Don’t get too excited about this watch unless you have some mucho petty cash and want to battle for one of the 50 pieces in this limited edition (25 in either of two materials). While not as sexy in function as most Urwerk watches with their rotating satellites, this new UR-CC1 King Cobra takes an older concept and makes it new again with “linear time.” The dial(s) of the watch show three pieces of information – the hours, minutes, and seconds. Flip the watch over and you see a more naked version of the hours and minutes laid out like two computer program progress gauges. “4 o’clock is currently at 73%” You get the idea. Much of the inspiration behind the Urwerk CC1 watch was another linear time watch design from 1958 that was made as a prototype fo Patek Philippe. Not sure if that watch ever got made. It was a novel concept at the time – and honestly by today’s standards is pretty ugly – even though it is in gold. See the image of it that Urwerk handed out. For over 10 years now Urwerk has been playing with the idea of doing a linear time watch. After three years of development the UR CC1 movement was done, and the result is pretty cool. The whole concept of linear time is pretty simple, must mastering it from a technical and visual perspective in a mechanical watch is a pain.
A watch like this is of the few examples I can think of where I really don’t need to explain too much of the movement’s intricacies. For one thing, I am not familiar with each exotic method or material used to construct the movement, and second, the view of the movement itself tells you so much. Though I will give you the basics. The watch movement is automatically wound and features a beryllium triple-cam. This almost no lubrication needing compound made cam (look for the gold colored round object in the movement) is the mechanism that helps the linear time retrograde cylinders jump back to their starting position. There is also a toothed arm that is apparently called a “rack” that is done in a skeletonized honeycomb pattern motif and is visible through the side of the case. Honeycomb patterns are all over the watch movement.
The top of the case features the seconds indicator and is actually shown in two ways – both on a vertical gauge using a spiral disc and almost digitally adjacent to the same indicator using the same disc. I don’t know why Urwerk decided to show the seconds twice. They both look cool, and as far as novelties go, I think it is interesting to say the least. The disc with the seconds actually has each other second written out on it. This is done in a special form of light nickel and is made using a Mimotec photolithography production method that is supposed to be more precise than even wire erosion.
The watch also features something that is new to me, and is called the Urwerk “Rotor Fly Brake.” Apparently it is some type of pneumatic shock-absorbed which is part of the automatic winding rotor to help prevent damage in the even of a sufficient enough shock. Finally Urwerk has an automatic movement right? The case of the watch is nice and big being 45.7mm tall by 43.5mm wide, and 15mm thick. There will be 25 pieces of the watch in brushed gray gold and other 25 pieces in black gold (no, not oil – not that “black gold”). Both versions will have titanium casebacks. The nicely fitted strap is alligator.
Urwerk is open with the fact that a lot of the dial styling came from retro car speedometers. They point to a retro Volvo with a similar large linear gauge that made up most of the gauge cluster. That is probably true, but I recall the design from unattractive copies of that look on mid 1980’s American cars. You know, where the speedometer only went up to 85mph. That was part of some add test to see if you limited the max speed on speedometers people might not speed as much. I don’t think it worked. Anyhow, the look of the UR-CC1 watch face is pretty nice and certainly technical, though I don’t know if it has the sex appeal that I would want. Then again I haven’t seen the watch in person and am impressed by it overall. Plus the bright green is in all SuperLumiNova so the watch ought to be quite easy to read in the dark. Price for the King Cobra watch will be over $100,000 – maybe well over $100,000.
See Urwerk watches on eBay here. [phpbay]urwerk, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]