Brand talk

Urwerk - UR-210 AlTiN : the black “Maltese falcon”

“Profiting from the latest technical advances to continue developing our models is a must for Urwerk . It was only after having seen and extensively tested the exceptional properties of AlTiN that we approved its use for Urwerk creations. So we are proud to present you today the new UR-210 with its AlTiN super powers” says Felix Baumgartner, master watchmaker and co-founder of Urwerk.
03.19.2013

AlTiN - standing for a group of metastable hard coatings consisting of aluminum, titanium and nitride –  is an application which was originally developed for industry. An AlTiN coating has the effect of multiplying the resistance of the underlying metal to scratches, shocks, oxidation and even acids.

The dial of the UR-210 AlTiN features a traditional power reserve indication at one o’clock. In a near mirror image at 11 o’clock we find a similar indication. No, it isn’t a duplicate fail-safe, but something much more important which deserves our full attention, because it is actually a world-first complication that indicates winding efficiency over the last two hours.

The UR-210’s satellite complication with retrograde minute is both highly original and totally explosive. The principal feature is a high-tech, oversized, three-dimensional retrograde minute hand. Its function is to enclose the hour satellite and indicate the time as it transverses the 0-to-60-minute scale. This one-hour journey through time, tracing an arc of 120°, is smooth and fluid. But the true nature of the piece is revealed at the end of the 59th minute. Then a sharp distinct “click” signals the return of the minute hand to its starting point. In less than 0.1 of a second the hand flies back to dock with the next hour satellite. This lightning fast retrograde system is based on three key elements:

• A central axis set in ruby bearings provides excellent stability for the satellite/retrograde complication. A cylindrical marine chronometer type spring runs vertically around the axis and generates the optimal tension required for the retrograde minutes flyback.

• A minute hand, which also forms a frame for the hour satellites, displays the time in an extraordinary way. Milled from aluminum to exacting tolerances of approximately 3 microns, the whole structure has a total weight of just 0.302g and is counter balanced by a brass weight. This three-dimensional cage offers rigidity as it transfers energy from the cylindrical flyback spring in the top center of the carrousel to the double-star gear underneath.

• A double coaxial star-shaped cam regulates the retrograde mechanism through its gearing and its rotation defines the trajectory of the minute hand. When the minute hand reaches 60, the double star trips a (one of three) hockey-stick shaped spring under the mechanism, which liberates the minute to fly back to the next hour satellite at 0-minutes.

“In terms of the degree of evolution of the satellite carousel, I feel with the UR-210 that we have reached the pinnacle of what we can do with this complication.” explains Felix Baumgartner. “After the presentation of our über complicated UR-1001 Zeit Device, we wanted to experiment again on an imposing scale. The minute hand in the heart of the UR-210 is not just big, it is massive! And yet it presented us with a considerable challenge because it requires fine, delicate workmanship. It envelops the hour satellites and demands machining to extremely fine tolerances.”

Martin Frei adds: “More than any other Urwerk piece, the UR-210 catches the attention. The eye is inevitably drawn to the winding efficiency indicator…  it’s almost a magnetic attraction. The UR-210 is not really a watch but rather a living mechanism grafted onto your wrist. We have nicknamed the UR-210 the Maltese Falcon because we see it as the stuff that dreams are made of .

Felix Baumgartner concludes: “The UR-210 represents a serious accomplishment for Urwerk. This timepiece opens a new chapter in the evolution of our complications. It doesn’t just measure a universal value in a completely original way, but starts a real dialogue between the watch and its wearer. The UR-210 indicates your personal activity; this is yours and nobody else’s.”

Published in : Urwerk, New arrivals
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