Throwback Thursday: Urwerk UR-103

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The original Urwerk UR-103, introduced in 2003.

The basic idea for the original UR-103 was to reinvent the way we tell time, and it kickstarted a whole new generation of wildly inventive, postmodern timepiece designs. Urwerk’s founders, master watchmaker Felix Baumgartner and artist-designer Martin Frei, presented their new invention for the first time at Baselworld 2003, where it created awe and scandal. There were no hands. It tracked the hours via four orbiting satellites, and minutes on a retrograde index, a far cry from the traditional heritage watches of the Jura. The first version had a cover over the satellite arms, but models that immediately followed had a crystal that showed off the intriguing mechanism. It went quickly from scandal to game-changer, influencing timepiece design for the next decade. Original Urwerk 103

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