Urwerk: Cooper Jacoby X UR-102 “Reloaded”3 November 2022
“It represents the starting point for URWERK. The one that kicked it all off. It is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, just as URWERK itself is toasting its quarter-century of existence”, said Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei. It stems from their very first collaboration, the UR-102 – definitely one of the models that triggers the most nostalgia and cravings among URWERK collectors. “It was a watch reserved for our first circle, our friends, our family members. Those who were the first ones to believe in us, so it is a highly emotional piece.”
The good news is that it will once again be in the spotlight on 10 December 2022, this time in a “reloaded” version. A unique piece, #1 of the UR-102 « reloaded » series will be auctioned at TimeForArt, the first-ever benefit watch auction to support contemporary art and artists. A curated benefit auction of exceptional timepieces from the world’s greatest watchmakers, with 100% of the proceeds directly enabling today’s most visionary artists, through Swiss Institute’s exhibitions (Independent non-profit contemporary art institution), public programs, education & community engagement workshops.
The motivation behind this project is crystal clear. Martin Frei, chief designer and co-founder of URWERK expresses it best: “After graduating from the University of Arts and Applied Sciences in Lucerne, I started my creative journey in New York. With a few friends, we created the U.S.A. association (United Swiss Artists), an anchor point far from home, a point of fall or rather of support in difficult times. It is the same philosophy that I find in the approach of the Swiss Institute. Our involvement in this project was therefore self-evident”.
The #1 UR-102 « reloaded » will be auctioned under the auspices of Phillips. This single-piece 41mm titanium edition stems from a collaboration with Cooper Jacoby, an American contemporary artist who reinterprets one of the most emblematic and decisive URWERK creations: the UR-102 in its new “reloaded” version. Jacoby is an up-and-coming artist who draws attention to the functionality of the systems governing our lives. Using innovative treatments of materials such as nickel, copper, rubber and silicon, the artist creates electrifying sculptures, transforming what is often left invisible into striking and vibrant perceptions.
In this instance, Jacoby revisits the notion of graduation. This first UR-102 “reloaded” displays a wandering hour that counts down time in both analog and digital formats. On the dial of this one-of-a-kind watch, Jacoby uses thermochromic pigments to embody one of the body’s most essential regulatory systems: temperature. The dial of this UR-102 is thus transformed through a range of infinitely variable color tones, interacting with and changing in response to thermal variations. A ‘reloaded’ UR-102 immersed in a state of regular flux.
Engaged in a process of perpetual renewal, the Jacoby and URWERK creation marries the systemic precision of chronometry with the harmony of human biology.