This is doubtless the most eagerly anticipated URWERK collection. It is not, however, the most complex, nor the most singular. But it is the one that seals the beginning of the adventure, the starting point. A round URWERK watch – yet hands-free, the only focal point being an hour unit gliding along a semi-circular track.
The 102 collection launched at Baselworld 1997 has not aged a bit. After a few adjustments to blend in with the times, the UR-102 "reloaded" is now presented in a boxed set containing its two versions: one in titanium, the other in signature URWERK black.
The UR-102 is now back on the URWERK watchmaking benches in the form of the UR-102 "reloaded". In over two decades, this watch has grown in strength and size. It is now a respectable 41mm in diameter compared to the 38 mm of its original version. Its size may have changed, but it remains as visually pleasing as ever. Its crown now merges into the case, having made a strategic move to 4 o'clock. Its lugs are larger, recalling the attachments on the Sputnik space satellite: solid, angular and designed to ideally position the "machine" on the wrist. The font of the hours and minutes markers has been redesigned, with new information appearing on the dial. UR-102 "reloaded" thus embodies a smoothly nuanced revolution.
Above all, this model set itself apart by its clean-cut design and innovation: "Right the very beginning, we had the deep and intimate conviction that focusing on the wandering hour was our path”, says Martin Frei, artistic director and co-founder of URWERK. "In my sketchbook, I started to draft a few designs.These served as a basis for our work. We were more than just enthusiastic, we were euphoric”, he recalls. "For this UR-102, our concept featured a time indicator that looked like a celestial body. It picked up the vibe of Sputnik, the first man-made artificial satellite.The satellite trajectory of our hours pointer followed a semi-circle from minute 0 (ascension) to minute 30 (the firmament) and disappeared at minute 60 (descent). Like Sputnik, the 'body' of our UR-102 was made of a shiny metal offering a mirror-like reflection of any bodies that might cross its path.