The presentations at Baselworld were outstanding this year, from some of the most delicately decorated dials to some seriously avant-garde designs. And nobody pushes the envelope quite like Urwerk. This year they presented the UR-210 Clou De Paris, a timepiece that plays on texture, contrast and new mechanics to represent man’s connection to time and the physical world around him. The rough surface of the timepieces and the new winding efficiency indicator are meant to highlight and monitor the symbiotic relationship between man and his mechanical watch.
With a watch face that mirrors some of Urwerk’s previous designs, the wearer will find a power reserve indicator at the one o’clock and a near identical one at the 11 o’clock hour. This second dial is in actuality a winding efficiency indicator that will change with the motion of the wearer to show if you’re bringing energy to the watch or draining it of power. Unmoving or relaxing at home, the dial will lean toward the red zone to tell you it’s running on stored energy. During a run or night out, it will tilt to the green line, noting that you’re currently replenishing the piece’s energy reserve. It’s not a wearable that measures your movement, but rather calculates the difference between the watch’s consumed and generated energy.
“This quasi-biologic machine could reveal more about you than any other object in your possession,” explains Martin Frei chief designer and co-founder of the brand. As everyone’s movement is different, Urwerk offers the possibility for the power consumption to be adjusted—higher for a more active lifestyle and lower for those who are more sedentary. It also offers manual winding and the option of turning off the automatic winding system to sustain on entirely stored energy.
On the watch face, the time is told through three satellites that move through the dial indicating the hour, while a three-dimensional retrograde minute hand moves along a bottom zero-to-60-minute scale. During the course of an hour, the hand traces a 120-degree arc along the bottom of the dial, stopping just short of the 60-minute mark and snapping back to the starting point like a typewriter in one-tenth of a second. “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 co-founder and master watchmaker.