URWERK has decided it’s time to close the chapter on another of its multi-award winning timepieces, in this case the EMC. It’s a sad occasion to be sure but one that also signifies that the brand is officially freeing up time and resources to focus on new and no doubt exciting developments. It’s not all bad news though, as in true URWERK style, the brand is celebrating the milestone in spectacular style with the unveiling at SalonQP of one final, awesome limited edition! Presenting the EMC Pistol.
The EMC Pistol
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the EMC already, you should really read our full review and explanation of how it works first so that you understand the full significance of the piece. For those of you who are too lazy to do that allow me to provide a brief summary. The EMC was the first (and still is the only) mechanical watch in which the accuracy of the movement can be checked electronically at any time simply by pressing a button.
Dubbed the ‘mechanical smart watch’, it was awarded the “exceptional mechanism” and the “innovation” prize at the GPHG 2014, which suffice to say is a pretty big deal. To send the EMC off in style therefore URWERK have decided to do something really special.
As you can see in the photos, the distinctive case of the EMC Pistol has been elaborately engraved. Of course URWERK is not entirely new to world of engraving – if you recall the brand worked with master engraver Jean-Vincent Huguenin to create a stunningly unique UR-103 engraved with a Phoenix for Only Watch a couple of years back – however this is the first time the brand has offered an engraved watch for general sale.
Coincidentally it’s also the first time master engraver Florian Güllert has ever engraved a watch. Normally he works with guns, hence the ‘pistol’ in EMC Pistol, and in fact started his career as a gun smith before turning his attention to almost lost art of decorating them some fifteen years ago. Not surprisingly the project threw up a few challenges for him along the way;
“I had to find a pattern that contrasted with the very mechanical and technical aspects of the object. I was looking for scrolls and arabesques that would break up the rectilinear architecture of the EMC. It was a rather unusual job for me, because the surface that you can decorate on a watch is restricted. You have to get it right and find a pattern that can be appreciated with an unaided eye.”
Apparently though the real kicker came when he discovered that the steel used in the EMC case was so hard that special tools had to be found. Undaunted by this however Güllert continued on doing what he does best, explaining;
“…the method doesn’t change. The actions of my hands are the same as those of all engravers throughout the ages. This is what we have in common with fine watchmaking: tradition is at the centre of our craft.”
Just looking at the results you can see he’s absolutely right. In his hands each EMC Pistol has been transformed into a unique work of art. No two are the same, a happy consequence of the painstaking hand-engraving process. Perhaps most importantly though is the fact that it is immediately obvious that the design has been especially chosen to enhance the unusual proportions of the EMC case. There is no CAD here, just the careful and considered eye of a master craftsman bringing his subject to life.
Naturally such an exotic looking case demands an equally exotic strap to accompany it and once again URWERK has not let us down. And so it was that the Geneva-based Portalès leather company – well-known in the watch-making industry its high-grade leather straps – received a rather unusual request;
“We make each item more or less on an individual basis and for very small series ordered by watchmakers and manufacturers of luxury leather goods,” explains proprietor Joséphine Morf. “URWERK’s order at first took us by surprise. They wanted a part of the skin that we very seldom use because it is in relief. The straps we made are truly three dimensional with a series of small ridges.”
Manufactured entirely by hand from Nile crocodile leather the strap of the EMC Pistol is as distinctive as it is unconventional. Suffice to say though that it certainly achieves the three-dimensional effect that URWERK were after, with the ridges visible even from some distance away. Best of all, like the cases themselves, each strap is unique.
On the wrist the EMC Pistol looks simply awesome. Thanks to the blend of steel and titanium used in the case it wears super light despite its deceptively chunky appearance. Personally I couldn’t stop staring at the engraving work on the case, it’s just so intricate and is a dramatic departure from the look and feel of the original EMC.
In total only 5 EMC Pistols will be made available, so if you want one I suggest you get on to URWERK now.