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Introducing: The URWERK EMC Pistol

by Chester Lau on November 19, 2015

URWERK releases a 5 piece limited edition of their EMC, christened the EMC Pistol. While otherwise the same as the earlier EMCs, this model represents an unprecedented collaboration between gun engraving and watchmaking. URWERK’s Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner partners with firearms engraver Florian Güllert for this project. Click here for more information on the EMC, which we had previously reviewed when it was first released.

The new EMC Pistol, with case engraving by firearms engraver, Florian Güllert.

The new EMC Pistol, with case engraving by firearms engraver, Florian Güllert.

URWERK- Tradition with a twist

URWERK’s EMC was a major hit when it was first released, and still remains so. That is because it successfully entwined modern concepts with traditional watchmaking; something few could have envisioned. It managed to put an electronic hand cranked generator and optical sensor linked to the balance and created a complication unheard of. Some can even purport that URWERK had created a new genre in Horology- the Interactive watch. Users of the EMC can now test the accuracy of the watch with this built in sensor and self regulate. The concept of the watch was ground-breaking, and the execution a monumental success for URWERK.

Satin finished at the top, with engraving at the bottom of the titanium and steel case.

Satin finished at the top, with engraving at the bottom of the titanium and steel case.

Similarly this project for the EMC Pistol brings about a matrimony between traditional craft and modern aesthetics. Tradition with a Twist. For this project, famed firearms engraver, Florian Güllert takes centre stage with his masterful engraving on each of the 5 limited edition models.

On how he envisaged the EMC Pistol, “I had to find a pattern that contrasted with the very mechanical and technical aspects of the object. I was looking for scrolls and arabesques that would break up the rectilinear architecture of the EMC. It was a rather unusual job for me, because the surface that you can decorate on a watch is restricted. You have to get it right and find a pattern that can be appreciated with an unaided eye.”

“…the method doesn’t change,” he concludes. “The actions of my hands are the same as those of all engravers throughout the ages. This is what we have in common with fine watchmaking: tradition is at the centre of our craft.”

06_EMC_Martin_drawing

Artistic director of URWERK, Martin Frei

11_EMC_Pistol_FelixAtTheBench2

Felix Baumgartner, URWERK’s founder and watchmaker, the man behind the EMC’s incredible movement.

Exquisite hand engraving by Florian Güllert

Exquisite hand engraving by Florian Güllert

URWERK- A Display of Contrasting Styles

The EMC Pistol’s unique design, is as Martin Frei describes, a display of contrasting styles. The minimalist design of the top part of the case dissolves into raised engravings. The smooth and satin-finished surfaces of the upper part highlight the decorative work of the lower section. “This abrupt change in style illustrates our intentions: we wanted an object that was both solid and fluid. Our EMC, which looks uncluttered, gains new strength from this almost baroque decoration. The engraving is similar to that on collectors’ firearms. It is sparing, it doesn’t dominate, yet it provides the final touch that creates surprise — the wow effect.”

09_EMC_PISTOL

The EMC Pistol’s specially crafted hornback strap by the Portalès leather company

URWERK- The Sense of Perfection

Felix Baumgartner, the watchmaker who made the URWERK EMC a reality. “One of the real joys of watchmaking is to enhance the material one works with.” He adds, “I started my apprenticeship at my father’s workbench where I stripped the dials and and wheels of old clocks. It was an endless task, but it made me proud. My father had an eagle eye that detected the smallest part that wasn’t up to standard. He gave me a sense of perfection.”

10_EMC_Pistol_onFelixBench

Nothing is left to chance on the EMC Pistol. From the case to the strap, perfection is the standard demanded. That is why URWERK teams up with yet another master craftsman in his field, Portalès leather company, presided over by its owner, Joséphine Morf, and Sylviane, her nimble-fingered worker. The leather company is found hidden in an attic amongst the little workshops of the Place Simon-Goulart, in Geneva’s old watchmaking district of Saint Gervais. The unconventional seamless hornback strap is entirely handmade by Sylviane. And talking about product satisfaction, “We have made five unique straps, which in my view are among the finest created by our company.”

Case
Material: Titanium and steel
Dimensions: Width 43mm; length: 51mm; depth: 15.8mm
Glass: Sapphire crystal
Water resistance: Pressure tested to 30m / 3ATM
Decoration: Engraving by Florian Güllert
Strap: Nile crocodile
Movement
Calibre: Calibre UR-EMC; movement made by URWERK
Escapement: Swiss lever
Balance: ARCAP P40; linear balance with an optical sensor
Frequency: 28,800v/h – 4Hz
Balance spring: Flat
Energy supply: Two barrels in series
Power reserve: 80 hours
Winding: Manually wound
Finish: Geneva stripes; snailing; shot-blasting; brushing; chamfered screw heads
Artificial intelligence
Generator: Hand-cranked Maxon® generator
Monitoring device: Optical sensor linked to the balance
Oscillateur à 16’000’000hz
Circuit électronique
Indications Hours; minutes; seconds; rate indicator; power reserve; adjustment screw.
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