With the 210 series Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei created another timepiece that was more in line with their earlier more symmetrical creations, like the 103 , 201 & 202 and of course with the newest 105m, that our own Suzanne Wong wrote about here.
For a long time I thought that strapping off an Urwerk 103 and switching to a 210 would make a world of difference in fit and feel. My idea, only based on the impression I got from the pictures and videos on the internet of the 210, was quite wrong.
When I put the two watches side by side, the 210 does not look that much larger. Sure in millimeters it is, but the way the watch sits on my 18cm wrist, is not that much different from my trusty Urwerk 103 and that was an eye opener.
Besides the fact that the 103 and 210 both read time in a different way than something more pedestrian like a Rolex Submariner, there is a world of difference between the two. The Urwerk 103 was a shocking looking time piece when it was released in 2005 and a stunning watch on the wrist.
The Urwerk 210 however, is a totally different experience and is besides a gorgeous looker, is much more about the interaction between the watch and the owner.
The movement of the 210, the UR-7.10 is an automatic caliber with a power reserve of 39 hours. In the right upper corner the meter for the power reserve is located and in the left upper corner we’ll see another meter, with a red and a green zone. This is what Felix Baumgartner calls the winding efficiency meter.
It is an instrument that tells you more about your physical movements. Every morning when waking up, the meter is in the red zone. This is because the watch was not moved for hours, since it was probably at the bedside table, while you were taking a nap. In daily life however, when you’re working or gardening, the meter will move up to the green sector, indicating that your moves are enough to power the watch well.
But on Sunday morning, a part of the day that I usually spend on the couch, reading my news papers, the meter will slowly sink in the red area, telling me that I’m not moving enough to power the watch and that the watch will use it’s built up power reserve. No problem. And normally I will not do anything, since I will be more active the rest of the day. But in case there is a lot of desk work to do, I put the switch on the back of the watch, to FULL.
This way the watch will still be wound, even while I am not that active, since the rotor will then convert the slightest movement into stored energy. During light sports it can be turned to less efficient.
There are extreme cases that one might want to protect to movement; during heavy sports for instance. In that case the switch can be turned back to STOP, so the turbines of the watch are fixed.
– the constant moving the turbines on the back of the watch –
This is what I meant with the interaction between the watch and the owner, a feature that I really like. Of course the watch can always be wound with the large crown at the top of the watch. Whether it is necessary or just fun, Urwerk is the first brand to launch this cool complication that indicates winding efficiency over the last two hours. It gives a lot of joy and I love that interaction with the watch. Often when I have to wait somewhere, whether it is at the dentist or at an airport lounge, I like to play a bit with the indicators.
It is fascinating to see what happens just before the new hour begins. The function of the prominent retrograde minute hand is to enclose the hour satellite and indicate the time, as it travels along the 0-to-60-minute scale.
Here in this short video it is at 10 o’clock. The next hour in line is starting to prepare it self; (upper right corner of the watch) the pointer starts to turn around from 8 to 11, to be the next hour. This happens during the first 20 minutes, of a new hour.
As soon as the Retrograde hand reaches the end of the scale, so just before the new hour starts again, a soft but hearable “click” is the indicates that the Retrograde hand jumps back to zero; (the starting point for the new hour), where it picks up the new hour, to start its journey along the minute tracking. It takes less than 0.1 of a second for the hand to fly back to zero.
Enough said about the technique and ultra cool features of the 210, since these are truly important, but not the only reason that make Urwerk time pieces so unique. A few last words need to be said about what all Urwerk watches have in common; the unique and differently designed, typical Urwerk case.
Besides the fact that I always find it amazing that this small independent brand is able to produce a new case, again and again, every time when they launch a new timepiece, it is so remarkable that, while all Urwerk time pieces are very different, Martin Frei’s signature remains strongly visible throughout the whole collection.
Research and development of a new watch case, take a large bite out of the total production budget of a timepiece. And since Urwerk’s production numbers are much lower compared to the larger brands, it is even more noteworthy, that for a brand like Urwerk design and technique go hand in hand.
The Urwerk 210 is available in four different versions, from this chic pink gold and titanium version (UR210RG) to the more sporty titanium & steel (UR210) and from the titanium & AITIN treated steel (UR210 ALTIN), to the titanium and steel (UR 210Y) All share the same in house built automatic UR 7.10 caliber and all four models are water resistant to 3 ATM. The future is now; the choice is yours.
More information: URWERK