Urwerk Experience

UR-Experience relates passionate testimonials shared by URWERK timepiece collectors. They come from all over the world, each living according to their own rhythms, each with their particular habits and enthusiasms. But they have one thing in common: the URWERK logo on their watch.

 

Episode 04

Episode 03

Episode 02

Episode 01

Watchlover

I’m a watch collector focusing on complicated, unique and originally designed timepieces with a story. During my visit to Baselworld a couple of years ago I had a chance to see the just launched UR-110 at the URWERK booth.

 

I had an interesting conversation with Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner there and what happened was clear. The UR-110 was love at the first sight ! There was one really unique piece at the fair and for me it was the URWERK’s UR-110. So I’m one of the lucky owners of the very first series of 55 pieces.



My friends are used to seeing me wear different timepieces everyday but my very close friends always say that my UR-110 AlTiN is the one that best corresponds to me. I hope my URWERK collection will see a new member soon which should be the UR-210 Clou de Paris or the EMC.

Congratulations to your achievement, making truly original designed timepieces full of sense and very well balanced details.

110 Collection

YOUR WATCH HAS A STORY

Martin Frei. "The UR-110 is a logical evolution of our creations. We imagined time as a 'silent journey' where the hour satellites make a full rotation of the dial. But it is a velvet revolution; between rotation and counter rotations the effect is subtle and fluid. There are things happening on the dial that are not obvious at first glance. Everything looks normal; however, in fact they are everything but."  

What makes me tick

My first encounter with URWERK was when they had just launched the UR-101 and I had seen some press articles on them, their designs and time telling was so intriguing but the shock for me came with the launching of the UR-103. It was like listening to Radiohead for the first time or watching Reservoir Dogs! A wake up call. Nothing would be the same after that.

Imagine a time -late 90s- where almost all brands were making vintage inspired watches and these guys were creating a whole new vision. Today after 20 years, URWERK has become a brand name known by most watch geeks but in 1997 they injected their punk power into watchmaking, a rebellious element still present today!

 


We tend to talk a lot about Martin Frei's designs which are totally amazing and cutting edge but let's not forget Felix Baumgartner's technical genie. A man who has mastered all the classical elements and taken them to a new level!

 But I digress. My first real encounter with a UR-103 (other than in a shop window) was in Basel sometime in 2005 or 2006 and I was having dinner with Max Busser who had one on his wrist! I immediately it ripped off Max's wrist and put it on mine during the whole dinner. I was hooked!


I sold some watches to finance my purchase which was a rose gold UR-103.3 and when the UR-103.8 came out I went totally crazy, the aubergine hues of the case and the angled crystal made it incredibly desirable (not to mention that I believe less than 10 were ever made). I ended up selling the RG to fund the new model which today, almost 10 years later I get as much pleasure to wear as I did at the beginning.

It's a watch which is still relevant, it is still avant-garde. It is not only a piece of URWERK history but of horological history: one of the founding elements and bases of what is known today as independent creative horology.

Cheers to you and I drink to your next 20 years.

103 Collection

YOUR WATCH HAS A STORY

Basel – 3 April 2003
Felix Baumgartner.
« Here we are now at 9am beside our presentation case on the AHCI stand at Baselworld 2003. We are cruelly conscious of the fact that this is make or break time. We have faith in our latest creation, the UR-103. We know that we put our absolute best into this creation. But will it be understood?
4pm and we receive our first order. This is the highlight of all my 28 years, I feel as though I am the King of the World! »

Ragnar

I first encountered URWERK when the Opus 5 came out. I instantly fell in love with the piece but at that time, it was out of my reach. But I was hooked and started researching everything I could find on the web about the men behind URWERK. I obtained information on Felix, Martin and the brand they had created, I also got to see the UR-103 soon after. It was the time when I had started my own company and anything from URWERK was still out of my reach ...
With time my business became successful and it was time for me to get my first URWERK. This was the UR-103 Tarantula. Following my purchase I became an active member on the URWERK forum run by Revolution magazine, there I met Ian Skellen and he introduced me to Felix in person, it was a really awesome meeting and I was so honoured that he spent hours to explain his world to me.

