Urwerk can always be counted on to surprise, and its latest UR111C wristwatch is absolutely true to form. Designed by co-founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei, the self-winding UR111C does pretty well everything it can to subvert the traditional wristwatch form, including an analog/digital readout that sits to the side of the case rather than on the face.
In recent years, Urwerk has gained a reputation for designing wristwatches that aspire to be exotic Italian hypercars. Whether it’s creating watches with “oil-change” displays, mechanical/electronic hybrid movements, air turbines, rotating displays, or timekeeping linear bars, the company really likes to push the envelope.
For the UR-111C, Urwerk selected a case in steel or gunmetal finish that looks like a cross between a futuristic engine block and an antique radio. There isn’t a crown, so winding and setting it is a bit of a poser. It turns out there’s a roller set on top of the case that has to be thumbed to wind the watch. As for setting the time, there’s a lever on the side of the case that engages the mechanism, which is set by turning the roller back and forth.
But the real party piece is the display. Taking a page from the company’s previous CC1 King Cobra watch, the UR-111C has a vertical display set in the near side of the case, allowing the wearer to read the time without having to turn their wrist. Altering the horizontal watch movement to operate the vertical display required an angled transmission with miniature bevel gears, but that’s just the start.