Friday, July 17, 2009

Urwerk's King Cobra UR-CC1

Although so many watch companies captivate the horological world, Urwerk latest masterpieces always cause a flutter of excitement. Each piece is so "out of the box" and refreshing, bending and experimenting with the ways of time display and watch movements. However,Urwerk's watches are vaguely familiar and the familiarity derives from shapes already within our schema, the shapes of members of the animal Kingdom. The new URWERK King Cobra UR-CC1 and the previous Tarantula Urwerk UR103T.

After three years of research and development, Urwerk unveiled the world's first production wristwatch with true retrograde linear displays. Felix Baumgartner gleaned his inspiration for this horological endeavor from Patek Phillipe one and only prototype its 1958 King Cobra designed by Louis Cottier. Now after fifty years, Urwerk pays homage to this unique design. Another inspiration were the linear speedometers in old cars.

The retro case is over 47mm tall and 43mm wide. The seconds display ,in the upper window, is comprised of a large ultra-light disc and a spiral with Arabic numbers at the disc's edge. The progression of the seconds can be viewed in two ways: digitally and linearly: via a small window whereby every other second is displayed and via the spiral which seems to progress in a linear manner along the gauge. Two large cylinders display the hours and minutes in a retrograde manner. Both jumping hours and minutes spring back to the zero position once they are extended all the way..

The watch also features a honeycomb patterned rack (visible through a window on the side) used to rotate the minute cylinder that’s actually made from silicon via a photo lithography process in order to keep it extremely lightweight but also very strong.

Only 50 pieces have been produced: 25 pieces in 18k gray gold and another 25 in 18k black gold.