Like most people, I am fascinated with astronomy and the galaxy in general. That’s why a recent news story really caught my interest. A few days ago it was reported that Scientists have discovered a ‘Super-Earth’ like planet containing water vapour. The exoplanet is called K2-18b and is composed of similar (to our earth) molecules like nitrogen and methane. It is twice as large and weighs about eight times as heavy. K2-18b also is much closer to its star (which is much more volatile than our sun) and so it only takes only takes around 33 days to orbit. Realistically, it isn’t habitable but nevertheless, it’s an exciting development.
On the 19th of August, I published an article entitled ‘Watches that are literally out of this world’. The editorial featured some really interesting timepieces including Azimuth’s Predator. Version 2.0, Vianney Halter’s Deep Space, Christiaan van der Klaauw Midnight Planetarium and Konstantin Chaykin’s Mars Conqueror. If I had waited a few weeks Urwerk’s amazing new UR-100 would also be an inclusion. This timepiece certainly has received a lot of positive press recently, which is not at all surprising.
Most watch writers have different personal preferences regarding, size, aesthetics, materials etc. However, no one could dispute that Urwerk is one of the industries most exciting and experimental watchmakers. The UR-100 is synonymous with the brand and has its iconic satellite display. Visually the appearance seems more conventional than many of their previous models. Features like the dome sapphire crystal and top-mounted crown make it distinctive without being too eclectic. Urwerk has also kept the scale of this model at a reasonable size (41mm x 49.7mm x 14mm). These dimensions are almost normal by modern standards and so are the choice of materials. Discerning buyers have a choice of black PVD coated titanium or brushed steel. In my opinion, the latter is more effective but ideally, I would have preferred natural titanium.
At the heart of the watch is a complicated in house developed Self-winding mechanical movement, which is regulated by Planetary Turbine Automatic System. The Calibre UR 12.01 comprises 39-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This entire splendour is visibly showcased via the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the UR-100 features satellite hour/minutes, 20-minute earth and sun indications. The watch also has a power reserve of 48-hours and is water-resistant to 30-metres.