To those less familiar with the brand, the arrival of the URWerk UR-100 SpaceTime might not seem like a big deal. The brand’s trademark satellite-style time indication is ever present, and the UR-100 carries the same edgy, futuristic, industrial design vibe that has been inherent to the brand’s DNA for years. You’re not wrong; if nothing else the brand has been quite consistent, linear, and thoughtful with its growth over the years. That said, there are a couple of key details at play here that are a little less obvious.
The biggest shift in direction that comes with the UR-100 SpaceTime is case sizing. Though I’ve always found things like the UR-210 to wear comfortably even though my wrist is only 6 3/4″ in diameter, but other than the original UR-101, the brand has not made a piece in history that you could call conservative in size—this changes now.
The UR-100 SpaceTime starts things off at 41mm across and 49.7mm from lug to lug—a reasonable size for most wrists. It’ll wear a bit more hefty, as the base of the case is more rectangular in form, but not dramatically. Then there’s a matter of its case profile. On paper, the SpaceTime reads as being 14mm thick, but that is at the peak of its dramatically domed sapphire crystal. While we don’t have a spec for this on hand, nor do we have the watch and a set of calipers handy, imagery would suggest that roughly half of the case thickness is the crystal, meaning the casing itself is likely around the 7-8mm mark. Even with dimensions like this, the SpaceTime is still a statement piece, no doubt, but it’s a nice change of pace to see a URWerk offering that could actually tuck under a shirt cuff.
Aside from dimensions, the other significant shift that comes with the UR-100 SpaceTime is a more ‘affordable’ price of entry—announced at $49,000 USD. No, it’s not cheap, but compared to their last releases (the UR-105CT over $60k, and the UR-111C @ roughly $125k) the UR-100 is dramatically less expensive. To my best recollection, this is the first time in (???) that URWerk has hit the market with a watch priced under $50,000—a space that other indies like DeBethune and HYT among others have been seeing growing success with. The fact that the caliber of this watch isn’t dumbed down or over-simplified to achieve this price of entry makes it that much more appealing for enthusiasts who have been following the brand for years but have been held back by budgetary constraints.
Speaking of its caliber, the UR 12.01 is touted as new, though it is more realistically a reengineering/reinterpretation of a longstanding URWerk design. This satellite complication is very much old hat for URWerk, and the only addition to the equation is a pair of unique, completely useless, but geeky/cool indication scales on the upper left and right quadrants of its “dial”. On one side, you’ll see ‘Rotat.’—an indication of the difference travelled in 20 minutes by a static point on the equator, based on the average rotational speed of the planet. On the other, ‘Revol.—an indication of the distance travelled by the earth through space on its orbit around the sun. Because URWerk uses a trio or red pointers on its satellite carriage in this caliber, displaying these indications was really just a matter of calculation and typography—the distance is read on the scale over a 20-minute aperture. To put it bluntly, this is nothing more than an exercise in “because we can”, but the fact that they bothered with an extraneous detail like this on their new “entry level” piece is a nice touch.
If the URWerk UR-100 SpaceTime isn’t your cup of tea, no harm done. As with many of the other brand’s creations, these watches will be in short supply. Currently on offer in brushed steel/titanium as well as black PVD steel/titanium, only 25 examples of each model will be produced. Given the growing appreciation of independent watchmaking that continues to flourish, I’d be shocked if these end up sitting on shelves for very long. In following the changing pace of the industry, the newly launched pieces are available immediately through URWerk’s authorized dealers.