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 13

Episode 12

Episode 11

Episode 10

Episode 09

Episode 08

Episode 07

Episode 06

Episode 05

Episode 04

Episode 03

Episode 02

Episode 01


I'm John, a visual artist. I love creations that respect and understand history. No gimmicks for me.



Martin Frei: "It was not our goal to establish a large catalogue of existing models. It is the search for new exressions of mechanical timekeeping, the luxury of freedom and the exclusivity it creates and looking forward into the future in order to reinvent and rediscover new time environements, that forms the hearts of our energy and inspiration. "


My love for URWERK watches started when I first laid eyes on the UR-103. However, it was quite some time before I was finally able to acquire my first URWERK, a rose-gold UR-103T. I enjoyed it for many years until my wife decided that she liked it too. She had a shorter strap put on it so that I could no longer wear it.

 When my son was born in 2014, I felt I needed to treat myself, so I ended up buying two more URWERK models: the UR-210 RG — my favourite piece to date — and a UR-110 TTH.

I’ve been acquiring URWERK watches ever since, and I’m proud of my collection of several 202s, 210s and 110s. I also own an Opus 5, the archetypal URWERK, which holds a special place in my collection.

 My first URWERK introduced me to the world of independent watchmaking, and I have come to truly appreciate the independent watch companies and how different they are from the mainstream brands. I now own watches from many independent brands, but none give me so much pleasure as my URWERK watches. The rotating satellites system and cutting-edge design just does it for me. So thank you URWERK!



I look forward to seeing what Felix and Martin come up with next. So please don't stop amazing the horological world.

200 Collection


Felix Baumgartner : " The mechanism of the UR-202 began to occupy a part of my spirit during the conception phase of the Opus V for Harry Winston in 2004. I had already seen the mechanism in my mind and imagined it functioning as an evolution of our satellite hours. It was difficult however to find the limit as to what was humanly and technically possible, and what was haunting me to believe at all costs was possible ... “



I first got interested in watches in the late 1990's. From there I start learning about them. It was at the moment the Urwerk 103 was introduced and it was so incredibly cool! Back then, it was outrageous but also extraordinary too. At that time, all of the collectors I looked up to had one, which was another plus for me.


Although I later discovered the time display was a reinterpretation of the wandering hours, I still found the 103 a remarkable piece of design and construction that is both avant-garde, functional and coherent.

 There are several 103s I love, like the brown-purple TiAlN or the platinum Hexagon. However, 103.01 is extra special; it is not only unusual looking but also the first of the series!


103 Collection


Martin Frei: "The UR-103 is a futuristic timepiece. Its almost rectangular, solid gold case is wrought from a block of the precious metal. The design is completely different from the previous watches. The aerodynamic cross - section of an idealized wing profile is a work of figurative art in itself. It is true to the archaic principle of tracing exact time simply by the path travelled by a single pointer".



I have been a fan of watches since I was about 16. Surely, I could not afford the high-end watches but always had interest in them. Later on I started collecting watches and own mainstream watches such as Audemars Piguet, Patek, Rolex, Panerai to name of few. 




URWERK grew on me… I was on the look-out for a while and following new releases closely until I went for the UR-210. URWERK is certainly one of the coolest independents in the watch world. The watches grab immediate attention and interest.



The 210 Collection


Martin Frei. "Gold provides a unique feeling and emotion thanks to its density and its special appearance. In all the ancient and modern civilizations, gold was regarded as the material of the Gods. For me, as a trained sculptor and painter, touch is the first sense. This certainly explains my visceral attraction to gold. I like its solid, heavy, reassuring and eternal character.


Others may have started with house names such as Panerai, Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet but for me independent watchmaking was my first love. Strange as it may sound, I always think the world of haute horlogerie should be about personalization, individuality and engagement with the creator of a watch.


My love for watches actually lies with independents because they represent imagination, creativity and quality that make the object a true luxury item. In the case of URWERK, all the boxes are ticked for me. The 103.08 was and still IS a unique piece with such a different time telling display, a different case shape and case color. It is just out of this world for me.



103 Collection


Felix Baumgartner : "It was my father who suggested to me the fundamental change that would revolutionize watch dials. He encouraged us to make driver’s watches with which you could tell the time without letting go of the steering wheel. We therefore put the minutes scale on the bottom half of the dial so that it faced you. You could see the time without turning your wrist".

André the Kid

I may be URWERK youngest member as I got my 105M when I was 16. I'm now 18 of age, currently working on business projects in the jewellery and investors industry. 

I got the UR-105M  as a gift to myself as I had just finished a business project in the investment industry.  It was a big accomplishment for me as it was something I had worked hard for.
I never thought I could do it but then I did and now I'm after a special EMC (Hahah!)



