In September this year, independent luxury Swiss watch brand URWERK unveiled its new collection UR-220 with code name Falcon Project. The initial version in carbon has now been joined by a new model — the UR-220 All Black.
The UR-220 All Black version is made of titanium and steel. The carbon UR-220 is the first URWERK model in this material and was unveiled last September. Its case is built up in 81 layers of carbon. The main difference between them lies in their weight. The carbon watch, on an avant-garde rubber strap, weighs 25% less than the All Black version, which has a more traditional leather strap. Both watches are built with the same care and attention to detail expected of URWERK’s watchmaking.
The UR-220 collection brings back URWERK’s innovative oil change indicator. After an absence of some years, this complication returns to tell you for how long the movement has been running and when it is time to lubricate and service the machinery. Originally in the UR-110 models, the oil change indicator has undergone significant improvements.
In the UR-220 the number of months the movement has been running is shown on two side-by-side rollers. The wearer of the watch starts the count by removing a locking pin and pressing the button on the back of the watch. When the rollers show that the movement has been running for 39 months, it’s time to have the watch serviced. URWERK’s technicians will reset the counter to zero and replace the locking pin.
The UR-220 adopts its predecessor’s satellite wandering hours, patented by URWERK. The hours are grouped in fours on three rotating cubes at the end of the carousel arms. In turn they pick up a hollow minutes pointer and carry it across the 120° arc of the minutes scale. At the 60th minute, the pointer flashes back to zero, to be picked up by the next hour. To reduce inertia and increase the speed, the surfaces of the minutes pointer have been pierced. This must be the most sophisticated retrograde minutes indication in any watch.
The lightning-fast fly back of the retrograde minutes depends on three engineering achievements:
– The central axis keeps the mechanism stable. Running on ruby bearings, it is the rock on which the complication is built. A cylindrical spring, rather like a traditional chronometer hairspring, accumulates the energy needed to power the fly-back.
– The unusual minutes pointer, which forms the cowling for the hours satellites, is precision engineered to tolerances of a hundredth of a millimetre. With a length of 22.29mm, 8.03mm wide and 7.3mm deep, it weighs just 0.302 grams. Built of aluminium, its bronze counterweight ensures it is perfectly balanced.
– Two coaxial star cams govern the retrograde action. Its coupling and rotation determine the trajectory of the minutes pointer.
The other information on the dial is the two-stage power-reserve indicator. The time left for the movement to run is shown on two 24-hour gauges. As you wind the watch, the right hand gauge fills up. When it reaches its maximum, the gauge on the left takes over. The mechanism for these two power reserves is extremely intricate, requiring 83 mechanical components.
For UR-220, Martin Frei has designed a new typography, making the hours and minutes even sharper. They find their inspiration in the graphics of contemporary video science-fiction games.
Model: URWERK UR-220 “Falcon Project” All Black edition
Limited to 25 watches
Calibre UR-7.20, developed by URWERK
Winding: Manually wound
Escapement: Swiss lever
Frequency: 28, 800 v/h – 4 Hz
Energy source : Single mainspring barrel
Power reserve: 48 hours
Materials: Baseplate in ARCAP P40, 3D minutes pointer in aluminium with bronze counterweight; central spring in steel. Hours satellites in aluminium; carrousel and screws in grade 5 titanium.
Power reserve bridge and module circular-grained in black
Power reserve subdial shot peened in black
Vertically brushed satellites with polished bevels
Carrousel and its cage finely sanded with a circular satin finish. Rhodium plated in black
Satellite cam finely sanded with a circular satin finish
Painted SuperLuminova markers: white glowing blue for the power-reserve indicator; yellow glowing green for the hours and minutes; red glowing blue for the 60 minutes marker and the end of the power reserve scale
Wandering hours on a satellite complication (URWERK patent)
3D retrograde minutes hand
Double power-reserve indicator
Oil change indicator on two rollers on the back showing the accumulated running time of the movement in months
Material: Steel and titanium with black DLC.
Dimensions: Width: 43.8mm; length: 53.6mm; depth: 14.8mm
Glass: Clear sapphire crystal
Caseback: Black DLC on titanium and sapphire crystal glass.
Water resistance: Pressure tested to 30m/3 ATM
Black DLC on shot-peened and sanded crown
Matt sanded logo
Black DLC on sanded crown guard
Caseband in black DLC on stainless steel
Back: black DLC on sanded caseback
Pin: satin finished body with sanded engraving, polished hand
Tinted sapphire crystal
Leather with a titanium buckle
CHF 130,000 (Swiss francs /excl. tax)