with artists. Discovering artists with a truly special product that is inimitable is my latest mission objective. Why own something mass produced when you can own something that’s a one off.

Yes. I will be pretty blunt about this…

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 23rd, 2022-02:53
…never mattered to me, I don’t see the point of it beyond a certain level as most of the time it’s not something I can see (the watch is on my wrist). However, if one has something like the AK-06 or a Logicial One or Micro Rotor from Gauthier and watches of this type then I see the value in the finishing as I get to see that all the time and it’s a large part of the overall package. But if it’s just some bridges or inward angles on the movement side, it’s not really the thing which drives my interest.


 By: Cozmopak : September 23rd, 2022-04:14
Every watch needs to be evaluated individually. Gauthier’s finishing is definitely a larger part of the package than for other watches. But Gauthier shines also in movement architecture and case design. He’s one of the more talented case designers out there in my opinion, albeit classical in style.

This! When it’s the case that has direct contact with the wrist..

 By: Echi : September 23rd, 2022-06:17
And determines whether or not it stays there for a period of time. That and the bracelet. Although i’m digressing here as i am talking now more about case design from a comfort pov rather than aesthetics. For example, how many times have we read comments about the beautiful datograph movt only to be negated by wearability issues. Kinda like not paying enough attention to the tires of cars when it’s what’s keeping you from flying off the road smile

Case design is just as important and goes beyond bevels and lugs.

As for the Urwerk, really polarizing as i am not a fan of non-hand type displays but will make an exception for this and the AP star wheel. For me, the Urwerk is about the case as it is about how it displays the time. I’m a fan. Very alien-esque smile

Cases are under appreciated.

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 23rd, 2022-02:47
That’s a good point, and I couldn’t agree more. But I do think that the reason this may be true is because they all look very similar. It takes an outlier, like we have here, to get one thinking about cases and the work that goes into them.
Your next trip, you need to do some case manufacture investigations.


 By: patrick_y : September 23rd, 2022-18:54
So many different case manufacturers! And brands should talk more about their cases too - they seem to focus too much on just the movement.

I love them!

 By: KCLQMULKU : September 22nd, 2022-20:27


 By: Jay (Eire) : September 23rd, 2022-02:53

You actually confirmed my thoughts on this brand…

 By: Kniazukay : September 23rd, 2022-05:30
How? When we met in NYC several years ago (concerning a certain Lange 😉) and you wore this and let me hold it.  Not only was it infinitely detailed but it felt like a tank in my hand as if it were bullet proof!  So hefty and substantial.  The unique looks/design was one thing, but the build quality and feel brought it to a whole different level for me.

It’s one that needs to be seen and held, several times maybe.

 By: Jay (Eire) : September 24th, 2022-01:26
I think I told you but it was maybe 6 or 7 years between me being Urwerk curious and actually pulling the trigger.  I was waiting for the one that felt right on my wrist, being a little conscious of the size and unusual case and design I wanted to be double sure I was making the right decision.  So many Urwerk sat on my wrist over those years, and then the 105 I think I tried it on three separate times over a month or so before being sure. 

And while that Lange would obviously have been great, and of course who was know the prices would go the way they did, the Urwerk would look so at home on your wrist too.

I hope all is good, work is good, family etc. 
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