Cramer vs. Cramer: When George Fell in Love with the URWERK 103.03

In the eighties, when my love for watches shifted from just an interest into an obsession, my friends and family knew me as a one brand guy. And, perhaps, many still do.

I followed the watch industry closely, almost on a daily basis, but when it came to adding something to my own personal collection, I always came down to my first love in watchmaking: Cartier.

A habit that more guys have and that we see not only in the world of watches, but also with cameras and even with cars.

While my Cartier collection really gives me loads of pleasure every day and is part of my personality, I felt a strong need to one day own something completely different.

Something that was the opposite of what I am wearing daily. Something new, less traditional and maybe more exotic and if possible, from a new generation brand.

Many of the independents we know today, were not established at that time. It was around the year 2000 that quite a few young watchmakers left the established brands they worked for to start their own brand.

One of them was watchmaker, Felix Baumgartner and his friend, the industrial designer, Martin Frei, who teamed up to start the brand URWERK. That must have been around 1998.

In 2004, when I actually discovered URWERK, the brand had just launched their third model, the 103 and while this first 103 touched me, it was the 103.03 version that gave me sleepless nights.

That really impossible curved and “U” shaped mineral glass, was something that attracted me the most — maybe even more than the satellite time indication mechanism that ran along the minute scale, to tell the time.

20 Years ago, the fun was usually on the front-side of a watch and the back was closed or sometimes had a display window to see the caliber.

Not so with the URWERK 103. On the back the fun continues. Here you can find the power reserve window, two indicators with minutes and seconds, facilitating accurate time-setting and the fine adjustment, in case the watch would run too fast or too slow.

With an URWERK everything is so different from what we are used to. That’s exactly what attracted me so much to the 103.03 and what made me eventually decide to pull the trigger and get one myself.

For me this is a timepiece like no other watch and I still feel the same excitement when I strap on my 103.03, even after the 14 years of ownership.

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