WatchTime - - Watchtalk -

— Ur­w­erk’s lat­est time­piece, the UR-111C, is a di­rect de­scen­dant of the UR-CC1 King Co­bra from 2009 (which it­self was in­spired by a Patek Philippe pro­to­type cre­ated by Louis Cot­tier and Gilbert Al­bert in 1959), but it dif­fers in a num­ber of ways. By bor­row­ing the ret­ro­grade lin­ear dis­play from the UR-CC1, Ur­w­erk has once again es­chewed its rec­og­niz­able wan­der­ing in­di­ca­tor in fa­vor of a brand new time­telling sys­tem that in­volves op­ti­cal fiber, dual min­utes in­di­ca­tors, and a roller set in the mid­dle of the watch that func­tions as its crown.

e UR-111C ap­pears as an avant-garde driv­ers’ watch with the hour and pair of minute in­di­ca­tors most di­rectly vis­i­ble from the in­te­rior-fac­ing side. Hours are dis­played dig­i­tally on a trun­cated cone on the left side; a skele­tonized he­lix/cylin­der dis­plays the min­utes lin­early and stretches di­ag­o­nally across the face of the watch; the sec­ond min­utes dis­play is lo­cated to the right on its own trun­cated crown and shows the time dig­i­tally for en­hanced pre­ci­sion; and the sec­onds are told in 5-sec­ond in­ter­vals via two ro­tat­ing plates set deep within the move­ment and brought to the face of the watch via an im­age con­duit con­structed of op­ti­cal fibers. Where the orig­i­nal King Co­bra was fo­cused on a very flat per­cep­tion of time through its us­age of closed cylin­ders, only al­low­ing for the slow crawl of the hours and min­utes to be seen via an aper­ture, the UR111C de­lights in its three-di­men­sion­al­ity. e he­lix/cylin­der used for the pro­gres­sive min­utes opens the watch up and shows the de­lib­er­ate pas­sage of time as the cylin­der ro­tates 300 de­grees to the fi­nal minute of the hour be­fore a coiled spring snaps it for­ward for the fi­nal 60 de­grees and back to its start­ing po­si­tion at the be­gin­ning of the hour. e dig­i­tal min­utes dis­play – which dif­fers from the UR-CC1 with its sin­gle hour and min­utes dis­play and dual sec­onds in­di­ca­tor – is meant for pre­ci­sion time­keep­ing, while the lin­ear as­pect is meant to demon­strate time’s fluid na­ture. For the first time in horo­log­i­cal his­tory, a roller set on the watch’s case per­forms the duty of the crown. Rather than us­ing a crown di­rectly at­tached to a stem, a roller is set par­al­lel to the wind­ing stem. To wind the watch, all you have to do is push the fluted roller along just as you would a rolling pin in the kitchen. To set the time, a lever set ad­ja­cent to the roller on the in­dented side of the case must be pulled out to be set ei­ther for­ward or back­ward. In our opin­ion, it’s one of the most fas­ci­nat­ing time set­ting mech­a­nisms of 2018. Read on as Felix Baum­gart­ner, Co-founder of Ur­w­erk, dis­cusses the devel­op­ment of this ex­per­i­men­tal time­piece.

You’ve made a King Co­bra be­fore. What made you re­turn to it?

For us, it was just a nat­u­ral thing to do be­cause we love the idea of the lin­ear time in­di­ca­tion, which came from when I was a child. I loved Amer­i­can wide hor­i­zon­tal land­scapes, and in Switzer­land, we have moun­tains, and the hori­zon is not so far. In the U.S., it looks wider. e Amer­i­can [cars] from the ’50s had these speedome­ters with this lin­ear in­di­ca­tion, which was very long and wide. ese im­ages are my child­hood vi­sion of Amer­ica.

How long was the watch in devel­op­ment?

Some three years plus.

The orig­i­nal King Co­bra CC1 dis­played the sec­onds both dig­i­tally and lin­early. With the new watch, you’re show­ing the min­utes digi-

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