On December 31st, 1995, Martin Frei organized a New Year party for students in a squat in Lucerne. He had invited his friend Christoph Draeger, who brought his cousin, Felix Baumgartner, a watchmaking apprentice. Shortly before midnight, the party was in full swing, with everyone dancing and shouting. However, Martin and Felix had found each other and were in a deep philosophical conversation about time and its perception.
The rest, as they say, is history. Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei presented their first watch during the Baselworld watch fair in 1997, and since then, the brand has created numerous timepieces that always challenge the way we read time. The brand now employs 16 people and produces 150 watches a year.
The name Urwerk is a play on the German word for clockwork “Uhrwerk.” The “Ur” comes from the ancient Sumerian city known for its large sundials, and the “werk” comes from the German word for “work” or “creation.”
Urwerk and the Opus 5
In 2004, Urwerk exhibited at Baselworld in the AHCI area, with just a display case and two chairs. Surrounded by round watches with two or more hands, Urwerk’s unusual case and movement stood out. On April 20th that year, at 1 pm, an employee from Harry Winston Timepieces decided to check out what the AHCI was showing that year. He was astounded by what he saw at the Urwerk booth. One hour later, the CEO of Harry Winston showed up. He was looking for a partner for his new Opus 5 project. Urwerk accepted the challenge and created the Opus 5 with Harry Winston.
The UR-110 was awarded the Best Design prize during the 2011 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. In 2014 Urwerk was awarded both the “Mechanical exception” and the “Innovation” award for the BLACK EMC.
Who owns Urwerk?
Urwerk is an independent watch brand owned by its founders, Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner.
In 2017, Robert Downey Jr personally requested the Urwerk UR-110 RG to wear in Spider-Man Homecoming. The watch came in the colors of his character Iron Man and was used as one of Ironman’s gadgets.
Housed in a unique shaped case and powered by UR 12.01 Self-winding mechanical movement regulated by Planetary Turbine Automatic System, the UR-100 features URWERK’s satellite display. Additional astronomical indications: distance traveled on earth and distance traveled by Earth are displayed.
The UR-105 models are part of the UR-Satellite collection, whose satellite indication has defined the brand’s identity since its launch. Each of the four satellites bears three numerals for the wandering hour indication.
A timepiece collection designed for the ladies with three satellite hours that wander across the dial. The UR-106 is available in all black with black diamonds or all white with white diamonds.
None of the indications of the UR-111C are conventional in either traditional or Urwerk terms. The roller on the case is the acting crown, which is a first in watchmaking, as are the running seconds indication, all housed in a high-tech case that we have come to expect from Urwerk.
The UR-220 features the patented revolving satellite complication with wandering hour and three-dimensional retrograde minute hand and marks the return of the Oil Change Indicator. The UR-7.20 manual in-house caliber is housed in a carbon case with a titanium caseback.
The modern UR-CC1 timepieces pay tribute to the original work of Louis Cottier and Gilbert Albert when they came together to make the world’s first watch with a linear time display. The case is available in either white gold with a titanium case back or black gold with a titanium case back, each limited to 25 pieces.
Based on the first Electro-Mechanical Control (EMC) watch which was awarded the GPHG award twice. This new hybrid mechanical/electronic version allows you to adjust the watch’s precision as well as the amplitude. of the balance.