Sit up, take notice, and get ready for a poke in the eye - Urwerk have unveiled a new timepiece, the Urwerk UR-210 "Maltese Falcon".
Felix Baumgartner, a watchmaker from a family of watchmakers, and Martin Frei, a designer whose father was an industrial engineer met in 1995 and founded Urwerk in 1997. Their objective? "To design and craft Haute Horlogerie timepieces blending tradition with futuristic vision". To state that Urwerk timepieces feature unusual methods of time indication would be a vast understatement. It would be more accurate to say that their dynamics, mechanics and mesmerising displays are likely to reduce watch aficionados and writers alike to mere gibberish.
...... and here it is, a sculptured horological vision of icy titanium and steel, almost robotic in appearance - yet what makes this one special is it's ability to produce an intimacy between itself and it's wearer, a sympatico which compels it's owner to tend to it's mechanical needs in a most protective manner. This piece features a world first - a winding efficiency indicator positioned opposite the traditional power reserve indicator, made to measure and indicate the winding efficiency over the last two hours. Inactivity by the wearer will send the indicator to red, activity will send it towards green.
A watchful owner can now become involved, at the back of the watch is a winding efficiency selector. Set to "full" when the rotor has had an insufficient energy supply, and to "reduced" when it has had sufficient supply, which in turn slows the movement of the rotor to avoid wear on the mechanisms. The "stop" setting disables the winding rotor completely, leaving the piece to work on the remaining power reserve or manual winding.
On the dial you'll recognise the unique panorama of satellite indications. As well as the addition of the winding efficiency selector, the piece features some re-working. The minute hand has been re-designed and is so huge that you would perhaps doubt it's ability to fly back to zero as quick as lightning ..... but it does, it looks big but is in fact ultra-light.
Martin Frei describes this piece as ".... not really a watch but rather a living mechanism grafted onto your wrist. We have nicknamed the UR-210 the Maltese Falcon because we see it as the stuff that dreams are made of" . Quite.
More mesmerising mechanics? Dip into our Urwerk archives here.