“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”!
SalonQP, London’s premier watch exhibition, ran from the 6th through the 8th of November 2014 at the prestigious Saatchi Art Gallery in central London. It was bigger and better than ever in terms of both size and visitor numbers.
Read on for more than just a few reasons (and lots of photos) why SalonQP is my favorite watch exhibition.
In this final round table discussion, my Quill & Pad colleagues Ian, Joshua, Gary and I discuss the amazing night that was. I am glad to talk about this incredible event and provide a few behind-the-scenes insights. Being on the jury for the third time in a row this year, I knew what to expect and could relax enough to enjoy the discussions and preparations.
Now we get to the real nitty-gritty at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.: the Aiguille d’Or. There are no ifs, and or buts any more, just a decision on which of the 72 pre-selected watches is the best overall timepiece of the year. It is the most prestigious of the awards given.
Which could be our panel’s favorite to win? The Margot by Christophe Claret? Urwerk EMC? Perhaps the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon? Or will it be something else entirely?
While this category in the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève is called “Mechanical Exception,” it could well be titled “exceptionally difficult to pick a winner.” And that’s because of the incredible selection of exceptional watches to choose from: Urwerk EMC, Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater, TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon, MB&F Legacy Machine No. 2, Hublot, MP-05 LaFerrari, and Andreas Strehler Sauterelle à Lune Perpétuelle.
Let’s get one thing straight: Urwerk’s EMC Black is not a pretty watch and it’s not meant to be, it’s a proof-of-concept instrument. And a very good instrument at that, one that is not only extremely precise, but is the world’s first watch capable of measuring its own precision without external tools or meters.
Having had the opportunity to wear Urwerk’s UR-110 TTH for a month, I came to seriously appreciate not only the unique craftsmanship and gorgeous styling of this particular model, but also its cool, yellow-green lume display at night. The blackened titanium case and tantalum bezel is absolutely rock and roll: heavy in color, aesthetic in hue and unusual in this shape.
In Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, the great man introduced the concept of “spacetime: henceforth, space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.” Which segues nicely into the discovery of a clock by Gustave Sandoz that doesn’t tell the time: it tells distance.