For its 20th anniversary, Urwerk embarks on a retro-futuristic experiment. Far from being an exercise in nostalgia, the new watch makes the sort of contrary and provocative statement one has come to expect from a watchmaker that disdains the ordinary. The experiment centres on one of Urwerk’s flagship models, a UR-210. Flung into a emporal particle accelerator, this futuristic watch collides with the past to emerge transfigured as a flamboyant anachronism.
Felix Baumgartner from Urwerk declares, an 18th-century wall clock in the pure baroque style has its place that in the workshops. It’s one of the first collector’s pieces Baumgartner has in his collection, a gift from his father. The clock is an imposing, massive work of art with elaborate gilding – extravagant and more than a little exuberant. Watchmaker Felix Baumgartner loves the extreme – and the memories of these first horological infatuations are certainly what inspired the new Urwerk UR-210 Amadeus. The name referring of course to the great composer. Baumgartner describes Mozart as one of the pioneers of the Punk subculture and recommends reading his biography. “He was a rebel and Urwerk for sure shares the spirit.”
For this retro-futuristic move, the UR-210 was transformed by the expert hands of craftsman Florian Güllert. Baroque is an apt description of this new creation. The decoration is very post-Renaissance 17th century and the swirling pattern of acanthus leaves was chosen for contrasting with the angular look of the watch. Case, crown protection and the bracelet of the UR-210 Amadeus were merged into one unit. It took more than 260 hours to complete the engravings. The themes had to interconnect and complement one another without being superfluous.
The UR-210 Amadeus features a satellite complication with retrograde minutes. The principal feature is a high-tech, oversized, tree-dimensional retrograde minute hand. Its function is to enclose the hour satellite and indicate the time as it traverses the 0-to-60 minute scale. At the end of the 59th minute, the minute hand returns to its starting point to dock with the next hour satellite.
The dial features a traditional power reserve indication at one o’clock. In a near-mirror image at 11 o’clock lies the world-first complication that indicates winding efficiency over the last two hours. If the UR-210 indicates an insufficient supply of energy, the winding efficiency selector at the back of the watch can be positioned to “Full”. The rotor will then convert the slightest movement into stored energy. In “Stop” mode, the automatic winding system is disabled and the UR-210 runs off reserve power and may require manual winding.
The energy is provided by the calibre UR-7.10. It works at a frequency of 4Hz and brings a power reserve of 39 hours to the table. It is housed in a titanium case, measuring 43.5 x 53.6 mm and 17.8 mm in height. It is water-resistant up to 3 atm.
In the UR-210 Amadeus a strikingly contemporary notion of indicating the time meets a 17th-century concept. This can be seen as a continuum rather than a contradiction.