Geneva Watch Days 2021: Going Hands-On With Urwerk!
It’s been a long time coming but I’ve finally been able to get properly hands-on with a few of Urwerk’s new models from 2021. Ones I’ve written up but hadn’t been able to really get to grips with. Thank you Geneva Watch Days for being an enabler to my ongoing battle with Urwerk addiction.
Getting to finally go hands-on with these watches was great. As we all know, there’s something about experiencing a watch in hand that is difficult to replicate from press images alone. So this was a real treat. The prime example being the UR-105 Tantalum Hull. The case is made of Tantalum, which is a heavy metal. I knew this, but feeling just how heavy it is is something else.
I will largely let the photographs do the talking here, but I’m keen to hear which of these is your favorite? Which would you most like to see in the metal (or carbon!) and get to grips with?
Into the Nightfall with the UR-220 Asimov
I was like a kid in a candy shop; there’s not really any other way to put it. Spoiled for choice as I sat down at a table with three different watches to look at, it was thought to know where to start. In the end, it was the UR-220 “Asimov” that stole my attention (and my heart). I wrote about it here, and I loved the carbon fiber back then. There’s something about the material that just speaks to me from a purely visual aspect. I’ve never quite been able to articulate my reasons why — I still can’t.
On previous versions of the UR-220, the hour blocks were CNC machined, and then the numerals were infilled with lume. The new solid Super-LumiNova hour blocks look fantastic though — even in daylight! It’s pretty obvious, though, where this watch comes into its own. Thankfully the Urwerk team had a UV torch on hand. We could charge them up before sticking our heads in a dark cupboard to allow the Asimov to really come to life. I stand by my adoration from my previous hot take; I’m glad to report it didn’t fail to impress up close.
Urwerk’s UR-100 Electrum
The next watch on the table was the newly launched UR-100 Electrum. We were lucky enough to actually have this model in office a few weeks ago, so we already have a pretty extensive hands-on article about this watch. Be sure to take a look here.
A reverie in blue: the UR-100 Blue Planet
I saw this one on the wrist of Urwerk’s Marketing Manager, Pierre. Having now seen it in hand, I can finally see quite how much of a full-on blue “assault” the UR-100 Blue Planet really was. I whole-hearted mean that in a positive way. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. For that reason, it’s always nice to a see a brand taking a concept and embracing it fully.
Heavy metal: The UR-105 Tantalum Hull
We briefly mentioned the strap of this watch in our Geneva Watch Days Live article. One of the odder things about this watch (and the thing stealing the majority of our attention) was the rubber strap. It’s vulcanized, but the tail end of it and a small square on the 12 o’clock side has been “pricked” with a very fine needle. The result is a soft-touch surface akin to suede. It is thoroughly bizarre, but lovely to rub between one’s fingers. This kind of strap was solely for the UR-220 series save for this UR-105 Tantalum Hull. Simply superb!
Meeting Urwerk’s Martin Frei
Of all the meetings booked for this week, I was most looking forward to meeting the Urwerk team and having a chat with Martin Frei. There are very few brands that can lock it out of the park with each consecutive launch as Urwerk does. This is a subjective point as I am a huge fan of the brand, but can you say that about your own favorite brands?
It was a true pleasure to sit down and have an honest chat with the man who has provided the creative spark that has fuelled so many of the brand’s creations for which my adoration runs strong. If you ever get the chance to do the same, I say take that opportunity with both hands and you will not regret it!
As ever, let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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