URWERK compressed-air powered wristwatch
By Kyle Sherer
April 15, 2008
April 16, 2008 URWERK has released the world’s first watch that uses compressed air to regulate the winding system. The UR-202 features a 3-position selector switch that controls the level of air compression generated by its miniature twin turbines, which in turn control the rate of automatic winding.
Like URWERK’s previous line, the UR-103 series, the UR-202 features a distinctive time display, which uses rotating, telescopic minute hands that bear the number of the hour, and point toward a display at the bottom of the watch that marks the minutes. It’s a bit hard to explain, but you can see it in action in the promotional video.
The UR-103 series uses rotating circles in place of the tripod-like dial of the UR-202. It is also available in several designs, including a titanium aluminum nitride model and a diamond-set edition. The UR-103 features a power reserve indicator, a fine-tuning screw, and a chronometer on the bottom display.
URWERK SA was launched in 1997 by brothers Felix and Thomas Baumgartner and Martin Frei. Their stated mission is to advance the design of timepieces by drawing on wide-ranging sources of inspiration, from the NASA Space Shuttle to the classic sci-fi film Metropolis. The name URWERK is derived from "Ur" - the ancient Sumerian city where the concept of keeping time developed more than 6000 years ago - and "Werk" - German for work, create, evolve or shape.