A leading player in the esoteric watches domain, Urwerk is back with yet another mind-bending timepiece that plays with some of the co-founders’ favorite concepts — time, space, and light. The new Urwerk UR-100V “LightSpeed” watch takes the brand’s flagship wandering hour satellite display model and injects it with the type of intergalactic inspiration that would make a sci-fi buff pay attention. Ever wondered how long it takes for the Sun’s rays to reach every planet? Well, now there’s a watch for that.

Previous UR-100 watches typically displayed the distance traveled by Earth on its axis at the equator and around the Sun over 20 minutes. On the new UR-100V “LightSpeed” watch, however, Urwerk opted to give us a visual representation of the time it takes sunlight to reach the planets in our solar system. Light travels about 186,000 miles per second (in a vacuum), so it takes a touch more than eight minutes for sunlight to reach Earth. Conversely, light reaches other planets at various times depending on their position relative to the Sun.

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All this data is inscribed at the top of the watch dial on what the brand calls a 3D planetarium while a slow-moving green and blue LightSpeed hand moves through the apertures to visually represent light traveling to the eight planets. Attached to the central carousel, this hand completes a revolution around the dial in three hours. As such, starting from the Sun position, the LightSpeed hand will reach Mercury in 3.2 minutes, Venus in 6 minutes, Earth in 8.3 minutes, Mars in 12.6 minutes, Jupiter in 43.2 minutes, and Saturn in 79.3 minutes. After Saturn, the hand will vanish from sight until it pops back up into view to continue its journey to Uranus in 159.6 minutes and finally, there’s one last long stretch to reach Neptune in 4.1 hours. Is this a useful complication to have on a watch? No, of course not. But Urwerk is never bogged down with the burden of only offering practicality; whimsy, fantasy, and creativity are the brand’s forte.

However, once you’re back down to earth after contemplating light beaming through the cosmos, the UR-100V “LightSpeed” also does the utilitarian job of telling the time—albeit in an unconventional way. Like other UR-100V models, the LightSpeed edition uses a three-armed carousel that moves a trio of satellites along a curved 60-minute scale; the large Arabic numeral indicates the hour while the red arrow points to the minutes. When the performing satellite reaches its final destination on the main stage, it disappears under the open-worked center dome to make way for the new satellite to make its 60-minute journey across the arc. In customary Urwerk fashion, it’s quite a show in photos.

Housing the light and time indicators is a 54-layer ThinPly black carbon case that measures 43mm wide, 51.73mm long, and 14.55mm thick. Shielding the tall dial is a similarly shaped flat-top domed sapphire crystal that forms a silhouette I can only describe as an upside-down pie pan. Although the winding crown is in its customary 12 o’clock position, what’s new on the LightSpeed is that the crown is screw-down. Therefore, water resistance has been boosted to 50 meters whereas previous UR-100 watches were only rated to 30 meters. The case is paired with a red textured rubber strap, fitted with a folding clasp.

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The sand- and shot-blasted DLC-treated titanium caseback is also home to a sapphire crystal providing a view of the prominent black PVD-treated aluminum rotor, designed to echo the rays of the sun. That rotor, which is fitted with a propeller-shaped Windfänger airscrew that regulates the winding rate to minimize wear and tear, belongs to the Caliber UR 12.02 automatic movement.  The movement operates at 28,800 beats per hour and supplies the watch with 48 hours of power reserve.

The new Urwerk UR-100V “LightSpeed” watch is priced at 65,000 Swiss Francs (which converts to a little over $73,300 USD at the time of publishing) — a hefty sum no doubt, but not far from the cost of other UR-100V models. While this isn’t technically a limited edition piece, production will, as always, be restricted given Urwerk’s 150 watches-per-year manufacturing rate. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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