Urwerk: UR-230 “Eagle”15 November 2023
The 200 collection welcomes a new generation: the UR-230. This “Eagle” is distinguished by its exterior, its design and its mechanics. The latest addition to the URWERK family, with its satellite display, wandering hours and retrograde minutes hand, has benefited from an engine upgrade and a high-tech makeover:
“It’s already been ten years since the success of the UR-220, we wanted to follow up with a creation featuring a strong personality”, explains URWERK co-founder and master watchmaker Felix Baumgartner. “The UR-230 “Eagle” focuses on performance. The turbines, which are one of our URWERK signatures, have been further improved. Today we are unveiling a model whose robustness has been boosted by technology.”
The new UR-230 ‘Eagle’ retains the display concept of the UR-220. It is a sophisticated version of the revolving satellite complication that is URWERK’s essential signature. On a three-armed carrousel, rotating blocks each carry four hours’ numerals. They scroll along a 120-degree sector, with the face of the current hour pointing towards the observer. To display the minutes, these display cubes are embedded in an aluminium 3D retrograde hand. At the end of its 60-minute journey, this skeletonised hand returns to index 0, where it takes charge of the cube displaying the next hour.
Martin Frei, artistic director and cofounder of URWERK says: “We are proud to present the UR-230, the latest addition to our iconic series 200 launched in 2006 – 2007 with the introduction of the UR-201 ‘Hammerhead’. Since then, our unceasing quest for innovation has led us to rethink this collection while preserving its energy, its strength. We have evolved the concept, the elegance of the predator, but in a different context. We have created ‘the Maltese Falcon’ and ‘the Pilgrim’, watches akin to a bird of prey with their powerful retrograde system. Today, we reveal our UR-230 ‘Eagle’. This new UR-230 features a complex half-hunter case (with protective cover) crafted from finely layered carbon. The UR-230 is both lightweight and robust. It deserves to bear the name of the king of the skies.”
A NEW AIR FLOW
In addition to this time display, the UR-230 “Eagle” showcases new functions. URWERK has developed a world-first set of shock absorbers designed to protect the new UR-7.30 calibre via turbines. A first set of turbines is dedicated to attenuating the impact of any external shock, thereby guaranteeing the robustness and durability of the watch. A second set controls the flow of air that feeds the winding system. The strength of this “air brake”, designed to modulate the winding power according to the wearer’s level of activity, is set by a rotating knob on the back of the watch.
A second switch opposite the first serves to entirely disengage the rotor. The UR-230 ‘Eagle’ then switches to manual winding mode. The level of adjustment of these two functions is indicated by two symmetrical indicators at 11 and 1 o’clock on the CTP carbon cover.
MATERIALS AND DESIGN
The UR-230 “Eagle” also features the same case design as the UR-200 collection. A trapeze shape with a pronounced elongation towards the 6 o’clock position, a staggered layout around the sapphire apertures, a crown at 12 o’clock and clever management of acute and softened angles. Its 44,8 mm case is once again made from CTP carbon, the material offering the best weight/stiffness/graphic effect ratio.
Black, light and rigid, this carbon is machined in superimposed layers, pressure-bonded at high temperatures. The resulting block is then worked into the mass, following a pattern that reveals the layers in a regular, controlled geometric pattern. The back is made of grooved and perfectly dermo-compatible black DLC titanium. Inside the case, the UR-230 ‘Eagle’ encloses its UR-7.30 calibre in a hermetically sealed container resembling a strongbox.
UR-230 ‘Eagle’ features a cover that lifts 90 degrees to reveal the entire satellite system. The purpose of this cover is to protect the sapphire crystal.
“We created a shock-proof protection for the movement and another for the sapphire crystal”, explains Felix Baumgartner. “This cover created a whole host of technical difficulties for adjusting and connecting the cover and case designs. The brake system was also tested and adjusted until we were completely satisfied.” It too is made from CTP carbon mixed with titanium. A beak-shaped edge provides a finger grip, enabling it to be lifted. When closing it, a braking device slows its travel so that it rests gently on the sapphire crystal and then clips into place. Like an eagle whose talons seize its prey in mid-flight, it is silent and impressively accurate.
Water-resistant to 30 meters and paired with a vulcanised rubber strap with a black buckle and Velcro fastening, the new URWERK UR-230 “Eagle” is a highly sophisticated raptor produced in a limited series of only 35 pieces. The price is clearly no less, a whopping 180,000 CHF + Taxes.