The most interesting aspect of the Aiguille d’Or is how the winner won’t always be the most complicated, expensive, or groundbreaking. To win the Aiguille d’Or, a watch needs to be a fantastic all-around watch and have that little something extra, that ‘je ne sais quoi.’ So which watch has our panel set its sights upon? There is much discussion, of course . . .
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.” Check out this superb almost-was timepiece!
Five panelists, three to four predicted winners, and a possible Aiguille d’Or winner: the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Mechanical Exception category has it all, including an atomic clock and another time indication that is likely to make you think you have taken LSD!
SIHH 2019 provided an instructive example to Tim Mosso of architecture’s low-key role in watch design relative to well-worn tropes. For him it was the third year in a row that parts of Geneva’s Palexpo felt like a Southern California cars-and-coffee event. But there are a few watch brands that do architecture well, and Tim takes a closer look at some of them here.
The UR-111C is only the second Urwerk timepiece to feature a linear time display. Joshua Munchow thinks it is all sorts of cool and explains why.
Blast from the past! This post is a “reprint” of an article Ian wrote that was first published on The PuristS in 2005 and it covers Felix Baumgartner, Urwerk, the Harry Winston Rare Timepieces Opus V, The Urwerk 103.03, plus an Urwerk 103.03 user review. Enjoy!
The lines between form, fun, and functionality have been blurry, especially in recent years. Which is why we see more and more mechanical objects with relationships to time but perhaps not directly related. Here Martin Green explores three such objects by Jaquet Droz, Urwerk, and MB&F.
Established brands with centuries of tradition tend to basically recreate the past in the, “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-or-change-it-(much)” approach to watchmaking. But in not feeling constrained by tradition, Urwerk is one of the young brands consistently presenting us with a steady supply of exciting new models like 2014’s UR-105M. Take a look at it here!
Here’s a prediction by Ian Skellern: the relatively nondescript AMC movement Urwerk presented at the 2018 SIHH will not only become one of the horological highlights of the year but will take its place among history’s most significant timepieces. Ever. That’s a bold statement, he knows. Especially when all we have at present from Urwerk is the slave watch movement. Here Ian explains why he thinks AMC is so significant.
In his previous article on the Time Aeon Le Garde Temps project, Joshua Munchow poetically compares the development of this wristwatch to an epic quest. At the time I didn’t appreciate just how true the analogy is, though perhaps not so much a hero’s quest as a band-of-brothers journey. And what a journey it’s turning out to be.