An innovative, hands-free watch inspired by the Sputnik 1 satellite, now relaunched with an upgraded design.
Originally launched in 1997 at Baselworld, the URWERK 102 collection of watches marked the entrance of the brand into the world of watchmaking – with a bang. Innovative and modern, the collection featured hands-free dials that showed the passage of time in an unusual, distinctive way. In 2023, URWERK brings back their iconic watch design with the UR-102 Reloaded model.
“The UR-102 is more than a symbol”, says Felix Baumgartner, master watchmaker and co-founder of URWERK. “It represents my entry into the AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants). It embodies the first collaboration with Martin Frei, our first steps into the world of fine watchmaking, our first dreams of independence,” he adds. The design also subtly references the Sputnik 1 satellite. “Right the very beginning, we had the deep and intimate conviction that focusing on the wandering hour was our path”, says Martin Frei, artistic director and co-founder of URWERK. “For this UR-102, our concept featured a time indicator that looked like a celestial body. It picked up the vibe of Sputnik, the first man-made artificial satellite,” adds Frei.
Updated features that highlight the creativity of the original timepiece.
The newly launched wristwatch maintains the same distinctive design with a rotating hour unit that moves in a semi-circular track, but features a range of upgrades. Right from the start, one change becomes obvious: the case has grown from 38 mm to 41 mm. Moved at the 4 o’clock mark, the crown now ‘sinks’ into the case. The watch also features larger, angular lugs that give a nod to Sputnik’s attachments. Likewise, the face displays a series of changes. Among them, redesigned hour and minute markers as well as a wider opening that gives a more dynamic feel to the passage of time. The titanium version also maintains the blue backdrop in a nod to celestial bodies.
The URWERK UR-102 Reloaded Watch comes with a self-winding UR-2.02 movement with 25 jewels and a power reserve of 48 hours. At the front, there’s a bespoke special-shaped sapphire crystal. The watch comes with a textured rubber strap with a Baltimore-quilt pattern with a sandblasted titanium pin buckle. The brand has launched the UR-102 Reloaded watch in two limited-edition versions, Black and Titanium, packaged in a boxed set. If you want to grab one, however, keep in mind that the series is limited to only 25 pieces. Photographs © URWERK.