Watches: Urwerk UR-110 Eastwood (+live pics & video)

By Thierry Ané on February 3, 2015

Since the very first model presented by Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, Urwerk has positioned itself as a very upscale niche brand with a different approach to telling the time. The brand’s trademark futuristic style has always been associated with the presence of multiple satellite complications that both present impressive technical achievements and mesmerising visual treats.

With the time indication on the right side of the dial with three counter-rotating hour satellites mounted on a central carousel and following a vertical arced line graduated from 0 to 60 minutes, the time indication on the UR-110 model is perfectly emblematic of this unique brand’s approach to modern Fine Watchmaking.

In the dark, the copious Super-LumiNova makes the time extremely easy to read

Since its introduction with a titanium version back in 2011, this stunning model with an atypical 47.00 x 51.00 mm case that sits perfectly on the wrist and commands attention has been presented in a variety of exciting renditions. It first appeared in stainless steel with Urwerk’s very own AlTiN-treatment that same year before being dressed in the usual black DLC titanium and red gold versions in 2012.

Given its remarkable popularity, the UR-110 timepiece went through the necessary limited edition makeover for the well-known The Hour Glass retailer in Singapore in 2012. With light blue indications on a black DLC case, the five units of the UR-110 Torpedo The Hour Glass were an immediate success.

The back of the UR-110

To build on this reputation, Urwerk unveiled two posh rendition in 2013 with platinum or black platinum on the bezel to complement the titanium of the case. In addition, just like the Hour Glass model, the UR-110 PTH Black DLC Titanium and Black Platinum elegantly played with the use of colour with vivid red indications instead of the usual yellow of previous models.

It seemed that the UR-110 had a successful life and its production had to come to an end for the brand to be able to focus on new technical developments and inventive models. But before turning the page on such an amazing model, Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner were eager to offer one last take on such an important piece of Urwerk’s history.

The last versions of the UR-110 were thus presented during the Geneva Week and let me just say that for its last show, this model left the centre stage with two extraordinary limited editions of five pieces each: the UR-110 Eastwood Macassar Ebony and the UR-110 Eastwood Red Ebony!

With every type of metal and surface treatment already exhausted for the bezel, Urwerk came up with an unconventional, albeit brilliant idea: why not use an organic material like wood to provide an appealing contrast with the futuristic nature of the piece?

It goes without saying, though, that not any kind of wood could be used. It has to be a noble essence to rise to the level of this exceptional watch and also hard and resistant enough to withstand the bad treatments our timepieces are subject to even on the gentlest wrists. Urwerk opted for Macassar Ebony from Indonesia on one model and Red Ebony from South Africa on the other.

These highly valuable woods with a beautiful texture and rich colours definitely qualify for luxury items and they are so hard that machining the timber to create the bezels caused more wear and tear on the equipment than most metals!

But who cares about the technical difficulties when the end result is so beautiful right? The UR-110 Eastwood Macassar Ebony and UR-110 Eastwood Red Ebony are both mesmerising in their very own way. It is also amazing to see how two different wood essences can transform the watch so much and I would have an extremely hard time deciding which version I prefer!

The idea to use wood on the watch components is definitely not new but to me it works better than ever before due to the intriguing contrast between the general contemporary style of the UR-110 and the timelessness of this organic material. Moreover, the brand’s designers had another stroke of genius: resorting to an equally unconventional material for the straps of these stunning watches.

Indeed, the brand partnered up with renowned British tailor Timothy Everest to create to most exquisite wool tweed NATO-style straps one could think of for these exceptional models. Known for its durability, tweed is perfectly adapted for the strap and, as it was the textile of choice for Britain’s Upper Class, it complements perfectly the luxurious nature of both the Macassar Ebony and UR-110 Red Ebony.

A green, black and blue “Herringbone” pattern was chosen for the UR-110 Eastwood Macassar Ebony model and the UR-110 Eastwood Red Ebony is mounted on a bolder strap made of brown and blue “Prince of Wales” pattern on ivory fabric. Both straps as just as gorgeous as the bezels and together create a beautiful harmony. What better way could we have thought of to close the UR-110 chapter?

For more information please visit the Urwerk web site.