Urwerk’s UR-110 model, also known as the Torpedo, was awarded with Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix as the watch with the best design in the past year. The Geneva-based watchmaker, founded by the Baumgartner brothers in 1995, thus received another nod for the creation of distinctive futuristic timepieces with orbiting satellite complications. Such radical approach produces breathtaking marvels of micro-mechanics that resemble the style that one could attribute to products of alien technology. The UR-110, equipped with the panoramic sapphire crystal is a great example to demonstrate this claim. Set in a recognizable asymmetrical case made of titanium, this watch displays the accurate time with the use of three torpedoes that move in unison.
As they rotate, arrow-shaped torpedoes remain parallel. Three rotating torpedoes act as hour indicators and point to the correct position on the 60-minute track to show minutes. This vertical minute track is located at the right side of the dial. The way that UR-110 displays the correct time practically means that its wearer can tell the time more discretely, and eliminates the need to pull a sleeve back in order to see. This can be especially useful in situations when you need to tell the time, but checking your watch might be considered rude.
The innovative manner to display the time is enabled with the use of special construction that includes three levels of complexity. The central carousel is responsible for stability and equilibrium. Planetary gearing provides the parallel rotation of three torpedoes as they revolve around the dial. Finally, three hour modules which are mounted on a planetary gear, constantly counter the rotation of the central carousel and move in the opposite direction. These hour modules work as hour satellites, minute hands and counter balances.
As previously mentioned, the irregular-shaped case is constructed out of grade 5 titanium (with dimensions 47x51x16 mm) and with a fixed bezel made of 316L stainless steel. The watch is protected with a large panoramic sapphire glass. Apart from the imaginative time display system, the dial of this Urwerk also includes an oil change indication (that shows if the product requires servicing), a day and night display, as well as small seconds.
Now let us reveal more details about the mechanism that makes all this possible. The timepiece that received “watchmaking Oscar” for design in 2011, is made with mechanical self-winding Calibre UR 9.01 movement with 46 jewels. It beats at 4 Hz. The single barrel insures the power reserve of 39 hours. The mechanism utilizes double turbines to reduce shocks and cushion the blows that occur as the uni-directional rotor winds. The automatic movement of the UR-110 timepiece is made with matte, circular grade and diamond-cut finishing. Besides, the UR 9.01 has a flat balance spring.
The Torpedo timepiece by Urwerk is paired with a leather strap and includes water resistance to 30 meters. If you would like to take a closer look at the watch that received the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève accolade for the best design, and to inspect the brilliant way it functions, check out the following promotional video by Urwerk.