This month, the independent Swiss watchmaker, Urwerk, celebrates their 20th anniversary. In doing so, they have created a new timepiece to mark the occasion: the UR-105 CT Streamliner.
The Art Deco influences are apparent in its geometric angularity and symmetry explains Martin Frei, “the Streamliner has a minimalist design with few frills and clean lines. In the initial drawings, I thought of the Empire State, the Chrysler, and the Comcast buildings. That is why it has that vertical structure that seems to go on forever.”
A liftable cover hides the mechanism underneath, revealing the time and power reserve. Sliding a lever on the top opens the cover and reveals the four satellites mounted to a carousel with three-hour numerals on each satellite.
Time is displayed digitally for the hours and minutes are shown underneath the hours as the indicator moves along a retrograde 0-60 scale. Seconds are shown in tens with a red U-shaped window on the left of the display. Power reserve is indicated on the right side.
According to the Urwerk press release, “The digital seconds are remarkable in that they indicate tens of seconds. The mechanism was made using a photolithographic process, with each marker open-worked to make it as light as possible. It thus weighs less than a tenth of a gram.”
On the back side, two pneumatic turbines control the self-winding rate, which can be set with a lever. In the “FULL position, even the small movements of the wrist generate power to wind the mainspring barrel. “STOP” disengages the winding mechanism. A third “RED” setting engages the turbines and dampens the winding rotor to reduce stress on the mainspring, which is good if you are highly active.
The Streamliner case measures 39.5 mm x 17.3 mm x 53 mm and is water-resistant to 30 meters. Caliber UR 5.03 runs at 4Hz, has a 48-hour power reserve, 52 jewels, and is regulated by twin turbines.
The UR-105 CT Streamliner comes in two versions: titanium and mirror-polished steel or titanium and black PVD coated steel, both retailing for approximately $65,000.