Since its inception, Urwerk has always been about pushing the boundaries of what a mechanical watch can be. Founders Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner continue to innovate in terms of bothand mechanics, while always using their solid watchmaking foundation to ground their work in the history of horology. Their latest creation, the UR-111C uses a totally new kind of time display that’s a bit of a departure from the orbital satellite system that the brand is best known for. And it’s a doozy. On the “front” there are two conical displays – jumping hours on the left and running minutes on the right – and a unique helix-shaped minutes indicator in the center that also has a retrograde function. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a jumping digital seconds display on the top of the watch that uses an array of optical fibers to project the numbers up toward the sapphire crystal window. Like I said, it’s a doozy.
In addition to the new ways of showing the time, Urwerk wanted to give wearers a new way to interface with the watch. You’ll notice that there’s no traditional crown to speak of. Instead, there are a pair of mechanisms for winding the setting the watch. For the former, you use the cylindrical roller that’s set into the top of the, just below that jumping seconds display. Now, to set the watch, there’s a lever that pops out of the right side of the that can then be used to turn things forward or backward. This is definitely a watch that’s all about doing things differently and if you’re looking for something genuinely unique, the UR-111C looks like a heck of an interesting option.