It’s kind of a Christmas present, isn’t it? Right now I’m wearing this gorgeous little piece of Urwerk UR-106 horological technology and will be publishing an in-depth review in a few weeks. But for now, I just want to give you the opportunity to enjoy an interesting and seasonal view of this little Christmas present as much as I do.
The Urwerk EMC Pistol, an extremely limited edition of just five pieces, features a very intricate mix of hand-engraved artistry and groundbreaking technology. The EMC Pistol is an edition of the watch that closes the EMC line, which is really a test bed for the hybrid technology inside rather than a fully finished wristwatch.
The Saatchi Gallery on Kings Road in trendy Chelsea has played host to SalonQP in London for the past four years. It is a fantastic venue and a great place for the brands attending to showcase their wares.
What an eclectic mix of brands and watches on show this year, too! Come with me on a virtual tour.
In the early 1990s, I was facing the same dilemma as today: should I buy modern or vintage? The problem was that the modern watches actually all looked vintage, right down to the sizes. There was something lacking, and watch shopping at times almost felt like perusing the yogurt section in a Soviet supermarket.
I’m obviously exaggerating here, but in general it seemed to me that creativity was more or less an afterthought.
Enter Vianney Halter in 1998 with the Antiqua Perpetual. And then what happened next: the birth of ICH (“independent creative horology”).
The Opus 5 by Felix Baumgartner/Urwerk for Harry Winston is one of the best of this series of exceptional timepieces. But, as this drawing by Urwerk designer Martin Frei from June of 2003 shows, one of the original ideas behind Urwerk’s Opus 5 was a digital display in a model christened with the working title “Time Bandit.”
“What, another watch?” she almost screamed in disbelief no sooner than I had opened the front door to our little love nest. Rewind to last week. I had been looking for a Roger Smith Series 1 for some time now, and Jones, my watch dealer, happened to finally locate one. I thought that I had played it pretty safe, so I really don’t know how she could have noticed. But then what happened next changed the rest of my life.
Following the Swatch Group’s takeover of Harry Winston, a continuation of the Opus series with an Opus 14 seemed in doubt to me, though at Baselworld 2015 Dr. Nayla Hayek, chair of the Swatch Group’s board of directors and CEO of Harry Winston, quietly let it be known that a Harry Winston Opus 14 is forthcoming. What better reason to take a look back at the history-making timepieces of the Opus series.
“It’s not a pocket watch,” Felix Baumgartner, Urwerk’s co-founder and chief watchmaker, emphasized to me, “It’s a ‘Zeit Device’.” This ultra-complicated calendar-cum-pocket watch is one of the most unique timepieces in the horological world today. Enjoy its starring role in this new ‘Easy Rider’-style video.
Paradoxically, the SIHH really begins at least a day before its doors open; Sunday is the time to visit the smaller brands holding private exhibitions Geneva. So we put on our Sunday best and headed into town for a busy day of meetings with De Bethune, Urwerk, Laurent Ferrier, Revelation, Christophe Claret, Speake-Marin.
The fact is that Urwerk is a small brand, albeit an extremely imaginative and talented small brand, with very limited resources available. That means that if Urwerk wants to use resources to develop and produce a new model, it first has to stop producing one of the older models. So unfortunately it’s soon to be bye-bye to the UR-110. But fortunately it’s hello to the final UR-110 model: the “Eastwood”!