This UR-220 Red Gold is sparkling and flamboyant. Its case has been forged in 4N gold and teamed with an immaculate white textured strap. All in all, a resolutely 80s vibe.
For fans of the 1980s the references are crystal-clear: Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs in Miami Vice. The golden tans of these hero police officers with their immaculate suits and Colgate smiles. The personification of success. These images had a lasting impact on an entire generation and featured two predominant colours: sparkling gold and virginal white.
The back of the watch, that of the UR-220 bears eloquent witness to the evolution in the line of the 200 modules. It bears one of the hallmarks of the URWERK watchmaking style, the Oil Change feature. URWERK returns to its first love and – after a protracted absence – reinstalls this indicator showing how long the watch has been operating. This unique information, which has long enriched models such as the UR-110, has undergone significant changes.
On the UR-220, the Oil Change takes the form of a digital gauge, whose unit is the month, indicated on two adjacent rollers. The wearer of the watch triggers this device by removing a protective pin and pressing a pusher on the back to activate the counters which display the mechanism’s accumulated running time in months.
After 39 months – three years and three months – a service is recommended and once this is complete, the URWERK teams reset the counter and replace the pin. The UR-220 features URWERK’s patented revolving satellite complication. The wandering hours are displayed on three rotating satellite cubes.
Each in turn slots into a hollowed-out minutes hand. Together they travel 120 degrees along the counter before – once the hour is up – the hand makes a big jump back to the “0” marker to accommodate the next cube. This retrograde minutes display is doubtless still the largest to be found in a wristwatch. In a quest for greater power and velocity, all faces of the minute hand have been openworked.
The central axis set in ruby bearings ensures the perfect stability of the mechanism and is the foundation on which the entire complication rests. A marine chronometer-type cylindrical spring running along this axis generates the tension necessary for the snap-back retrograde motion.
The atypical minute hand – which forms a frame for the hour satellites – features extraordinary dimensions. Milled from aluminium to ultra-accurate hundredth of a millimetre tolerance, the entire structure has a total weight of 0.302g and ideal measurements (width 8.03mm x length 22.29mm x height 7.30mm), while its perfect balance is ensured by a brass counterweight.
A double coaxial star-shaped cam regulates the retrograde mechanism through its gearing and its rotation defines the trajectory of the minute hand. Another item of information provided on the dial is the power-reserve indication which can be read on two subdials. The power reserve is indicated by these two 24-hour gauges.
During manual winding, the right-hand gauge is the first to indicate the mainspring state-of-wind. Once it has reached its maximum level, the left-hand indicator takes over. This power reserve distributed between two “reservoirs” is composed of 83 mechanical elements, testifying to the complexity of its development.
As no detail has been overlooked here, the typography of the hour-markers on the UR-220 has been completely redesigned by Martin Frei and the hours and minutes numerals feature an even sharper profile.
The UR-220 Red Gold retails for SGD 232,000 with tax.