Urwerk Gives its Best-Selling UR-100V a Cosmic-theme Makeover

Lightweight and lightspeed

Now a best-selling model for Urwerk, the UR-100 is a no-frills – by Urwerk’s standards – timepiece that features the brand’s signature wandering satellite disc for hours and minutes. In other words, it serves as the base model, attracting many enthusiasts venturing into avant-garde time displays from independent watchmakers.

 

As a result, the UR-100 has undergone several iterations to cater to the diverse tastes of collectors, offering a range of materials and dial colors. However, the latest iteration introduces something new to the display. The UR-100V Lightspeed incorporates, for the first time in the lineup, a depiction of the time needed for sunlight to reach each planet in the solar system.

Travel time display

The UR-100V Lightspeed remains true to its UR-100 roots, retaining the model’s sleek case design – now made of carbon – which is slimmer compared to typical Urwerk models, ensuring wearability for a variety of wrist sizes. Additionally, it maintains the wandering hours and minutes feature, comprised of three satellite discs positioned on a carousel to indicate hours, each taking turns to indicate the minutes on an arc scale. This display, while simpler than the brand’s satellite cube, offers an affordable glimpse into Urwerk’s independent watchmaking style.

 

However, the latest Lightspeed eliminates the twin astronomical display present in earlier UR-100 models. This feature indicated the distance traveled by Earth during its rotation on its own axis every 20 minutes (about 555 km) and the distance traveled by Earth as it orbits the Sun every 20 minutes (about 35,700 km). This information was conveyed through the movement of the pointer on the wandering hour disc, which rotates around the entire dial. Conveniently, the cutout is sized so that the pointer takes exactly 20 minutes to pass through it.

 

Although the twin distance display is being phased out, Urwerk has introduced new astronomical information on the dial. Featured on the Lightspeed model is the time required for light to travel from the sun to each planet in the solar system. This information is determined by calculating the distance between the sun and each planet, taking into account the speed of light, which is approximately 299,792.458 meters per second – the fastest speed achievable in the universe. For instance, it can be determined that, on average, sunlight takes approximately 8.3 minutes to reach Earth.

Since the speed of light is a constant, typically represented by the symbol “c” in physics calculations, the time it takes for sunlight to reach each planet remains consistent, disregarding momentarily the variation in distance between the sun and each planet throughout the orbit cycle. This information is now displayed on the dial, constituting a fixed numerical value rather than a dynamic time display. It neither serves as an indicator nor a complication, suggesting a level of interest that is lower than the initial impression.

Controlled winding rate

Inside the watch is the UR 12.02, which consists of URwerk’s proprietary module and a base movement crafted by Vaucher, departing from earlier movements derived from a Zenith calibre. However, the UR 12.02 maintains the “Windfänger” winding system, featuring a star-shaped wheel at the rotor, which completes six rotations for every rotation of the rotor, thereby controlling the winding speed. 

Urwerk UR-100V Lightspeed

Movement: UR 12.02; automatic; 48 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours and minutes
Case: 43 x 51.73 x 14.55 mm; carbon and DLC-coated titanium; water resistant to 50 m
Strap: Red rubber strap with folding clasp
Availability: At Urwerk retailers
Limited edition: 50 pieces
Price: CHF 65,000

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