The latest version of the EMC watch by URWERK named the Pistol is the very first and only mechanical wristwatch in which the rate can be checked electronically at any time simply by pressing a button. This exquisite addition to the world of luxury watchmaking has been hand-decorated by Florian Güllert who was in charge for the engraving, whilst Joséphine Morf and Sylviane took care of all leather work that was needed.
“Engraving is a way of capturing light,” said Güllert who specializes in engraving firearms. “It bares the metal and creates zones of shade. The metal is forcibly worked and, astonishingly, that is what makes it beautiful,” he added.
For this particular piece, the 43-year-old master-engraver chose scrolls and arabesques that would break up the rectilinear silhouette of the EMC. The Austrian gun engraver even had to find special tools to employ the traditional method on the unusually hard steel used for the case of the new EMC model.
The co-founder of URWERK and chief designer in the company, Martin Frei, has been in-charge in creating a distinctive architecture of the EMC Pistol. The minimalist design of the top part of the case dissolves into raised engravings, while the smooth and satin-finished surfaces of the upper part highlight the decorative work of the dial’s lower section.
“This abrupt change in style illustrates our intentions: we wanted an object that was both solid and fluid. Our EMC, which looks uncluttered, gains new strength from this almost baroque decoration. The engraving is similar to that on collectors’ firearms. It is sparing, it doesn’t dominate, yet it provides the final touch that creates surprise — the wow effect,” said Frei.
I have also mentioned that Joséphine Morf and Sylviane were in-charge for leather work and they have designed five unique straps for the EMC Pistol. The highest-grade leather strap was made in the little workshops of the Place Simon-Goulart, placed in Geneva’s old watchmaking district of Saint Gervais – the Portalès leather company.
The last, but not the least important name in this story is the name of the watchmaker Felix Baumgartner who is responsible for the ingenious mechanism of the Urwerk EMC Watch. This particular piece represents its Holy Grail. The impeccable movement is based on Urwerk’s in-house movement which has been transformed in an electronic device that monitors the sprung balance at its heart, so the future owner of this amazing wristwatch can adjust time by himself, to reach the best performance.
The in-house manufactured caliber UR-EMC movement oscillates at the frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) and it is finished in the finest tradition of watchmaking, with Geneva stripes, snailing, shot-blasted and brushed finishes.
URWERK EMC Pistol Watch boasts a control panel with four separate dials. The large seconds dial is situated at the 2 o’clock position, on the opposite side at the 10 o’clock position is the rate indicated in seconds a day. Below, at the 8 o’clock position there is an 80-hour power reserve display, whilst the hours and minutes are shown conventionally by hands at the 5 o’clock position, which is a new departure for URWERK.
From the rear, the in-house designed, developed and made mechanism can be seen through a sapphire crystal glass which reveals the astonishing clash of classic finish and futuristic performance.
The movement made in URWERK’s workshops was rated in Geneva and complies with the highest quality standards. It was tested in five positions over a 30-day cycle to meet the most stringent standards of a precision watch. I would like to mention some of its qualities: the balance was crafted from ARCAP; a nickel alloy has been chosen for its anti-magnetic and non-corrosive properties; its linear structure was accurately calculated to make it aerodynamic and reduce air frictions thus enabling it to retain an optimal amplitude, a screw to change the rate accessible on the outside of the timepiece enables a precise adjustment of the fast/slow index that alters the effective length of the balance spring, etc.
URWERK EMC Pistol is produced in ultra-limited edition of only 5 unique pieces. The case made from titanium and stainless steel measures 43mm x 51mm and it is constructed to resist water pressure up to 30 meters (100 feet). The retail price is 135,000 CHF (approximately $133,000).