Unwerk’s latest timekeeping device follows after the AMC atomic clock produced earlier in the year and does not disappoint. Well, except for the fact that there is only 50 pieces but only three are actually available currently. One UR-111C will go to the United States, one for Asia and one for Europe. When Robb Report met with the cofounder of Urwerk, Felix Baumgartner on September 12, a client was already on the phone attempting to purchase one of the luxurious limited watches. The company says that priority over the watch comes first to collectors that own at least five of its watches. The $135,000 UR-111C comes in a gunmetal, PVD-treated, sandblasted finish or in polished steel and contains a unique new case construction, crown, and display of time.
Urwerk has a recognizable satellite system for telling time that is used in several of its watches including the UR-105, UR-110, and UR-210. This time around, the UR-111C uses a long roller crown on the top of the case to set the time. There is a lever on the side of the timepiece that is required to be pulled out, so that the roller can move in either direction to set the hour and minutes. When wearing the watch on your left wrist, the hours and two versions of the minutes are displayed in cylindrical glass sapphire on the right-hand side of the watch. The minutes are displayed on a linear scale that ranges from 0 to 60 and are read in the center of the cylinder. The linear scale is indicated by a a helix marker on an interior cylinder that rotates over the course of an hour. When reaching the top of the hour, the hand will make one rapid turn before bringing the minute marker back to zero.
“It’s a mechanical digital-seconds indicator, which is down pretty far in the movement in the middle of the case, so we’ve used optical fiber to bring the digital seconds to the top,” says Baumgartner. “Another complex thing in the case is that you do not have a typical case shape with a bottom on the back. There are actually three parts: the middle part, and the left and the right part which are screwed together like a hamburger. It’s a totally unique style of casing.”
Production was challenging, according to Baumgartner, and the timepiece took roughly three years to make. The Urwerk manufacture, composed of 17 watchmakers, can only deliver three pieces worldwide per month, according to Robb Report.