When URWERK was first established by designer Martin Frei and watchmaker Felix Baumgartner in 1997, their goal was to defy conventional watchmaking and the URWERK UR-101 certainly caused a stir in the horology world. Inspired by a night clock by the Campanus brothers from 1652, the watch tells time using a revolving retrograde complication that references the sun setting.
As the brand has grown, URWERK has played with the satellite concept, evolving the models with different iterations while always keeping the DNA intact. The UR-210 maintains the original satellite cubed time display but comes in a different case-shaped design, which is more angular, and makes it stand out from the rest of the models. But here is where it gets technically interesting if not fanciful. The UR-210 adds a high-tech element similar to a Fitbit. The UR-210 (ALTiN) bonds with its owner in a special way for a personalized dialogue and communication—an idea never executed in a watch before.
The UR-210 series is individual to each person in measuring his or her activity level. Through a unique mechanism, the timepiece reveals the winding efficiency of the automatic movement over the last two hours on an efficiency indicator—a world first complication. The turbine that controls the level of winding can be adjusted on the rear panel of the watch. The UR-210 functions with a wandering hour and three-dimensional retrograde minute hand along with a power reserve indicator.
While the fun and technique are in the indications that individualize the watch to the owner, URWERK hasn’t neglected the finishing. The movement is circular grained and sandblasted with a circular and straight satin-finished plate and satin-finished and diamond-polished satellites. The screw heads are also beveled and polished.
In this iteration, the UR-210 comes with a stainless steel case with ALTiN coating. Just what is this coating and why is it a step up? First off, it’s not a single material but a structure combination of TiN and AlN bonding in a crystalline matrix used in aerospace. It resists erosion and abrasion and because it has uniform thickness can be used on parts with close tolerances with little dimensional impact. It’s important to note that the coating is environmentally safe, applied in a Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) vacuum system.
The UR-210 ALTiN remains true to URWERK’s design concepts and shows off the brand’s creativity. While the winding efficiency winding indicator is more fun than functional, it’s the ALTiN that gives the watch a sleek silver look and more durability and is the real highlight here.
Photo Credit: Haute Time. For more information, please visit the official URWERK website.