THE HOLY GRAIL

CON­TROL THE PRE­CI­SION OF YOUR OWN WATCH – UR­W­ERK’S UR-EMC

Plaza Watch International - - Contents - Words : Frank Gee­len Images: UR­W­ERK

Doesn’t this set-up re­mind you of the 1980s? A do-it-your­self elec­tron­ics kit, sol­der­ing wires to the cir­cuit board and then the magic mo­ment… will it work or not? Wel­come to UR­W­ERK’s new con­cept, which they call the very first me­chan­i­cal ‘smart’ watch move­ment. By adding an in­tel­li­gent eye to the bal­ance wheel, you’ll be able to mea­sure how fast or slow your UR­W­ERK is run­ning and ad­just it to get ab­so­lute pre­ci­sion.

Pre­ci­sion has been the Holy Grail in watch- mak­ing since the very be­gin­ning. It was the 18th cen­tury watch­mak­ers like Abra­ham Louis Breguet and John Arnold who paved the way to make watches more pre­cise. And that was a ne­ces­sity be­cause watches (and clocks for that mat­ter) were used for marine nav­i­ga­tion. When you're nav­i­gat­ing by the stars, you need a sex­tant and to know the ex­act time in or­der to set the cor­rect course to the har­bour of choice. In nav­i­ga­tion terms they work with sim­i­lar lo­ca­tion in­di­ca­tors as our mod­ern satel­lite nav­iga- tion sys­tems. The lon­gi­tude is ex­pressed in hours, min­utes and sec­onds, count­ing from the Green­wich merid­ian. Just imag­ine if you were to be sev­eral sec­onds off, and the ef­fect that this would have on where your ship will end up. The ships of the East In­dia Com­pany car­ried costly cargo, so ev­ery­thing that helped get­ting th­ese ships and their cargo to the de­sired des­ti­na­tion as fast as pos­si­ble, was cru­cial. Money: a sim­ple but very im­por­tant rea­son for mak­ing watches more pre­cise.

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