Late last year TWL favorite URWERK announced the release of what is arguably their most mind-blowing piece to date – no small feat for a brand that has spent the last decade pushing the outer boundaries of haute horology. The incredible UR-210 Maltese Falcon combines cutting edge technology with futuristic good looks and somehow does it all whilst still providing one of the most legible, ‘non-traditional’ time displays on the market.
On first impressions the UR-210 doesn’t seem particularly versatile; it is after all a very distinctive looking timepiece. Strap one to your wrist however and all of a sudden you feel like you’re ready to take on even the world’s most extreme challenges. This is a watch ready for action (just ask Jackie Chan.) Yet at the same time you somehow know it would feel equally at home in a high-end cocktail lounge half tucked-away under the cuff of your favorite Tom Ford suit as you sip aged whiskey in an almost comatose-like state.
This is not by accident of course. You see what makes the UR-210 so incredible is its ability to communicate intuitively with its owner. As I first wrote back in September 2012 the movement of the UR-210 contains a world-first mechanical complication that is capable of calculating the difference between the energy generated and the energy consumed by the mainspring over the last two hours, all based on the wearer’s level of activity. The outcome of this calculation is then reflected on the dial in the form of a winding efficiency indicator at 11 o’clock. I won’t go into all the technical details again of how it all works (click here to read the original article) but suffice to say it is truly mind-blowing.
Like all URWERK models the UR-210 looks and feels exceptionally well made. It’s solid in your hands but not overly weighty and the unusual case design means that it really stands out on your wrist. Not that it needs any help in that department. The dial appears complex on first glance but is actually remarkably intuitive and the multi-layered design gives that sense of depth that the brand is so well known for. This really is one of those pieces that you want to hold up and examine from all angles.
What is perhaps most surprising however is just how comfortable it is on the wrist. Again this is down to clever design, with the integrated lugs and placement of the crown at 12 o’clock ensuring the piece sits flat. The added benefit of this of course is that it is even easier to read, meaning that even if the piece is facing away from you (i.e. your hand is vertical) you barely need to turn your wrist to see the time.
As you can see in the photos we got hands-on with the UR-210 AlTiN model. According to the brand AlTiN stands for a group of metastable hard coatings consisting of aluminum, titanium and nitride. This special coating has the effect of multiplying the resistance of the underlying metal to scratches, shocks, oxidation and even acids. Plus it looks cool!
Again, for those not familiar with the watch I really encourage you to read this article, which explores all the technical wonders of the UR-210 in far more detail.
The Final Word
With a price tag well north of 100,000CHF the UR-210 is for serious players only. It offers a unique combination of innovative technology and modern design and in many respects represents the culmination of all URWERK have learned over the last decade developing their trademark satellite complication. The brand’s master watchmaker and co-founder, Felix Baumgartner, seems to agree, saying on the release of the UR-210:
“In terms of the degree of evolution of the satellite carousel, I feel with the UR-210 that we have reached the pinnacle of what we can do with this complication.”
Of course the only question left to to ask then is, what’s next?