We continue our pièces uniques series with URWERK and the artwork of our in-house engraver Johnny “King Nerd” Dowell. This time, he’s created the UR-105 Bronze Tiger, making this the third piece in the series. The time-only watch provides URWERK’s typical satellite time display paired with the bold graved top.
With the announcement at hand, we caught up with Johnny to find out what made him choose the mythical stripped cat for the third installment of Revolution’s collaboration with URWERK.
What is it about tigers that got you inspired?
The inspiration behind, is simply the powerful image of the animal; it’s beautiful, iconic, fierce and elegant. All those words used together can usually be contradicting, but it describes one of the most amazing animals that still roams Mother Earth. As soon as I think of an animal that is facially and beautifully symmetrical, the tiger is the first one I think of. The subject and imagery of tigers has been used in so many things from art to tattoos, fashion to film — the list goes on. Its strength and beauty is noticeable from the moment one first lays eyes on one.
We’re sure you’ve gotten the rhythm by now. But seeing how these engraved pieces are one-of-a-kind, do you find each imagery to be similar in difficulty of execution? Would you say it gets easier with time?
The Tiger was very different, to say, the Samurai because that was a side profile piece. The Tiger’s very similar to the Guardian Lions, however, because of the symmetry. I think symmetry was important with this one as a front-facing engraved Tiger is more visually appealing.
On its own, the URWERK UR-105 without engraving is a very bold piece. When you look at it from the front, it’s sharp and clean edges make it undeniably symmetrical. Taking these features into account myself – along with Wei & Bruce – I felt that the image of the full, face-on tiger would look so much more powerful when engraved on the watch.
Tell us a little bit about the man behind the tools. Describe what’s a typical day like for you.
The man behind the tools has his breakfast first and then makes a tea or coffee to take to his office to start work. I then put on some Hip Hop; I can’t be inspired without it. (That sounds so corny, but it’s really more of a habit than anything). If I’m looking for a design, I will get out when I can and draw at a coffee shop.
Sometimes I do it the old fashioned way and research at a bookshop. I can get really good material in the book sections of charity shops because there is such a mixture of subjects when digging through the books people used to own.