The wonderfully creative team from URWERK, Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, have found a way to get lost in orbit while still being on Earth. The UR-100V “Blue Planet” not only gives us the time (and looks fantastic) it lets us track the Earth’s rotation at the equator and our planet’s trip around the Sun.
You typically need time (no pun intended) to begin to understand any timepiece from URWERK. Their time display is so unusual, so avant-garde, so out-of-this-world, that at first glance your head will spin. But that spinning is exactly what you need to begin to see how beautiful the URWERK watches are. Once you wrap your head around the lack of traditional hands and classic display, you start to appreciate the beauty of the movement. There are there satellite arms, each one like a frame around a number. The number closest to the minute track on the lower part of the dial is the current hour. The marker right beneath the hour number points to the current minute. As the hour passes, the satellite arm moves the hour number clockwise along the minute track. By the time the hour is up, the next arm of the satellite has the new hour number visible and aligned to the minute track.
With the Blue Planet, there is additional information. The yellow arrowhead hand appears at (where the) 9 o’clock (would typically be), to track the distance that the Earth rotates at the equator every 20 minutes, and at (where the) 3 o’clock (would typically be), to track 20 minutes of the Earth’s trip around the sun.
As Felix Baumgartner says, “We have miniaturized and reinterpreted our solar system. We get lost in the depths of the rotating carousel of the UR-100V. It is a plunge into space, a fall into nothingness. It’s a new horological odyssey with our head in the stars and feet on the ground. It’s a reverie in blue.”
The UR-100V is a perfect deep blue timepiece – blue steel case, blue for the movement, blue for orbital carousel, blue strap and buckle too. As Martin Frei says, “When I create and when I paint, all colors resonate in me, but particularly blue. During my education at the Academy of Arts and Design in Lucerne, I had the chance to study the great Florentine artist Giotto. He was the first who, at the end of the Middle Ages, painted the sky blue — dethroning Byzantine gold — and launching the ‘realistic’ style of painting is normal today. I love the color of Giotto’s blue sky; it’s the same sky as ours. Blue is a color that surrounds us, that encompasses us.” The exact hue of blue is deep, matte, and intense.
The URWERK UR-100V “Blue Planet” is a limited edition of 25 pieces. It is powered by the Calibre UR 12.02 self-winding mechanical movement regulated by Windfänger Planetary Turbine Automatic System, and has a power reserve of 48 hours.