Over the past several years, the claw-like asymmetrical form of the Urwerk UR-100 series has become a canvas for the boutique haute horlogerie brand to explore new concepts for materials, colorways, and finishes. From the “Star Wars” galaxy to the primal scaly hides of dinosaurs, the UR-100 line’s wild stylistic inspirations have taken it in a variety of aesthetic directions, but for the brand’s latest release Urwerk reinterprets this audacious sci-fi styled platform in a subtler, more contemporary light. The new limited edition Urwerk UR-100V C52 takes a novel approach to the current carbon-cased watch trend, with a satisfyingly clean and purposeful ethos.
Urwerk’s new case construction concept for the UR-100V C52 forms the backbone of this new release. Although both the 41mm-wide, 14mm-thick asymmetrical angular form and the carbon composite case material should be familiar to enthusiasts, Urwerk sets this new model apart with its fine details. Rather than the woven design or random mottled patterns usually associated with carbon composite cases, Urwerk uses a proprietary CTP carbon composite stacked in 52 micro-layers around a circular center (hence the C52 name) and bonded with epoxy polymer resin. The result of this exotic layered construction concept is the appearance of even, orderly concentric rings in shades of matte black and charcoal gray when viewed from above. This is a cleaner, more deliberate finish than most carbon case designs in images, with an almost organic feel that calls to mind the growth rings of a tree and contrasts intriguingly with the angular, industrial case form. This case, with its broad asymmetrical lugs, geometric lines, oversized 12 o’clock crown, and aggressive grooved accents at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock is a staple of Urwerk’s lineup, but the muted tones and clean matte finish of the carbon composite material drastically changes the character of this familiar form. Where brighter gold or stainless steel iterations of this design have come off as gleaming bits of futuristic sci-fi tech from the collection of Jean-Luc Picard, this darker, less adorned interpretation gives off a coolly purposeful, near-future military equipment feel in initial photos. This new material also allows the UR-100V C52’s case to weigh in at a mere 11 grams overall, which should make this design exceedingly comfortable on the wrist. As with previous iterations of this design, however, durability remains a weak point for the UR-100V C52, as Urwerk rates the watch for a subpar 30 meters of water resistance despite using a robust titanium caseback.
The slightly revised version of Urwerk’s satellite wandering hours display first seen in 2020’s UR-100V Iron makes its return for the dial of the Urwerk UR-100V C52, and in keeping with the dark, muted look of the overall design the brand keeps its colorway simple here. At 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, the wide partial inner bezel tracks the distance of the Earth’s rotation and revolution around the sun, respectively, with a clean matte black finish and optic white scales. As a vibrant contrast, the engraved minutes scale at 6 o’clock is rendered in high-visibility neon green with a red highlight at the 60 mark. Likewise, the arrow-shaped hand at the end of each of the arms of the central Geneva cross assembly uses pure gloss white with a flaming red lume fill for easy legibility in images. The satellite wandering hours displays themselves use bold Arabic numerals in a matching neon green hue, keeping the overall design simple and cohesive. Urwerk mostly allows the mechanical complexity of its wandering hours complication to fade into the background visually, thanks to matte black finishing across most of the exposed movement elements. However, a handful of polished highlights give some sense of this design’s intricacy without detracting from legibility in images.
Like previous iterations of the UR-100V, Urwerk powers the UR-100V C52 with its in-house UR 12.02 automatic movement. Beyond the UR 12.02’s striking signature orbital satellite hours gear train, this movement boasts Urwerk’s unique Windfänger planetary gear winding rotor, which uses a miniature turbine to reduce overall movement wear caused by overwinding. Performance for the UR 12.02 is solid if unspectacular, featuring a 48-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Urwerk pairs the watch with a semi-integrated textured strap in black rubber that continues the ridged pattern of the case sides around the wrist.
With a uniquely concentric take on layered carbon and a purposeful, aggressive new colorway, the limited edition Urwerk UR-100V C52 brings a serious, functional character to one of the brand’s avant-garde cornerstones. Only 25 examples of the Urwerk UR-100V C52 will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the Urwerk UR-100V C52 stands at 53,000 CHF as of press time. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.