When it comes to design and mechanics, URWERK has never been shy of being bold, different, provocative, sharp… The independent watchmaker founded by Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei is amongst the most creative and, more often than never, quite crazy. One of these watches might be even bolder than the rest. Put it simply, it looks like nothing else on the market. So imagine the reactions when this watch, the UR-110 (yes, Iron Man’s watch) was released 10 years ago! But it is time to say goodbye to this watch, and to do so, the duo has created the URWERK UR-110 Bakelite, a unique piece that will be auctioned for charity.
The UR-110 was launched in 2011 and has since been one of the boldest, weirdest and most extravagant URWERKs (this combination of words might sound redundant but actually, this watch really is special). In short, there’s nothing in this watch traditional. The case… Well, just look at it. The material… a solid wood bezel and a tweed strap, anyone? The display… Why having some hands when you can have satellites on planetary gears. So in short, there’s nothing consensual in this watch, which is why it is such a cool (yet not easy to apprehend) concept.
But after 10 years of life, Baumgartner and Frei have decided to turn a page. Like they did with the UR-210 Final Edition and the UR-105 Tantalum, there will be a farewell model for the UR-110. But once again, with such a special watch, even the final edition couldn’t be a classic limited edition with a case in a standard metal. And, even the way this watch was created isn’t classic.
What we’re talking about is a unique piece, but based on a preowned model that has been (of course) refurbished to new and then transformed with a new bezel of Bakelite (also known as the first plastic made from synthetic components) in brown colour with a sort of fibre-ish texture. As Baumgartner explains “Bakelite was one of the first high-tech materials ever developed. Its properties were and remain multiple and revolutionary. Insulating and heat-resistant, it was present in all everyday objects at the time, from eyeglass frames to radios.” It also comes on the brand’s latest strap, the Vulcarboné rubber with Velcro fastening, as found on the UR-220.
For the rest, the URWERK UR-110 Bakelite retains everything that has made the model popular, meaning a large 47mm x 51mm x 16mm case made of Grade 5 titanium, with a sapphire crystal that follows the complex shape of the watch. The indications are typical URWERK, with the signature satellite complication with rotating hour/minute modules mounted on planetary gears, and pointing, on the right side, to an arched minute track. The display also includes a “control board” with small seconds, day/night indicator and oil change gauge. And, of course, all indications are highlighted in neon green. Inside the case is a base automatic movement with an in-house module on top, and the movement is wound by a uni-directional rotor regulated by double turbines.
This URWERK UR-110 Bakelite is a unique piece celebrating the 10th anniversary of this collection but also saying goodbye… But it will do on behalf of a worthy cause. The watch will be auctioned off on the brand’s dedicated website, with most of the proceeds going to the Swiss Red Cross. The page (https://urwerkpreowned.com/website) will be active as of October 10th, 2021 at 10 AM (Geneva Time). The auction will start on October 15th and will close on October 17th at 10 AM (Geneva Time).
For more details, please visit www.urwerk.com.