URWERK unveils the Streamliner

The UR-105 CT evokes the vibrant, noisy, thrilling giant playground of fantasy and tension that New York was 20 years ago when 22-year-old Felix Baumgartner joined Martin Frei, who had made his home there

The UR-105 CT ‘Streamliner’ is a beautiful object that fits snugly in the palm of your hand. Its unique shape is a remarkable octagon with deep grooves along its length. The Art Deco influences are apparent in its geometric angularity and symmetry. Drawing inspiration from the Empire State, the Chrysler, and the Comcast buildings, Martin Frei has conceived the Streamlineras a minimalist design with few frills and clean lines.

You have to slide the catch on the top of the case to reveal the mechanism of the UR-105 CT. It has a new wandering hour indication based on an openwork carousel, which carries the four satellites, each bearing three numerals for the hours. The hours successively sweep past the minutes scale for an analogue and digital display of the time.

A power-reserve indicator and digital seconds make up the rest of the information displayed on the dial. 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.

Two pneumatic turbines on the back govern the self-winding rate, which can be set with a lever. In the FULL position, the slightest movement of the wrist is harnessed to rewind the barrel spring. Turn the lever to STOP to disengage the self-winding system and wind up the UR-105 using the crown. An intermediate position, RED (for reduced) engages the turbines to dampen the winding rotor and avoid overstressing the mainspring, if you are particularly active.

In the Streamliner, Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei take you to the New York of their youth, a plunge into a city of different facets, from the top of the highest skyscraper to the depths of the subway. It was March 1997, when Martin Frei graduated from the College of Arts and Design in Lucerne (Switzerland) and moved to New York where he joined other Swiss artists in founding the United Swiss Artists (USA) association.

He was then living in Brooklyn – in a garret that soon became a creative hub. Felix took a plane to New York to join his friend. Felix Baumgartner was 22, Martin slightly older. Together in the city of their dreams they wandered the streets, taking in the images of New York, its redbrick houses, its Art Deco skyscrapers, and gleaming subway. These pictures filled their minds and would never leave them. Twenty years have now gone by and URWERK is an established niche brand. Their dream has taken shape and come to life. And when Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner look back to those days, their memories return on the drawing board and the workbench. Their American dream is now on their wrists as the UR-105 CT Streamliner.

The Streamliner comes in two versions: Titanium and mirror-polished steel, and Titanium and black PVD coated steel; and is water-resistant to 3ATM (30m).

Recognised as one of the forerunners of the new wave known as nouvelle horlogerie, URWERK produces just 150 watches a year; the company sees itself as a craftsman’s studio where traditional expertise coexists with avant-garde styling.

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