The Transformer —  Meet the Urwerk UR-T8

Urwerk’s own Felix Baumgartner calls it the brand’s first transforming watch. Are we to expect more then? Only time will tell. For now, the UR-T8, which was unveiled to the world on Sunday, ahead of day one at SIHH 2017 is clearly a hit and a great way to kick off the brand’s 20th anniversary festivities.

But what does he mean to suggest when he calls the UR-T8 a transforming watch? Quite simply, the watch has two clip switches on its side that when pressed release the module that holds the watch’s movement, such that you are able to swivel it into a 90-degree position.

In this position, you are then able to twist the entire module, 180 degrees to reveal the watch’s alternate, protective, shell-like back.

In case you are wondering if the UR-T8 might just end up flopping around on its swivel. Rest your worried mind. Every range of motion in the transforming function is extremely smooth and when locked in place, the module clicks in with an incredibly satisfying click.

Safety mechanisms are also worked into the swiveling motion, such as the two-button system. The system requires that both buttons must be depressed at the same time in order to release the module. In the upright position, as well, twisting the module over to either side will require the wearer to depress the two switches.

The simple mechanism adds a new dimension to Urwerk’s watches that already, constantly, beckon the wearer’s attention.

There’s firstly the tactile, scale-like surface on the watch (on the time-side and the protective side) that we first saw in last year’s UR-105 T-Rex, which makes for a great tactile sensation.

Then there’s Urwerk’s signature time display, or satellite complication, which uses a three-armed carousel that sweeps the hours against a minute scale. Each arm bears four hour discs that are now, for the first time, able to rotate to remain in a horizontal reading position as the hour passes.

A small update to the carousel-satellite movement mechanism of the brand’s, which, no doubt, required a substantial amount of development.

Now, there’s this swiveling function that transforms the watch and adds to the opportunities for interaction with an Urwerk timepiece. Notice, also, how when the watch is in its “protected” state — there is a little aperture that allows for a peek at UR-T8’s turbine.

The turbine is, of course, an implementation of Urwerk’s that allows for self-regulation of their watch’s automatic winding system.

60 pieces of the UR-T8 will be produced in two case variations: An all-black PVD titanium (Grade 5) version and a bicolored version with parts of the transformer case non-PVD treated.

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