A true watch enthusiast can appreciate ingenuity when it comes to both design or mechanics, even if the specific model isn’t one you’d ever wear yourself. We see a lot of unconventional, even outlandish, timepieces each month. Yet one brand whose styles transcend its outside-the-box approach to becoming something we’d actually want to put on our wrists is Urwerk. The Swiss watchmaker has continued to impress with its funky models, both busy and minimal, since it launched back in 1997 — and is now finally old enough to warrant the release of retro reissues.
Its new re-edition is based on one of its very first watches, the UR-102. Echoing back to the 1998 original, the UR-102 Reloaded — available in PVD-coated black titanium/steel or uncoated titanium — comes with some modern updates, including a new angular lug shape, a more sensible lug count (the original had four on the top and the bottom), an increased case diameter from 38mm to 41mm, and a more comfortable crown that’s now merged into the case. And while the semicircle wandering hours display returns, it’s been slightly reshaped as well, with some words written inside about the brand’s history.
Co-founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei started Urwerk in 1997, debuting at Baselworld with the UR-101, a strange wandering hours piece with a semicircle minute track up top and a Millennium Falcon-inspired case. A year later, the indie brand came out with the UR-102, updating the previous watch and modeling the case this time after the Sputnik satellite. If anything, the UR-102 reloaded takes certain design cues from the UR-101 as well, such as the flattened case front, crown shape, and lug pattern. Both of these early pieces were made in limited quantities and are pretty difficult to come by these days, but now with the new UR-102 Reloaded, we can finally have a chance…sort of.
Urwerk is only releasing 100 of each variant, with the first 25 of each coming in a boxed set together, priced at CHF56,000 (~$60,888). The other 75 will be released individually at a later date.