The New Urwerk UR-111C TT Is One Of The Coolest Yet A sophisticated colorway boosts an already wild-enough model by Rob NuddsMarch 24, 2020 MIN READThe New Urwerk UR-111C TT Is One Of The Coolest Yet
Some brands get you. Some brands get me. And some brands? Well, they just get it. Establishing a USP is the priority of any would-be investor in every new start-up from here to Geneva. Doing it, on the other hand, is a totally different kettle of fish. One brand that made it look easy is Urwerk. With the latest Urwerk UR-111C TT, the trend, and legend, continues.
Disruption (and its derivatives) is the most overused word in modern watchmaking. Every new brand under the sun claims that it’s about to disrupt the industry. It’s been years since I’ve seen one succeed. What they often succeed in, is tricking people who are, at the very best, on the fringes of luxury watchmaking into buying one of their “disruptive” products. These supposed “game-changers” are often powered by a quartz module, a cheap Asian mechanical movement, or if you’re lucky, hopes and prayers. If you ever wondered what real disruption looks like, I invite you to look at Urwerk and its history, all the way back to 1997. You won’t be disappointed.
It very much needed turning
Sure, the prices are stratospheric. Yes, the cases are not exactly the most sympathetically sized or shaped. And yeah, the styling is maybe not the most “versatile” in the industry. But it DID turn it on its head at a time it very much needed turning. Modern start-ups want to dispose of the mechanisms of luxury while still claiming their products should be defined as luxury items. Go figure. Urwerk never bothered with long-winded explanations or oblique justifications for its existence. It just kicked down the front door of the established order, lowered its leather pants, and mooned the entire industry.
Buns of steel
It’s been mooning ever since. And I’m still not tired of its metaphorical buns of steel. The UR-111C TT fits into the current family neatly. Originally launched in 2018 with two models (known as “Iron” and “Gunmetal”), a third model (the Black Cobra) joined the line-up in 2019. This iteration is known as the TT, which stands for Two Tone.
The UR-111C watches are part of the brand’s “special projects” division, which strays from the “traditional” wandering hours display employed by most of the brand’s more famous wares. Here we have a linear time read-out, displayed across three surprisingly readable cylinders. Given the wearing position of the watch, the display — slanted at 30 degrees — is incredibly legible. I could even read the time directly while typing this (and therefore I think it is fair to anoint this reference a model for the modern world).
The UR-111C TT is limited to just 25 pieces and priced at CHF 130,000 before tax. An automatic caliber with a hacking function, a power reserve of 48 hours, and an operating frequency of 28,800vph powers this beast. A jumping hour complication complements the retrograde minutes cylinder and the twin seconds wheels visible through the window on the top of the watch. Surrounding this remarkable movement is a case that measures 42mm in width, 46mm in length, and 15mm in thickness. It is water-resistant (just) to 30 meters.
The new normal
All four UR-111 watches, with their easy-to-read displays (which feature a retrograde minute cylinder) and compelling case constructions, are nice to look at, but I think this one is perhaps my favorite. The Black Cobra had a good deal of fire about it with the bright red numbers, but there is something very genuine about this model. It seems to be saying that this is no longer the future, but rather, this is the now.
It is certainly a self-confident, reserved portrayal of what we’re conditioned to see as a mad concept. Except I get the feeling it is trying to normalize itself. Perhaps for the industry to move forward and for the manifestation of the conditions necessary to see the birth of a new Urwerk, this is what we need. We need to see this as the new normal. There’s no telling what’s coming next. Learn more about Urwerk and how the brand is attempting to reshape the landscape of the industry here.
Brand Urwerk ModelUR-111C TTDialJumping hours, retrograde minutes cylinder, creeping minutes, twin seconds wheelsCase Dimensions42mm wide, 46mm long, 15mm thickCrystalAR-coated SapphireWater Resistance30 metersPriceCHF 130,000 Watch of the Week
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About the author
Rob’s first exposure to the watch industry was a part-time retail role for the Signet Group at the age of 17. An obsession with watches soon developed. Following an ill-advised BSc in Archaeological Science, he applied for sponsorship to undertake… read more
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