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