Urwerk unveils the UR-100V ‘Blue Planet’ in ode to interstellar travel
Urwerk, the independent haute horlogerie brand, has unveiled the UR-100V ‘Blue Planet’ – a limited edition series of handcrafted time- and space-measuring instruments.
Limited to 25 pieces, UR-100V ‘Blue Planet’ addresses interstellar travel and the pleasure of savouring time by being able to track the Earth and the Solar System.
Functions include hours and minutes indication, in addition to indication of the rotation of the Earth and the revolution of the Earth around the Sun.
The UR-100V ‘Blue Planet is available for US$51,200 (taxes extra) at urwerk.com
Maker of limited edition and unconventional complication timepieces Urwerk is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
The astronomical action on the UR-100V ‘Blue Planet’ takes place under a large observation dome, where, upon finishing indicating the minutes in the 0-to-60 arc along the bottom of the dial, the vivid green and yellow arrowhead hand (one of three) disappears – only to reappear at 9 o’clock to track the 555.55km the Earth rotates at the equator every 20 minutes.
The hand then reappears again at 3 o’clock to display a kilometre counter tracking 20 minutes of the Earth’s revolution around the sun (35,742km).
The UR-100V ‘Blue Planet’ is adorned in deep, dense and matte blue, to symbolise the Blue Planet (Earth): blue for the steel case, blue for the atypical movement, and blue for the orbital carousel.
As Martin Frei, Urwerk’s designer and co-founder noted: “When I create and when I paint, all colours resonate in me, but particularly blue.
“During my education at the Academy of Arts and Design in Lucerne, [Switzerland] I had the chance to study the great Florentine artist Giotto.
“He was the first who, at the end of the Middle Ages, painted the sky blue — dethroning Byzantine gold — and launching the ‘realistic’ style of painting that is normal today.
“I love the colour of Giotto’s blue sky; it’s the same sky as ours. Blue is a colour that surrounds us, that encompasses us,” said Frei.
Almost all of the elements of the UR-100V ‘Blue Planet’ movement, including the automatic rotor regulated by its Windfänger turbine and the entire satellite hour display system, are also blue – as are the technical canvas strap and buckle.
The most visible screws are in flame-blued titanium using a technique unique to the Baumgartner family.
Felix Baumgartner, master watchmaker and co-founder of Urwerk, said: “My father was cult-like in his devotion to the technique of bluing hands. His search for the perfect blue was his search for the holy grail.
“He tested countless types of sand and found his grail in Corsican sand, which we religiously brought back in our suitcases from vacations,” added Baumgartner.
Against a uniform blue background, the fluorescent yellow and green arrowhead hand is a shooting star.
The colour of the UR-100V ‘Blue Planet’ tells the story of a trajectory transitioning between Earth and space.
“We have miniaturised and reinterpreted our Solar System. We get lost in the depths of the rotating carousel of the UR-100V. It is a plunge into space, a fall into nothingness.
“It’s a new horological odyssey with our head in the stars and feet on the ground. It’s a reverie in blue,” said Baumgartner.
UR-100V ‘Blue Planet’ technical specifications
UR 12.02 self-winding mechanical movement regulated by Windfänger planetary turbine, automatic system, 39 jewels, 28,800vph – 4Hz frequency, 48 hours power reserve, aluminum satellite hour carousel driven on Geneva crosses, aluminum carousel, plate, rotor, turbine, planet carrier, hand with blue PVD treatment, sandblasting, micro-beading, perlage, chamfered screw heads, hour and minute index painted with Super-LumiNova
Satellite hours and minutes indication, rotation of the Earth in 20 minutes, revolution of the Earth around the Sun in 20 minutes
Blue PVD steel case, width: 41mm, length: 49.7mm, thickness: 14mm, titanium case back; blue PVD sandblasted steel crown, crystal domed transparent sapphire crystal, water resistant to 3 ATM (30 metres)