In its own highly distinctive and individual style URWERK is a brand which, since its inception in 1997, has always played to its own rules. Independent and unrestrained by the ties of a convention, this liberated approach to a centuries-old craft means that the extraordinary watches it creates appear to have little in common with traditional values. However, at the heart of each piece beats a mechanical heart which is essentially a progressive evolution of the achievements and invention of watchmaking’s pioneering innovators over the centuries.
Like a futuristic armor-clad craft that’s been beamed down to earth from another planet in the depths of outer space, the URWERK UR-105 Kryptonite is a watch with immense presence, and which in every respect redefines the parameters of design and horologic philosophy. Styled like no other, with a visor like display of linear minutes and satellite hours, and fitted with a unique in house mechanical movement which features a pair of functioning turbines, it is bold, uncompromising, and fantastically cool.
Encased in titanium with matte black AlTiN coating, the UR-105 Kryptonite has a sleek, vehicular profile which rakes wedge-like from front to back, where the big crown is located, giving the piece a flowing symmetry.
Through its slanted frontal screen the time is displayed via URWERK’s unique system of satellite hours, which incorporates a central carousel which rotates through 360ª in a four hour cycle, presenting one of three four-sided blocks, each side with a luminous numeral, at the beginning of each hour, and which then passes across the display over the course of sixty minutes, before moving on out of sight, as its successor is readied to indicate the next hour. The minutes are indicated on a linear reference at the bottom of the display, and while the overall spectacle is certainly unusual, how it works is also immediately obvious and reading the time is intuitive.
The top of the case features a sliding button, which allows the lid to open, so the complex arrangement of the carousel can be seen in all of its fascinating detail beneath the sapphire glass. Deeper within, the self-winding movement is fully designed and developed in house, and here again, the attention to detail and the watchmaker’s approach to mechanical problem solving is quite astonishing.
On the underside, a pair of turbines are functional and, together with the adjacent toggle switch, have an effect on the winding mechanism’s efficiency depending on the selected setting. This is to reduce friction and wear on the delicate components within. The complex self-winding movement beats at 28’800 vph and when fully wound is good for at least 48 hours.
The URWERK UR-105 Kryptonite is a quite remarkable piece which is unmistakable and uncompromising in its design. Large, yet completely comfortable on the wrist, it is a watch which will simply not allow itself to pass unnoticed and is presented on a durable black high tech fabric with robust pin buckle.