Urwerk UR-100V T-Rex
The Urwerk UR-100V T-Rex is the latest addition to the UR-100 series. It is housed in a bronze case and displays the prevailing time using the brand’s beloved satellites. But most pertinently of all, the brand’s proven T-Rex theme is back and it looks better than ever.
Ever since Urwerk was founded in 1997, a capacity to dream and a willingness to innovate have pervaded every area of the firm. Conventional co-axial hour and minute hands have been renounced in favour of ingenious displays such as wandering hours.
In 2016, Urwerk released the UR-105 T-Rex, a thought-provoking variant of the UR-105, but housed in bronze, a first for the brand at the time. Interestingly, the case of this prehistoric-themed creation emulated the scaly appearance of a Tyrannosaurus rex. While many creative types may have worried about the negative connotations of dinosaurs, Urwerk courageously embraced the T-Rex theme and delivered something bold and new.
Now the T-Rex is back. The luxury marque has taken the UR-100 model, first released in September 2019, dressed it in bronze and endowed it with many scales, imitating the appearance of the menacing prehistoric animal. The bronze case has been subjected to a series of treatments, including a patination process that has cleverly softened the aesthetic.
While the Urwerk UR-100V T-Rex is new, it still shares the same intelligible indications as other members of the UR-100 series. This inventory of functions includes a display which shows the Earth’s rotational distance over a 20 minute period and a further indication showing the Earth’s orbital distance travelled in 20 minutes.
Although Urwerk has a playful streak, it is very serious about watchmaking. The materials it employs and the finishes it applies to components make the brand worthy of the term ‘Haute Horlogerie’.
The Urwerk UR-100V T-Rex is limited to 22 pieces. Price CHF 50,000 (excluding tax).
The brand’s press release (January 2021)
You might prefer to handle its namesake. The 41-mm UR-100V T-Rex features satellite wandering hours and a new type of selfwinding system. However, its hide, in a mosaic of scales, has a somewhat more sensual texture. It’s a watch for those who relish the sensational — and the rare — for only 22 are made.
Its case is in solid bronze that has undergone three successive treatments. The first lies in the unusual composition of the alloy which results in a delicate patina. The bronze is then in the hands of a computer-controlled milling station that carves the pattern of scales on the top and sides of the case. The final processes, sand-blasting and Urwerk’s proprietary method of biochemical burnishing, give the watch its distinctive colour.
The scales, in the form of raised lozenges, cover the head and sides of this magnificent reptile and surround the flattened dome of sapphire crystal and the big knurled crown. The bevelled pyramids have been truncated and polished to present a surface that is pleasing to the touch, while the PVD blackened titanium caseback is fully skin compatible.
Nobody knows whether the ancient dinosaur had a voice, but the T-Rex watch certainly knows how to express itself. In Urwerk’s animal kingdom, the signature satellite indication does the talking. Three satellites, each of four hours, rotate on a three-armed carousel. In turn, each satellite, displaying the hour, carries a red pointer along a 60-minute scale.
The regular orbit of the hours, as old as time itself, replicates the planetary dance in miniature. The watch is wound while you wear it by a rotor. This is coupled to a device called the Windfänger that is specific to the UR- 100 models. It’s a planetary gear that limits the action of the rotor to avoid overwinding and excessive wear.
Finally, the UR-100V T-Rex has a feature that puts other watches into the dinosaur age. Once the red pointer of the satellite hours has completed its 60-minute journey, it reappears to show the distance travelled by our planet.
In the scale at 9 o’clock on the case the pointer shows the 555.5 km travelled by a point on the equator in a period of 20 minutes. The 20-minute scale on the other side of the dial shows the 35,742 km Earth travels in its orbit around the sun in that time.