web analytics

Experiment ZR012 by C3H5N3O9

Just imagine a highly complicated mechanical watch created by two of the most progressive and innovative companies in the world of horology. Enter the absolutely astonishing Experiment ZR012 by C3H5N3O9. The extraordinarily talented Urwerk and MB & F developed this phenomenal timepiece with the assistance of independent watch designer Eric Giroud. Apparently the original idea for the watch has evolved from a recreational lunch between Felix Baumgartner and Maximilian Büsser in 2008. This fortunate meeting has culminated in the production of an absolutely stunning timepiece.


The name C3H5N3O9 (It is the molecular formula for nitro-glycerine and a horological experiment) has been used to signify this is purely a developmental outlet and not a new luxury brand. Never the less I would imagine a watch of this calibre and price will attract serious collectors. The concept of the Experiment ZR012 was inspired by the dream of a 17-year old German boy called Felix Wankel. His vision was to design an engine in which the four stages of intake, compression, combustion and exhaust, took place in one rotation. Amazingly after three decades of research and development he finally devised a prototype in 1957. The basic principle of this engineering feat involves a convex-triangle rotor gyrating inside an epitrochoid (a highly complex mathematical shape) combustion chamber.


Aesthetically the Experiment ZR012 makes a bold and distinctive statement. The watch measures a gigantic 55mm x 44mm excluding the lugs and crown. As this essentially is a concept watch the company have been able to explore different material options. The case of this watch is fabricated from zirconium, which is highly resistant to alkalis, acids and saltwater corrosion. Two Reuleaux polygon rotors tracing epitrochoid curves display hours and minutes. This ingenious system pays homage to the revolutionary Wankel engine. The three dimensional composition is sensational and completely unique. C3H5N3O9 have really pushed the boundaries of avant-garde design and made telling the time an invigorating experience. I love the overall architectural appearance of the watch and feel it will be the pride of any collection.


Urwerk employed the immense skills of Cyrano Devanthey to devise a complication based on the Wankel engine. The result is a mechanical manual winding movement (operated by a large screw down crown) comprising 42 jewels and oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Each of the 328 components has been meticulously hand finished and decorated in Switzerland. The Experiment ZR012 features hours, minutes and a power reserve of 39 hours. Impressively there is a cool indicator positioned on the reverse of the case.


The futuristic Experiment ZR012 is currently available in Natural and Black zirconium. Numbers are restricted to twelve of each version and the suggested retail price is: $229,200 Singapore dollars (approximately $182,635).


Review Categories

Latest Updates

Products of the Week


Brands by Name

  • Social Links