URWERK UR-106 Flower Power
2017 GPHG Ladies Category Finalist
With its wedge-like, convention defying appearance, its unfamiliar rotating display configuration and its sheer other-worldliness, the URWERK UR-106 Flower Power certainly stands out among the six finalist contenders in the 2017 GPHG Ladies category.
A vanguard of the Independent Watchmaking scene over the past twenty years, since making their debut in 1997, URWERK have made it their business to reimagine many aspects of conventional wristwatch design, introducing us to their extraordinary world of technical complexity and quite fascinating mechanical innovations.
The UR-106 Flower Power is an evolution of their UR-106 ladies watch collection, which was first introduced in 2015. Without losing any of the brand's unmistakable design DNA, it's a lot more refined and far less 'threatening' in its appearance than its male counterparts, whose alien elements and imposing angular profiles have been replaced with flowers, diamonds and graceful curvaceous lines throughout.
URWERK's display eschews the need for hands and a dial, using instead their rotating satellite hours which pass across the lower display in a sixty-minute cycle, each one waiting its turn, and coming into play as its predecessor exits, stage left. A tiny index marker immediately beneath each hour numeral indicates the minutes as it passes along the scale at the bottom, and so the task of reading the time is much easier than a first glance of this strange machine would suggest.
The diamond topped steel and titanium case is smooth and pebble like, and has an arching sapphire crystal. Hovering above the mechanism, an open flower with diamond set petals is the centrepiece, and along with three smaller diamond flowers which rotate along with the hours, it is distinctively feminine, but also technical and highly sophisticated.
So how might the UR-106 Flower Power's fortunes fare in the jury's final decision? At CHF98,000, it is at the upper end of the price range here. It is clearly completely different to anything else in the category, which means there is the possibility it's not to everyone's taste, but it is also spectacular and wonderful. It demonstrates that URWERK are fully aware that all women are not going to be satisfied with dainty bejewelled trinkets which tell the time, and that there is a strong market for a very individualistic discerning customer base here. There is a lot for the jury to consider for sure, and stiff competition of course.
The Watch Press prediction: Category winner
- REFERENCE: UR-106
- CASE: Steel/Titanium
- BRACELET/STRAP: Leather
- BUCKLE: Folding clasp
- MOVEMENT: Self-winding mechanical, Power reserve: 42 h, 28'800 vph
- FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes
- SIZE: 35 x 49.4 mm
- THICKNESS: 14.45 mm
- WATERPROOFNESS: 50 m
- PRICE EXCL.VAT: 98'000 CHF