The Urwerk UR-T8 is a cool watch family. There are many options already available, but this innovative maker is always looking for new ways to turn the dial to eleven. The general premise has a hyper-futuristic bent to it, to begin with, but the brand’s latest obsession with fusing these avant-garde looks with traditional craftsmanship is reaping dividends. It’s easier to imagine plain-dialed, round watches acting as willing canvases for artisanal flair, but starting off with the Urwerk UR-T8 as the base guarantees one thing: The end product is going to turn heads. Whether those heads are turned in admiration or horror comes down to the execution of the concept. Thanks to Emmanuel Esposito, I think the Urwerk UR-T8 Colibri and its matching knife will be attracting attention for all the right reasons.
Of course, the Urwerk UR-T8 Colibri is not a new watch, per se, but it is a new chapter in an ever-expanding catalog. We actually first wrote about the UR-T8 model back in January 2017, so here we will focus on the artistry on show. For the Urwerk UR-T8 Colibri, Urwerk teamed up with knife maker Emmanuel Esposito. While I had not heard of Esposito before, he seems to make some rather spectacular knives — the sort that is almost too beautiful to use. Esposito has brought the decorative techniques learned in that trade to the project with Urwerk. Utilizing skills honed in decorating knife handles, Esposito has created a mother of pearl inlay on the reverse side of the watch that is nothing short of amazing.
Hundreds of pieces of black-lip mother-of-pearl were cut into diamonds before being individually selected and arranged to best catch the light. The result is a shimmering Argyle pattern that cannot fail to impress. This is all offset (or set, actually) with 18k gold pins into the steel frame, which then sits in a machined recess in the underside of the titanium watch. As Esposito is a knifemaker, it only made sense that he would whip up a matching knife, right?
The mother-of-pearl inlay is repeated on the knife. You have the same alternating patterns and gold pins, but these are set into bakelite frames. I especially like how there’s a dot of mother-of-pearl set atop the ceramic ball bearings of the hinge. Next to the inlay, you’ve got the same pattern from the watch case showing up in the handle. That’s cool and all, but then you notice there’s something different there — something rather unusual.
Behind those scales sits a small kinetic turbine, just like you see on the case of the Urwerk UR-T8 Colibri. Is it totally uneccessary and over the top? Yes, it is. Am I totally a fan of it? Yes, yes I am. And since both the knife and the matching watch are unique pieces, going to excess is not just encouraged, but is kind of par for the course. In my opinion, Urwerk went in a solid direction here and made a great choice for this collaboration. More than just a simple branding exercise, it ended up creating something new and interesting. And that, I’m sure, is exactly what Urwerk s always trying to do. Learn more at urwerk.com.
- UR-T8 “Colibri”
- Pièce unique
- Calibre: Selfwinding UR 8.01
- Balance: Monometallic
- Frequency: 28,800v/h, 4Hz
- Balance spring: Flat
- Power: Single barrel
- Power reserve: 48 hours
- Winding system: Uni-directional rotor connected to a spinning vane
- Finish: Brushed, circular grained and diamond-cuts
- Indications: Satellite complication with rotating hour modules mounted on planetary gears
- Unique flip-over case in Grade 5 titanium set with black-lip mother of pearl
- Dimensions: 60.23mm X 48.35mm X 20.02mm
- Water resistance: 3 ATM
- The “Colibri” T-8 art knife
- Pièce unique
- Customized folding knife with lock button and blade spine set with black lip mother of pearl mosaic
- Handle frame in 416 stainless steel featuring a kinetic internal turbine
- Blade mechanism running on ceramic ball bearings