Introducing the one-of-a-kind Urwerk UR-110 Bakelite, the last of its kindBy Felix Scholz
Ten years ago, Urwerk forever altered the horological landscape with the launch of the UR-110, an evolution of the brand’s signature satellite time display system. But now, exactly 10 years after it launched, it’s time for the final Urwerk UR-110, which will be auctioned off on the 15th of October, with proceeds supporting the Swiss Red Cross.
The UR-110 has made quite an impact over the years, not only winning legions of fans, a GPHG award for best design, and even a spot on Tony Stark’s wrist. It’s an incredibly important model for the new generation of independent horology — a novel time-telling display in a futuristic form, complete with miniature robotic arms holding the satellites, with minutes being read off a fixed minute track. Over the years, the UR-110 has been deployed with a full suite of materials, both retro and futuristic. This edition might well be the first time the watch has featured a material that is both; Bakelite. Urwerk founder Felix Baumgartner explains: “Bakelite was one of the first high- tech materials ever developed. Its properties were and remain multiple and revolutionary. Insulating and heat-resistant, it was present in all everyday objects at the time, from eyeglass frames to radios”. This pioneering thermosetting plastic was hard-wearing, and made from a combination of phenol and formaldehyde, originally derived from coal tar and wood alcohol. It’s also a material with a rich history in watches, famously used on the early bezels of Rolex GMT-Masters. The bezel on this Urwerk is no less striking, adding a surprisingly organic feel to the otherwise precisely machined lines of the final UR-110 ever.
The model is being sent off with a bang too, as Urwerk is auctioning it on their own site,The auction will start on October 15 and will close two days later. On October 17 at 10:00 am Geneva time. Most of the proceeds will be donated to the Swiss Red Cross.
Movement: UR 9.01 mechanical, automatic winding, 39 hours of power reserve
Functions: Satellite complication with rotating hour/minute modules mounted on planetary gears Control Board: “Day/Night” indicator; “Oil Change” alert for service intervals and small seconds
Case: Grade 5 titanium, 47mm x 51mm x 16mm, bezel in bakélite
Strap: Black textile
Price and Availability: Unique, to be auctioned at urwerkpreowned.com/website.