Urwerk is getting odder each year and perhaps that is a good thing. It isn’t just their new products that I am referring to, but little things like how their press releases are written. For example, the document they shared with us press people on the new version of the UR-210, known as the URWERK UR-210Y Black Hawk, was penned in the first person. It begins “I am one of the latest creations to emerge from the URWERK atelier,” and goes from there. Does this watch have a sense of self-realization?
Not exactly, but perhaps it was Urwerk’s strangely poetic way of communicating about the complication that the UR-210 initially debuted back in 2012. They called it a “winding efficiency indicator” and to a large degree that is what it is. The difficult-to-describe system more or less was an indication gauge of whether your movements over time were enough to keep the movement wound via automatic winding. We first went hands-on with the Urwerk UR-210 watch here, and in addition to being quite amazingly designed, it happened to be among our favorite Urwerk pieces to date. So why exactly is the piece’s major “innovation” so odd to describe and explain?
First of all, the indicator is question is at the top left of the dial, across from the normal power reserve indicator to the right. The winding efficiency indicator tracks how much power is being added to the mainspring via automatic rotor winding overtime. If you are active and moving your wrist around a lot the indicator will be in the green. If you are sitting idle for too long the indicator will go to the red. If you recall, we mused that one purpose of the watch was to remind you to get off your ass. In a sense that is still true. The watch exists to connect the wearer with the watch more and “enhance” (or inhibit depending on your experience) the wearing experience. It once again goes back to the concept of increasing interaction between person and their high-end luxury watch.
So the first person nature of the press release is about commenting on the fact that the UR-210Y, like the UR-210, “talks” to the wearer as opposed to existing idly as a “mere timepiece” (as though the notion of a “mere timepiece” would ever be applied to an Urwerk). The UR-210 series also offers a switch on the rear of the movement that allows the wearer to manually change the winding efficiency of the rotor (slow or fast) or even to completely lock the automatic rotor. This latter option is purportedly a good option if you are engaged in really abusing conduct–yet abhor the idea of taking your $100,000 plus watch off to protect it.
Whereas the original UR-210 was in naked titanium, the UR-210Y Black Hawk comes in a black case that is AlTiN-coated titanium and steel. The indicators are in a SuperLumiNova painted neon green, which gives it a cool military-style look. Of course, once again you have a satellite-style way of indicating the time. A triple hand hour indicator has three turning cubes that rotate and indicate the correct hour along the lower minute scale. It is a surprisingly simple and enjoyable way of reading the time.
While the URWERK UR-210Y Black Hawk does not break new ground, it continues a very successful and quite attractive Urwerk watch design now two years later. That watch still remains both interesting and enjoyable on the wrist. This is certainly one of those watches I’d like to see Urwerk put a bracelet on in the future (like they did with the Urwerk 202S). With its cool new colors, the Urwerk UR-210Y Black Hawk will be limited to just 75 pieces and will continue to remind you to get around and shake that wrist some more. Price is $175,000 USD. urwerk.com