UR-105M Black

Martin Frei. " The visible screws on the bezel of the UR-105M not only bring a distinctive esthetic to the watch, but also tack the steel armor onto its titanium body. This shield protects the movement (the heart of the watch) from the outside world’s aggressions".


I bought my UR-103.03 five years ago for my 45th birthday. It was love at first sight. As a watch collector I take a particular interest in independent watchmakers and I have been following URWERK’s production since its beginnings.



The way URWERK’s watches show the time is completely different from any other watch. You either love or hate this avant-garde approach, but it cannot leave you indifferent. As for me, I love them all. Their style is unique, making them real works of art. My URWERK watch has become the favorite of my collection. Each time I wear it I can't stop looking at the satellites turning and turning. It represents the magic of watchmaking.



The 103 Collection


Felix Baumgartner. "Already in 2003, we had the desire to create a watch that was in phase with its time - truly contemporary. Of course nobody should create the future without respecting the past.  All of our timepieces reference the culture of traditional watchmaking, which was handed down to me by my father, who is a restorer of high quality antique clocks. URWERK's creations do not snub the past, on the contrary, they build on tradition as they explore new paths".


As with everyone else, my love for horology first manifested with my fascination with classical watches. At that time, I could not comprehend why anybody would actually go for watches from the independent brands. As the years have passed by and I have wandered deeper into the world of haute horlogerie, I find myself obsessing over the creations of independent brands and know that I can never go back to wearing a classical watch again.

My partiality for independent brands is fuelled not only by the creativity and passion that go into the making of each watch but also by the designs that they come up with. I fell in love with URWERK right from the beginning. The futuristic watch designs of URWERK is not the only reason that I admire the brand so much; the people behind the marque are one of the nicest, most down-to-earth team that I have ever had the privilege of meeting.


As for choosing the UR-210 “Black Hawk”, I was never a fan of black watches until I saw this piece; then, it was love at first sight! But I do have a major problem with it; this is the only watch in my collection that is NEVER on time. When I wear it, I use my iPhone to tell the time.

You might well ask me why? Every time I wear it, I am constantly asked how my watch indicates time; I am always taking it off to show my friends how the satellites and retrograde hands work. After a couple of times this happens in a day, I give up setting the correct time. Not surprisingly, I still wear it often!


The 210 Collection


Martin Frei. "The eye is inevitably drawn to the winding efficiency indicator…  It’s almost a magnetic attraction. The UR-210 is not really a watch but rather a living mechanism grafted onto your wrist. We have nicknamed the UR-210 the Maltese Falcon because we see it as the stuff that dreams are made of."


I was never a huge fan of Star Wars, avant-garde toys or fast cars when I was growing up. After college though, I found myself turning my head when I saw someone wearing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak or a Panerai, because where I’m from, the market was then still saturated with Rolex and other mainstream brands. I started my humble collection with AP and frequently read watch forums to get an update on the latest in the world of horology. I was pretty happy with what I had until I came across an independent watch brand called URWERK. It was love at first sight! The design was out of this world. It made me appreciate how someone’s imagination can come up with a futuristic and amazing design that has a unique way of telling the time.

The first URWERK in my collection was the UR-103.08 with angular crystal — the Magneto — back in 2010. I loved its unique coating of TiAlN. I never looked back after that. I was very lucky to have the support of my family for my peculiar watch addiction. That same year my father gave me the UR-103T Shining-T. The openness of this watch and its sapphire discs are admirable.

I also got the UR-103.05 platinum with an open caseband, which I must say is one of my favorites. My love for independent horology was definitely ignited by URWERK. Through hard work I was fortunate enough to eventually acquire the more complicated pieces, namely the UR-202 AlTiN and the UR-210RG.

My URWERK journey was made more meaningful because of the many friends I made all over the world who share a common fascination with the brand. I would even go overseas just to meet fellow URWERK collectors, because independent brands were not represented in my country. Among the friends I made during the years with URWERK were Felix Baumgartner, Martin Frei and the team. Meeting them a number of times while listening to them talk about their humble beginnings and understanding their unbending vision of watchmaking definitely deepened my passion for URWERK in particular and independent watches in general.

I am a very busy person and after long hard days at work my URWERK are a great respite. It’s nice to have something like that in the midst of chaos. They bring back my sanity; they make me happy. Thank you Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei for giving me a piece of that. I wish URWERK all the best and a lifetime of never-ending drive and creativity.


The UR-103T Shining T


The UR-103 was first conceived as a mechanical sculpture. The closed case gave no clue as to the technique employed. Martin Frei designed it as a mysterious machine that did its job as if by magic. Only the time was visible. Then, as the years went by, a mechanical striptease took place as the case opened to give precedence to the watchmaking skills involved. Today, in the UR-103 T, known as “the shining T”, you can even see the Maltese crosses on which the satellites rotate.


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


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


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! »


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!"  


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! »