New All-Black URWERK Collection

The collection of UR-220 watches has taken off. The initial version in carbon has now been joined by a new model — the UR-220 All Black.

The UR-220 All Black version is made of titanium and steel. The carbon UR-220 is the first URWERK model in this material and was unveiled last September. Its case, built up in 81 layers of carbon, is unmistakable.

The main difference between them lies in their weight. The carbon watch, on an avant-garde rubber strap, weighs 25% less than the All Black version, which has a more traditional leather strap. Both watches are built with the same care and attention to detail expected of URWERK’s watchmaking.

Originally in the UR-110 models, the oil change indicator has undergone significant improvements. In the UR-220 the number of months the movement has been running is shown on two side-by-side rollers. The wearer of the watch starts the count by removing a locking pin and pressing the button on the back of the watch. When the rollers show that the movement has been running for 39 months, it’s time to have the watch serviced.  URWERK’s technicians will reset the counter to zero and replace the locking pin.

The UR-220 adopts its predecessor’s satellite wandering hours, patented by URWERK. The hours are grouped in fours on three rotating cubes at the end of the carousel arms. In turn they pick up a hollow minutes pointer and carry it across the 120° arc of the minutes scale. At the 60th minute, the pointer flashes back to zero, to be picked up by the next hour. To reduce inertia and increase the speed, the surfaces of the minutes pointer have been pierced. This must be the most sophisticated retrograde minutes indication in any watch.

The lightning-fast fly back of the retrograde minutes depends on three engineering achievements:

  1. The central axis keeps the mechanism stable. Running on ruby bearings, it is the rock on which the complication is built. A cylindrical spring, rather like a traditional chronometer hairspring, accumulates the energy needed to power the fly-back.
  2. The unusual minutes pointer, which forms the cowling for the hours satellites, is precision engineered to tolerances of a hundredth of a millimetre. With a length of 22.29mm, 8.03mm wide and 7.3mm deep, it weighs just 0.302 grams. Built of aluminium, its bronze counterweight ensures it is perfectly balanced.
  3. Two coaxial star cams govern the retrograde action. Its coupling and rotation determine the trajectory of the minutes pointer.

The other information on the dial is the two-stage power-reserve indicator. The time left for the movement to run is shown on two 24-hour gauges. As you wind the watch, the right hand gauge fills up. When it reaches its maximum, the gauge on the left takes over. The mechanism for these two power reserves is extremely intricate, requiring 83 mechanical components.

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