Urwerk – known for its bold timepieces, innovative stance and complex creativity – unveils the new Zeit Device (time device). This grand complication marks time in seconds, minutes, hours, date, month, years, 100 years and times for 1,000 years – with day/night indication. The Urwerk Zeit Device accomplishes all of this via a host of non-conforming readouts such as orbiting satellites and retrograde indicators. The dials, springs and retrograde spirals are all manufactured in house by Urwerk. Just 8 of these wonders are being made –all in AlTin (aluminum titanium nitride) treated steel with titanium elements. The dial features an hour satellite complication in a “flying“ design – with no top bridge supporting the carrousel. The hours are read off of satellites that rotate, and the minutes are offered in retrograde form. Similarly, the calendar functions of the months and the date are satellite and retrograde, and offer a harmonious appeal. This complication consists of a rotating central carrousel that supports the satellites. Each cube satellite is marked with the hour numbers (or the months) on its four sides. AS the carrousel turns, the satellites rotate on their vertical axis so the top number (or month) indicates the current time (or month) and the bottom numbers (or months) lie ever ready to appear. While the calendar satellite is visually the same as the hour satellite, there is a mechanical difference. On the calendar satellite, the month automatically adjusts according to whether it is a 30 or 31 day month (or 28 days for February).
The retrograde minute hand (and the retrograde date) is fixed to a sprung ring around the circumference of the respective satellite complication and is pushed along the guide rail by the satellite. As the minute or date hand reaches the end of the rail, the star-cams trip over to release the hand, which springs back to zero at the start of the scale. Hours and minute are able to be set backwards without affecting the calendar functions. The day/night indicator disk is marked with black SuperLuminova for night and white brushed ruthenium for day, and offers a striped mix for dawn/dusk. The power reserve indicator monitors the power in the mainspring up to 39 hours.
The reverse side of the UR-1001 Zeit Device displays the movement, with the dominant feature being the underside of the hour satellite complication and the retrograde minute mechanism. There are also service light indicators for five years (which indicates after three years), 100 years and 1000 years. (Let’s face it, none of us will be around to see if it makes it to 1,000 years, but no one questioned that when IWC came out with the 500 years timing on the DaVinci, either.) Urwerk also uses ARCAP, a non-magnetic alloy that is highly non-corrosive. In the UR-1001, the mainplate, baseplate, carrousels, satellites, dials, bridges, retrograde spiral spring and retrograde u-springs are all in ARCAP. The watch is sold in an automatic watch winder display case and retails for approximately $427,500.