The URWERK UR-CC1 is the world’s first production wristwatch with true retrograde linear displays. Code named as King Cobra and ‘CC’ for Cottier Cobra, this novelty is a homage to the genius of Louis Cottier, inventor and creator who invented the world’s first watch to feature a linear display in 1958-59.

There are very few wristwatches with linear indications. One of them, was ‘The Cobra’, which was developed in the late 1950s by Mr. Louis Cottier. Unfortunately, it only exists as a single prototype and was never put into production. Now, 50 years after he filed his patent (1959), URWERK pays homage to the work of Louis Cottier by creating its own interpretation of the Cobra.

On the UR-CC1, there are two horizontal indications displayed by two retrograde cylinders: one for the (jumping) hours, the other for the minutes. The UR-CC1 is the result of more than three years of research, development, production and testing to ensure that the rotation and instant fly-back of the large hour and minute cylinders was achieved without compromising accurate timekeeping.

A vertical triple-cam operating a toothed rack (visible through a window in the side of the case) rotates the minute cylinder. From zero to 60 minutes, the minute cylinder rotates through 300°. On arriving at the 60-minute mark the cylinder instantly (1/10th of a second) reverses back to its original position thanks to an extra-flat linear spring. The retrograde movement of the minute cylinder triggers the hour cylinder to advance (jump) one complete hour.

The triple-cam is crafted from bronze beryllium, a metal selected for its inherently self-lubricating properties and low co-efficient of friction, and takes the form of three small inclines. The precise shape of the curve of the incline is relayed to the pivoting rack, while the teeth on the end of the rack mesh with and rotate the minute cylinder. The triple-cam makes a complete rotation in three hours so that each of the three inclines takes 60 minutes, and 180 points of reference have been calculated on each of the three cams to ensure the precise and isochronic rotation of the minute cylinder.

The toothed segment at the end of the cam transmits and transforms the rotation triple-cam into the rotation of the minute cylinder. The toothed rack presents two properties that at first appear contradictory: absolute rigidity, so as to accurately transmit the motion of the cam to the minute cylinder; and extremely low mass to consume as little energy as possible and minimise the effects of gravity and accelerations/shocks. This vital component has been fabricated by Mimotec using their photolithography process. The honeycomb pattern of the structure resolves the two apparently contradictory requirements of maximum strength and minimum weight.

The dial of the UR-CC1 is animated by a rotating disk displaying the seconds both digitally and linearly – a world first.  This incredible exploit was achieved thanks to Mimotec’s photolithography production technique; the procedure is even more precise than electro-erosion. To reduce mass to an absolute minimum, the minuscule numerals were even skeletonised. A small tab at 10 seconds bearing the URWERK logo precisely counterbalances the disk’s single-digit numbers. This marvel of micro precision weighs only 0.09 grams.

UR-CC1 features URWERK’s pneumatic shock-absorbing Rotor Fly Brake automatic winding system, which minimizes rotor and mechanism wear and damage from shock and harsh movements. The operation of the Rotor Fly Brake is visible through a window on the side of the case.

Technical Specifications

Model: UR-CC1

  • Case: available in either grey gold with titanium case back (limited edition of 25 pieces) or black gold with titanium case back (limited edition of 25 pieces); brushed-satin finish
  • Movement: calibre UR-CC1; automatic winding regulated by “fly brake turbine” pneumatic shock absorber
  • Indications: linear display for hours and minutes with jumping hours and retrograde minutes ; second display both digital and linear
  • Dimensions: 42.6mm x 53mm x 18mm
  • Dial and Bridges: ARCAP P40. SuperLumiNova treatment on hours, minutes displays


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.