At this I added an UR-103 "Hexagon" to my collection rapidly followed by the UR-103 "Shining T" and the UR-103 TiAlN. The last piece to my 103 collection I added a 103 Unique Piece in AlTiN.
I was lucky to meet Martin in Zürich and again I felt like I was visiting a friend and he spent so much time to let me into his world. Subsequently I added a "Master Piece": the CC1 "Cobra" in AlTiN. It is really hard to pick a favourite piece because all these watches are so different and special in their own way but the "Cobra"... well... Maybe it´s my favourite one. The UR-210 AlTiN and the UR-110 PTH were my next additions and I got them together and it was really a sensual overkill. Never buy 2 URWERK at the same time... It really pushes your emotions to the limit. ;-)

 

I was honoured that Felix and Martin agreed to create a "unique piece" for me based on the UR-105M and that´s it so far for my collection. My collection of 9 URWERK puts a great smile on my face each day! But for me one of the most important elements is that the URWERK team gives me a feeling that I’m visiting close friends whenever we see each other. I never felt like a customer...

The CC1

Your watch has a story

Martin Frei."I am interested in the perception of time. Physicists tell us that time can be warped or stretched, and our daily experiences are with the circular cycles of the days, seasons and years. But I am also intrigued that time can be ordered, even straitjacketed, to flow in a linear direction - a straight line from the past, through the present, to the future. And, because this can represent an individual’s lifeline, I feel that this linear format can be a very human way to look at time. That plus the fact that I think it looks really cool!"  

Geo

In the nineties, when my love for watches shifted from just an interest into an obsession, my friends and family knew me as a one brand guy. I followed the watch industry closely, but when it came to adding something to the collection, I always came home with my first love in watchmaking: Cartier. A habit that many guys have and that we see not only in the world of watches, but also with cameras and even cars. While my collection gave me loads of pleasure, and is definitely part of my personality, I felt a strong need to one day own something completely different. It had to be the opposite of what I was wearing, something new, less traditional and maybe more exotic and possibly even from a whole new brand. 

Many of the independents we know today, were not established at that time. It was around the year 2000 that many young watchmakers left the established brands they worked for, to start their own brand. One of them was watchmaker Felix Baumgartner and his friend, Industrial designer Martin Frei who teamed up to start URWERK. Around 2004 when I discovered URWERK, the brand had just launched their third model: the UR-103 and while the first 103 touched me, it was the UR-103.03 that gave me sleepless nights. That really impossible curved and U shaped mineral glass, was something that attracted me the most and maybe even more than the discs that were turning around along the minute scale to tell the time. 

 

 

Fifteen years ago, the fun was mostly on the front-side of a watch and the back was usually closed or had sometimes a display window to see the caliber. Not so with the URWERK UR-103. The fun continued on the back since there you could find the power reserve window, two indicators with minutes and seconds facilitating accurate time-setting and the fine adjustment, in case the watch would run too fast or too slow. With an URWERK everything is so different from what I was used to and that’s exactly what attracted me so much to the UR-103.03. For me it is a timepiece like no other watch in my collection and I still feel the same excitement when I strap on my UR-103.03, even after the 10 years of ownership.

103 Collection

Your watch has a story

Geneva – 10 January 2002
Felix Baumgartner. « We, Martin, Thomas my brother and I, are sitting around the table. The company's (URWERK) bank statement is lying on the table. At the top there is a number: 100,000 Swiss francs. That is all we have after five years of hard work. Today we are in the hollow. We have finished the design of our new watch, but have barely enough money to put it into production. We can either put everything into the pot and risk it all on one throw, or admit it is too hard and call it a day. We have to make a decision. Now. It makes absolutely no sense to continue, it would be stupid. We look at each other. Surely it cannot finish like this? Let's go to the end. We find faith. URWERK is not dead. The UR-103 will live! »