Urwerk Of Art: The EMC Pistol
by Simon Cudd
The Urwerk EMC Pistol, an extremely limited edition of just five pieces, features a very intricate mix of hand-engraved artistry and groundbreaking technology.
I was invited to an intimate lunch on a recent Friday, a welcome distraction from the hustle and bustle of the 2015 edition of SalonQP at the Saatchi Gallery, which played host to the watch show for the fifth consecutive year.
Our little group met around the corner at Polpo, one of a small chain of Italian restaurants in the London whose food is a mixture of Venetian small plates mixed with a cool vibe.
Our hosts were none other than the delightful Yacine Sar (head of communication at Urwerk), Martin Frei (Urwerk co-founder and chief designer), and Felix Baumgartner (Urwerk co-founder and master watchmaker). Between chatting about SalonQP and general banter, we tucked into the fantastic food.
However, we weren’t just there to fill our bellies, but to see the fabulous new creation by this crazy independent brand, which is known for unconventional timepieces that challenge the parameters of Swiss watchmaking.
The EMC Pistol was then unveiled to us, a timepiece that represents the last of the EMC line, which is really more of a test bed for the hybrid technology inside rather than a fully finished wristwatch.
The EMC Pistol features an intricate mix of hand-engraved artistry on the case reminiscent of master gun and pistol engravers of old. This juxtaposed interestingly with Frei’s crazy design and Baumgartner’s technical mastery, which was showcased in the titanium and steel case measuring 51 mm from lug to lug.
Powered by the hand-wound, in-house UR-EMC caliber with an 80-hour power reserve, the case includes a lever that powers a generator that in turn powers the electronic elements that measure the movement’s precision. The whole thing looks slightly like the 1970s-style cheese grater that sits in my kitchen drawer.
The EMC Pistol in the hand is certainly impressive, and with the satin-finished, shot-blasted work of art in my palm, the actual face of the watch with separate dials – one for reading the hours and minutes, one for the seconds, a power reserve indicator, and precision delta – makes perfect sense and is completely legible.
It is certainly easier to tell the time on this timepiece than my favorite Urwerk, the UR-110 (see The Urwerk UR-110 Eastwood: A Tailor-Made Farewell Of Timber And Tweed).
Listening to Frei talk about the design and Baumgartner talk about the actual making of the piece was a delight – even if it was slightly difficult to grasp for a mere mortal!
For details on the Urwerk EMC’s technology, please see The Difference Between Urwerk’s EMC And A Toyota Prius (Not As Obvious As You May Think).
For more information, please visit www.urwerk.com/emc.
Case: 43 x 51 x 15.8 mm; satin-finished and shot-blasted engraved stainless steel and titanium
Movement: manually wound UR-EMC Caliber with Swiss lever escapement, Arcap P40 balance wheel and linear balance coupled with an optical sensor and artificial intelligence
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; precision delta / timing adjustment screw, power reserve indicator
Limitation: 5 pieces
Price: 135,000 Swiss francs