New: Urwerk UR-100V Lightspeed

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Urwerk extends their UR-100V collection with a new watch in a new thin ply 54 layer carbon fibre case. Introducing the UR-100V Lightspeed.

Press Release information with commentary in italics.

New: Urwerk UR-100V Lightspeed

The Urwerk UR-100V “LightSpeed” retails for SGD 106,000 with tax. Price in Switzerland is CHF 65,000 excluding tax.

Commentary

The UR-100V collection is rather extensive, with the UR-100 Iron, the UR-100V Blue, the UR-100 Electrum, the UR-100 Full Metal Titanium, the UR-100V C52 and the UR-100V Magic T. This novelty is a variant of the UR-100V C52, with 54 layers of ThinPly carbon instead of 52 in the 2022 release. As a result, the thickness of the case is increased from 14.00mm to 14.55mm. A corresponding increase in overall case size results in the Lightspeed case measuring a width of 43mm (instead of 41mm in the C52) and 51.73mm in length (instead of 49.7mm).

The other major difference between the C52 and the new Lightspeed is the indication showing the time required for light to reach eight planets in the solar system. This is engraved on the rehaut exterior to the minutes indication, with a corresponding engraving on the inner side showing the speed of each planet. As with the C52, the minute hand continues after it completes the 60 minutes indication on the open sector on the lower 1/3 of the dial and reappears on a 20 minute scale to show light speed in kilometers. As the minute hand is now showing also the time needed for light to reach each planet, this is an average over the entire planet-year.

Each planet’s orbit is not circular, but prescribes a ellipse. During each planet’s soltice and equinox, it is either nearer or further than the if set on an imaginary circular orbit. For example, on Earth, the distance from Earth to the Sun is as follows: Spring: 149.6 million (M) km to 152.1 M km. Summer: 152.1 M km to 149.6 M km. Fall: 149.6 M km to 147.1 M km. Winter: 147,1 M k, to 149.6 M km. The time for light to travel from the Sun to the Earth is thus longer during summer solstice than during spring equinox. This is not accounted for in the UR-110V Lightspeed, as it indicates 8.3 minutes, which is the average over the one Earth year, indicated by the imaginary circular orbit. The same is summary is also true for the other 7 planets shown on the watch.

Pricing wise, the Lightspeed is significantly more expensive than the C52, up from SGD 83k to SGD 106k over a period of about 2 years. Noting the only difference is the 2 added layers of ThinPly carbon resulting in an enlarged case and the additional engraved indication to show the average time it takes for light to travel from the sun to 8 selected planets. The Cal.12-02 remains unchanged from earlier versions.

Release information

In an age when science fiction merges with reality, certain numerical values possess reassuring, pervasive and nearly immutable characteristics. These include the number 299,792,458 km/s. It’s a mysterious figure relating as much to the physical theory of classical mechanics as it does with Azimov’s worlds of fantasy. It represents the ultimate speed: that of the propagation of energy, mastered only by the initiated. A pervasive constant, the speed of light symbolised by the letter “c”. 

This almost mystical number calls to mind both the foundations of Einstein’s theory of relativity and the futuristic visions of a distant galaxy explored by the Jedi of Star Wars and the intrepid captains of Star Trek. Mastering this speed means plunging into hyperspace, defying the laws of physics and navigating through the universe’s multiple dimensions. An adventure worthy of the greatest explorers, from the Goa’uld tacticians in Stargate to the Spacing Guild navigators in Dune

URWERK’s UR-100V LightSpeed is the realisation of this dream, bringing Time, Space and Light together in a single place. URWERK’s artistic director and co-founder Martin Frei says: “Wearing this creation is like having a piece of the universe on your wrist, a vision of the cosmos in miniature, on a human scale.” The UR-100V LightSpeed houses a 3D planetarium featuring eight celestial bodies from our solar system, eight points of reference. “Starting from the Sun, we calculated and illustrated the time taken for a ray of light to reach each of the planets.  The Sun’s rays take 8.3 minutes to reach the Earth, while the same ray reaches the surface of Jupiter 35 minutes later. A journey through space and time with light as the medium, the most magical of all vessels” he explains. “This is the story we were all told as children”, adds URWERK’s master watchmaker and co-founder Felix Baumgartner. “It is the one that explains our place on Earth, the immensity of the universe and our out-of-step relationship with the present moment: by the time the light of a star reaches us, that star has probably long since ceased to shine. What we see is no longer there; we perceive a time, a past that no longer exists.”

It’s a fact. The Sun’s rays reach every planet in a specific measured time, reminding us of the dizzying distance and ephemeral beauty of our solar system. The light we see today is an echo of the past, an instant frozen in cosmic time. Within our space-time system, the Sun’s light reaches Mercury in 3.2 minutes, Venus in 6 minutes, Earth in 8.3 minutes, Mars in 12.6 minutes, Jupiter in 43.2 minutes, Saturn in 79.3 minutes, Uranus in 159.6 minutes and Neptune in 4.1 hours. Such is the beauty embodied by the UR-100V LightSpeed, whose ultimate reference is the Sun, which inspires the rotor on the back of the timepiece. 

“Light serves as our connection to the Universe, representing the smallest unit of energy capable of being transmitted. Its electromagnetic radiations are precisely in the range that our eyes are attuned to detect. This ability to visualise and interpret this information reconstructs our perception of the world. Whether gazing at distant stars or peering though a microscope, light conveys essential details shaping our understanding of reality, continually expanding our knowledge and comprehension of the vast and intricate universe around us.”

Martin Frei

In addition to its interstellar dimension, the UR-100V LightSpeed pick up the principle of displaying the hours and minutes, which is based on the absence of hands. Instead, a satellite moves along an arc of a graduated circle. The first carries the hours, the second the minutes. And when an hour satellite has covered its 60 minutes, the next one bearing the next hou, appears in front of the minutes index. No one could have imagined that this principle – extrapolated from a 17th century clock – could be so creatively thought out, transformed and transmuted in space, volume and time.

Urewrk UR-100V “LightSpeed” Specifications

Movement
Calibre
Selfwinding UR 12.02 movement governed by a Windfänger airscrew
Jewels
40
Frequency
28 800 v/h – 4 Hz
Power reserve
48 hours
Materials
Satellite hours in aluminium set on beryllium-bronze Geneva crosses; aluminium carousel; triple baseplates in ARCAP alloy, watertight titanium inner container; black PVD-treated aluminium rotor.

FinishingCircular graining, sand-blasting, shot-blasting, circular satin finishing  Chamfered screw heads Hours and minutes painted in Super-LumiNova® 

Indications
Satellite hours; minutes; time required for a sunbeam to reach eight of the planets in the solar system. 


Case

Materials
Black carbon (54-layer ThinPly). Caseback in sand-blasted, shot-blasted DLC-treated Grade 5 titanium.
Dimensions
Width : 43 mm, length : 51.73 mm, thickness : 14.55 mm
Glass
Sapphire crystal
Water resistance
Screw-down crown. Water-tightness chamber. Pressure-tested at 5ATM (50m)
Strap
Textured rubber with folding clasp
PriceCHF 65,000 (Swiss francs, excl. tax) 
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