#MYIceland: Adventures In Iceland With An Urwerk EMC Time Hunter
by Simon Cudd
I recently embarked upon an adventure to Iceland, a land offering the most incredible, contrasting landscapes rich in volcanic matter and geothermal properties. One big motivational aspect for this holiday was my desire to photograph the country, which involved traveling more than 2,000 kilometers across it.
I fell in love with Iceland instantly, so much so that I would move there tomorrow.
Nothing can quite prepare you for what Iceland has to offer: breathtaking landscapes, epic skies, and weather that comes at you from nowhere . . . and at every angle! On occasion we faced -9C° at night with 70 kilometer-per-hour arctic winds bringing the temperature down even further.
Iceland is known above all for its unique natural beauties, beginning with its famed geysers. This phenomenon sees sulfurous geothermal hot water shooting upward from the ground in seemingly random fashion.
The colors in the various pools spanned the full spectrum of the color palette.
The Icelandic landscape is also awash with waterfalls, some famous and tourist traps, others just dots on the landscape, but each as important as the others to Iceland’s natural ecology.
The three waterfalls I photographed each emitted a special vibe: the sheer scale of the tiered cataract Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”) was epic; Öxarárfoss’ icy beauty was captivating; and the marvelous Seljalandsfoss, whose rushing water originates in the volcano glacier Eyjafjallajökull, famed for its smoky eruptions, allows one to literally get underneath and behind it, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country.
Vik, the southernmost village in Iceland, is famous for its black sand beach. This is an incredible site, dotted with jagged rocks protruding from the Atlantic Ocean and speckled with basalt columns and little caves.
The sound of the sea was immense, its swell like an angry old man, with the wash catching you out at times and getting your feet wet.
The lighthouse atop the Reynisfjara Halsanefshellir peninsula with its spectacular 360-degree views over the Atlantic Ocean and back to the mountains take in the breathtaking black beach and prairies between them.
This landscape of the Reynisfjara Halsanefshellir peninsula came only a close second to that of the spectacular Glacier Lagoon, where huge blocks of ice constantly break off the giant glacier Breiðamerkurjökull to change the lagoon’s look.
Nothing can prepare your eyes for the amazing sight of Jökulsárlón’s Glacier Lagoon, which is formed by the melting glacier. The ice chunks travel in various shapes and sizes – at times even as big as a car – to the Atlantic Ocean, where they bob around and wash back up on the black sand shoreline. This was my highlight of the entire trip.
Ultra-cool – in both senses of the word – Reykjavík forms the human hub of this Nordic island country, housing 50 percent of Iceland’s 300,000 inhabitants in a heady mix of culture, architecture, restaurants, and shops.
Hallgrimskirkja, the largest church in Iceland, looks like a cross between a wooden ship and the remnants of a dinosaur’s skeleton, while the scale of the Harpa concert hall and congress center blew me away – especially as it is emphasized by the architects’ use of glass and concrete. And it also glowed in various colors at night.
My watch companion on this icy journey was the green ceramic-cloaked Urwerk EMC Time Hunter. This is a brand I admire and a watch I love, which made it the perfect timepiece to photograph around Iceland, especially on the Black Sand Beach at Vik.
Despite its size and value, the Time Hunter was an incredibly easy watch to wear, very comfortable on the wrist and legible even under multiple layers of clothing.
I love the design of the EMC, and the fact that the case back allows you to stare at the clever movement. You can learn all about this manufacture movement in Presenting EMC2 Time Hunter By Urwerk: Ugly Duckling Takes First Step To Swanhood and The Difference Between Urwerk’s EMC And A Toyota Prius (Not As Obvious As You May Think).
The crank for powering up the timing electronics reminds me of a dynamo torch I once had where I had to wind the handle to power the battery! But above and beyond that, it’s exceedingly legible, and the layout allows you to easily read the time, check the seconds, and view the power reserve. All of which is, of course, the objective of the invention.
The EMC Time Hunter is a really tactile object. And I love the unconventional shape of its case, which is instantly recognizable as an Urwerk.
If you ever get a chance I highly recommend visiting Iceland for its spectacular scenery, but if that’s too far you should find a spectacular EMC Time Hunter in a watch boutique closer to home. This is a watch that won two awards at the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG): the Mechanical Exception prize and the Innovation prize.
For more information, check out www.urwerk.com/en/collection-u-research-division-emc-ur-cc1-emc-time-hunter.
Case: 43 x 51 mm, grade 5 titanium/steel
Movement: manually wound in-house manufacture movement, optical balance sensor, integrated Maxon generator, super capacitor, microprocessor, 80-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; power reserve, precision indicator, amplitude indicator, precision adjustment screw
Limitation: 15 pieces
Price: 115,000 Swiss francs