2021 URWERK UR-112 Aggregat Revealed

by Chamath Gamage
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URWERK has unveiled their latest timepiece, the UR-112 Aggregat. This special piece is the latest addition to the brand’s Special Project collection, which is where unique timepieces that offer horological freedom and creativity come together. 

The Special Project collection was started by URWERK’S co-founders Felix Baumgartner (Master Watchmaker) and Martin Frei (artistic director and designer). The two got together to create this new adventure on a blank page in the brand’s book.

The inspiration to create the UR-112 Aggregat stems from dreaming of new mechanical challenges to overcome. This timepiece is as technical as it gets, and the aesthetics of it are driven by its technicality too, through the gears and near-manic assembly precision. 

Felix Baumgartner states that “We nicknamed this watch the Aggregat because the UR-112 brings different elements together. From a single source of energy, we power all displays and mechanisms of this UR-112. This force is distributed sparingly, some even “recycled” so that from the digital second at the top of the dial to the dragging minutes and the jumping hours at the opposite extreme, each display receives precisely its required dose of energy with none wasted.” 

Design:

The UR-112 Aggregat is housed in a 42mm x 51mm black and Gunmetal PVD-coated titanium case. The watch features a fully digital time display, which shows all the way from the hour down to the seconds. The hour and minutes are displayed on triangular prisms which operate on transparent cylinders. These cylinders have been created to be levitating in appearance when seen through crystal. 

The bottom left of the dial features the digital hour display, with all 12 numerals being engraved and then filled with Super-LumiNova for added nighttime visibility. The bottom right features the minutes, which have been created in the same fashion as the hour markers. Instead of every minute, it is displayed in 5-minute increments. 

The top left shows a power reserve indicator which is certainly a useful indicator to have on a mechanical timepiece. Lastly, the top right shows the seconds, which are shown in 5-minute increments. 

Movement:

The movement used to power this mechanical beast is the brand’s UR-13.01. The movement operates at a frequency of 4Hz (28, 800 VpH) and gives out a power reserve of approximately 48 hours. Although quite complex, URWERK breaks the movement down by stating that “the primary source of all this power is rooted in the basic movement opposite this Dantesque construction. A long, thin rod connects the body and head of the UR-112. This is the Cardan shaft, a central part of vital importance to this mechanism. A complex set of cogs, a succession of gears, allows this axis to transmit all the energy required. And this despite a 90° turnaround. This transmission shaft with double gearing – one at each end – is perpendicular to the horizontal time indication.”

The movement is enclosed in what the brand calls a “hunter” case that features a hinged titanium protective cover. The pushers on either side of the case can be pushed to unlock the cover and will spring up, which reveals an intricate display of digital seconds. 

URWERK says that the first edition of the UR-112 Aggregat is limited to a production of 25 units. Turning up the notch on pure mechanical watchmaking, the UR-112 Aggregat is made for lovers of technical timepieces. 

Artist and Chief Designer, Martin Frei summed up the design of this piece by stating “The sources of inspiration for this UR-112 are many and diffuse. The grille of the Bugatti Atlantique is the most obvious. An exceptional automobile whose contrasting spine emphasizes absolute symmetry. Some Middle Eastern influences are also vivid in my mind. The memories, the smells, the experiences during my travels nourish my imagination and are found in all my creations. Found by subtle touch.”

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