Urwerk is often credited with creating today’s most futuristic timepieces but has delved into ancient history for inspiration in the creation of its UR-100V Time and Culture collection.
The new line will evolve to cover several dynasties that have advanced out understanding of time over the millennia.
“This line is about history, cultures, our place beneath the stars, the research and observations that have been conducted around the world using the same sky above our heads as a source of knowledge. I am always fascinated to see that these unique observations, made thousands of kilometres away, have given birth to a universal language, that of time,” explains Urwerk co-founder Martin Frei.
First up on this global journey through the history of time is a watch inspired by an Aztec Sun Stone, discovered around 1479.
The monolith is a sculpted disc approximately 3.6 metres in diameter that graphically presents the Aztec calendar.
The Sun Stone’s pattern is engraved into a copper-coloured dome of the UR-100V Time and Culture I.
Felix Baumgartner, co-founder of Urwerk says the timepiece has global roots and international appeal. “It is inspired by the Aztec culture; it was made in Switzerland, based on an idea from Singapore; it will end up in the windows of a retailer whose nationality is not yet known, and it will appeal to an equally unknown watch lover. Yet it also conceals certain secrets. We have sprinkled our work with hidden references. The discerning eye will be able to make out a signature, an acronym, a Mayan numbering to be deciphered. It’s a real treasure hunt,” he describes.
On this UR-100V from the Time and Culture line, a new piece of information is added to the hours and minutes display. Once the 60th minute has passed, the minutes hand disappears and reappears as a kilometre counter. It illustrates the 524.89 kilometres covered every 20 minutes by any person located in Mexico.
This is the average speed of the Earth’s rotation calculated at Mexico City. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the earth’s revolution around the sun is displayed, i.e. 35,742 kilometres per 20 minutes.
On the face of the UR-100V, hours and kilometres thus share the same status, the same scale of value.
The steel watch with its copper-nickel-zinc alloy dome measures : 41 x 49.7 x 14mm and houses Urwerk’s Calibre UR12.02 automatic movement with two day power reserve.
Only 20 are being made, priced at CHF 68,000.