Urwerk has almost always released watches which are not in a round case, and with no other complications other than a complicated way to tell the time. The Urwerk UR-105M was one such example which was unleased in 2014. And for for BaselWorld 2015, they came up with an automatic version. We spent some time at the Urwerk suite in Basel and here is our hands on review of the UR-105TA (for Turbine Automatic).
The Urwerk UR-105 is also known as Urwerk Knight, is a revisit of the iconic satellite indication, which is the trademark of Urwerk. Since the first UR-101, they have played with the theme. We recently covered the UR-1001 which is the culmination of the knowledge they gained in work with satellites over the last 18 years. The UR-105TA is a bit more modest, both in size but also in in ambition. It shows only the time using four satellites, each bearing three hour numerals. The satellites travels across the dial, and the numbers successively reveal themselves under a black guilloche cover in PEEK (polyetheretherketone).
“With the UR-105TA we wanted to get the best of two worlds. We have enjoyed demonstrating the extent of our savoir-faire, from the micron-precision mastery of our CNC machines, to the superb hand finishing carried out in our ateliers. It is a piece that delights the eye. Observed under the loupe, it reveals all the little subtleties that we have incorporated into it,” says Felix Baumgartner, and Urwerk co-founder and chief watchmaker.
Visible on the back are the twin turbines, which uses the air turbines to regulate the automatic winding. The earlier UR105M is manual winding. The dual turbines are bead blasted, satin finished aluminium treated with black PVD. The lever is used to select “FULL” where the slightest movement will wind the mainspring. “RED” for reduced, moderates the winding to minumize excessive tension on the mainspring. And “STOP” mode when the automatic winding system is disabled. The watch, of course can be wound by hand via the crown.
The appeal of the watches remains very high. The visual impact of the satellites gliding, almost frictionless across the dial is sublime. The rotating carrousel which carries the satellites may seem to be a simple concept, but to ensure that it is perfectly level, and maintain close tolerances demands high precision engineering. And the end result, where it traverses smoothly, in full view like a ballet of satellites is a sight to behold. Beautiful.
In the design, Martin Frei is quite restrained in the application of colour, only applying the spashes over a black titanium backdrop, and plays with sand blasting and micro beading to highlight the textures and interplay with the bright colour. We think he manages to maintain a rather classy and harmonious design.
Priced at S$122,100 for the All Black, S$124,800 for the Rose Gold, and S$107,700 for the Black Orange and Black Lemon. Prices are Singapore retail, inclusive of 7% GST, and available from The Hour Glass outlets: L’Atelier by the Hour Glass at Ion, Malmaison by The Hour Glass at Knightsbridge and More Passion by The Hour Glass in Paragon.
Personally, my pick of the Urwerk UR-105TA is the Black Orange. What’s yours?
a.k.a. “URWERK Knights”
Caliber: 5.02 UR automatic winding regulated by a double turbine
Frequency: 28,800v / h – 4 Hz
Power reserve: 48 hours
Materials: Satellite hours driven by Geneva crosses in beryllium bronze;
Orbital structure of PEEK (polyetheretherketone)
Carrousel and triple mainplates in ARCAP
Surface finishes: Perlage, bead-blasting, satin-finishing
Beveled screw heads
Indications Satellite hours; minutes – hour and minute markers treated with Super-LumiNova
Materials: UR-105 TA RG – black PVD titanium case, red gold bezel
UR-105 TA “All Black” – black PVD titanium case, black PVD steel bezel
UR-105 TA “Black Lemon” – titanium case, black PVD steel bezel
UR-105 TA” Black Orange” – titanium case, black PVD steel bezel
Dimensions: width: 39.50mm; length: 53mm; height: 16.80 mm
Crystal: Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: Pressure tested to 30m / 3ATM