A futuristic looking hybrid watch that is neither a Laurent Ferrier watch nor an URWERK, yet the signatures of both firms appear on the case back. It’s the joint effort of two watchmaking companies that couldn’t be more different, yet working together Laurent Ferrier and URWERK have created a piece of work that is unique, for only one-of-a-kind watches qualify to be sold at the Only Watch auction in aid of the battle against Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Laurent Ferrier and Urwerk base their identity on the opposite ends of watchmaking’s stylistic spectrum. On one side, the expression of time-honored traditions; on the other, an anarchic effort to overturn conventions.
The unique piece is the result of two independent brands working together. Laurent Ferrier, master of watches in the classic style, URWERK, constantly challenging the watchmaking world with its bold originality.
The watch features aerodynamic, curves coming to life in the confident strokes of Laurent Ferrier’s pencil.
“It’s a cleanly cut watch. My friends know my love of cars…this new creation is like streamlined coachwork, fluid and without any affront to the eye,” Laurent Ferrier
Material for the case was manufactured by Cendres+Métaux company in Biel. The case was shaped from an exclusive alloy called ARPAL+, specifically developed for this unique watch. ARPAL+ consists of 75% precious metals and resists wear and scratches better than white gold or steel. Its color never fades, nor does it oxidize. This alloy was first developed for the electronics industry where it is appreciated for its strength and because it is easily worked.
“We undertook this project with the greatest respect for each other’s work”. “We held a great number of operational meetings, setting up a dialogue and developing a friendship that is apparent in the final result. We were aiming for subtlety rather than performance” Felix Baumgartner, Urwerk
While the case catches the eye, the movement is almost self-effacingly colorless. The four hours satellites are in a matt pearly gray with diamond-polished outlines while the hours and minutes markers are painted in white SuperLuminova.
The time is shown by four satellites, each bearing three hours numerals, which successively sweep past the track of minutes. This original and intuitive way of telling the time is aided by a cover in polyetheretherketone, a thermoplastic known as PEEK, which hides the satellites that are not engaged in indicating the time. The satellites turn on a hidden carousel, at the heart of the successive passage of the hours with a module that weighs 500 times as much as a conventional set of hands.
“Throughout the undertaking we complemented one another perfectly, sending the ball back and forth. For example, the cabochon winding crown recalls the stripes of our satellite hours. There are many subtle ways in which we refer to each other’s stylistic codes. While URWERK has opted for discretion, Laurent Ferrier has raised the tone. The result is perfect equilibrium.” Martin Frei, Urwerk
Only Watch will be held on November 11, 2017 at 2:30pm under the patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco in Geneva, Switzerland. Only Watch is a biennial charity auction of unique timepieces created by the finest brands united for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.