Last month URWERK unveiled the brand’s first ever ladies watch, the UR-106 Lotus, proving once and for all that I don’t really know what I’m talking about. Ok, so maybe that last part is slightly unfair but when URWERK first hinted at Baselworld earlier this year that it was working on a ladies watch, I must admit I was sceptical. You don’t need to search far on The Watch Lounge to know that I am a huge fan of the brand and its highly innovative approach to watchmaking but everyone has their limits and I honestly thought URWERK might have finally bitten off more than it could chew.
I was wrong.
Before I go any further though I just want to make a point of noting that I actually think that most watches in the URWERK line-up already look incredibly sexy on women. Even though the brand is known for its futuristic, spaceship-like style cases, there’s just something about those sleek lines that is very attractive on a more slender wrist. That being said, I think most people reading this would agree that URWERK is known for being an overtly masculine watch brand, which is kind of what I was worried about but not for the reason you might think.
“…[we] never made watches for men and watches for women because we never thought in those terms when we put our ideas down on paper. We thus embarked on a stylistic exercise that was unprecedented for us.”
You see, my concern – completely unfounded as it turned out to be – was that in an attempt to soften said masculinity inherent in all of the brand’s designs, URWERK would be tempted to alter the very things – the sharp lines, the chunky cases, etc – that make its watches look so good on women in the first place.
The UR-106 Lotus
As you can see from the pictures though, the brand has stayed true to its DNA and created what I would call a ‘strong female’ watch. Like its male oriented counterparts, the UR-106 Lotus is a watch for women with beauty and brains, offering a level of sophistication that other ladies watches can only dream of.
According to co-founder and chief designer Martin Frei, URWERK “…never made watches for men and watches for women because we never thought in those terms when we put our ideas down on paper. We thus embarked on a stylistic exercise that was unprecedented for us.” As the name suggests, the inspiration for UR-106 Lotus was a lotus flower, which Frei says for him represents the beauty of women in all their complexity. It’s a wonderful metaphor and one that has really been translated exceptionally well in both the aesthetic and technical execution.
“It has taken us 18 years to perfect this concept, so we are making no concessions.”
As you would no doubt expect UR-106 Lotus features the brand’s trademark satellite hours complication, which has been slightly revised for this model. Three satellites, each with four hour numerals, sweep along the minutes scale in an analogue and digital indication of time. A beautiful moonphase completes the display and adds a lovely touch of contrasting color.
URWERK’s co-founder and head watchmaker Felix Baumgartner is well-known for his uncompromising approach to watchmaking and the UR-106 Lotus is no exception. “We have taken particular care over the slightest details of this,” he explains. “It has taken us 18 years to perfect this concept, so we are making no concessions. The carrousel and its satellites have been meticulously satin-finished by hand, and we have painstakingly painted each numeral for the hours and minutes. The extremely fine minutes scale was fashioned in our workshops, the lapis lazuli blue of the moon was selected from hundreds of other colours, while the outline of the lotus on the back of the watch follows Martin’s design exactly. The UR-106 Lotus is just as we imagined it.”
I have to say, now that I have seen it, it is hard to imagine it looking any different. The diamond-set case is feminine without being gaudy, whilst the two color choices – one is in titanium and steel with diamonds on the bezel, crown and buckle, while the other is in black PVC-coated titanium and steel set with black diamonds. – completely change the character of the watch. This is of course not by accident “We confronted the two aspects of the same watch — light on one hand and darkness on the other,” expounds Frei. “Tangible dualities are qualities essential to understand the nature of things.” I mean seriously, who else thinks this intensely about watch design? The results however, speak for themselves.
Both models of the UR-106 Lotus are limited to 11 pieces each and from what I understand have been very well received by the URWERK-loving public, so don’t be surprised if we see more ladies watches coming from the brand over the next few years. Both watches are priced at 85,000 Swiss Francs.
For more information please visit www.urwerk.com.