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Whizzing Through the Cosmos: Urwerk’s UR-100V LightSpeed Unveiled!

The watch displays this information, along with Earthly hours and minutes, using rotating satellites....

In a cosmos constantly in flux, there’s solace in the unchanging, like the steadfast speed of light—a numerical constant, a yardstick for measuring vast distances with meticulous precision. Enter Urwerk’s latest creation, the UR-100V, a timepiece that dances with the speed of light, tracing the moments it takes for the Sun’s rays to touch each of the eight planets.

While still faithfully telling earthly hours and minutes through its celestial satellites, the UR-100V LightSpeed offers a clearer snapshot of our cosmic connections and proximity to the Sun. The original UR-100 models embarked on a temporal odyssey, utilizing minute pointers on hourly satellites to illustrate Earth’s rotation and orbit around the Sun within a succinct 20-minute span. Unveiled in 2019, the astronomical whimsy of the UR-100 may not be the most utilitarian for Earth-dwellers, but it aligns with the founders’ mission—Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner—to inject an extra dimension into our perception of time. Crafted from avant-garde materials with monikers like SpaceTime, Electrum, Full Titanium Jacket, Ultraviolet, and Magic T, the UR-100V LightSpeed seamlessly blends Time, Space, and Light within a single horological marvel.

The UR-100V LightSpeed orbits around the unyielding speed of light, quantified numerically at 299,792.458 km/s and symbolized by the letter “c.” According to Martin Frei, wearing the UR-100V LightSpeed is akin to donning a “fragment of the cosmos on your wrist,” featuring a planetarium showcasing eight celestial entities and the time it takes for a sunbeam to reach each. For instance, Earth bathes in sunlight after 8.3 minutes, while Neptune patiently waits for 4.1 hours.

In a departure from previous editions, the UR-100V LightSpeed replaces earlier inscriptions at 10 and 2 o’clock with the names of the eight planets and the time it takes for sunlight to grace them.

A novel openworked domed structure, swathed in black, hovers above the meandering hour mechanism, conveying information on two levels with green indicators for time and white for planets. The peripheral disc boldly displays Mercury at 3.2 minutes, Venus at 6 minutes, Mars at 12.6 minutes, Jupiter at 43.2 minutes, Saturn at 79.3 minutes, Earth at 8.3 minutes, Uranus at 159.6 minutes, and Neptune at 4.1 hours.

Beyond a static representation of temporal intervals, a new feature emerges. A diminutive azure and viridescent appendage, visible in the unoccupied sections of the innovative domed structure, progresses to indicate distinct planets. Attached to one of the three carousel arms, this appendage completes a full revolution around the dial in three hours, dipping under the minutes track after reaching Saturn at 3 o’clock and resurfacing at Uranus by 9 o’clock.

Staying true to the displays found in other Urwerk models, the hours are revealed on three rotating satellites equipped with a crimson arrow-tipped minute hand traversing a 120-degree arched path graduated from 0 to 60. For enhanced legibility, the hours and minutes are treated with cerulean emission Super-LumiNova.

The case adheres to the design lineage of preceding models, featuring a screw-down crown at noon, yet flaunts altered dimensions and an elevated water resistance of 50 meters. Spanning 43mm in width, the length of the timepiece measures 51.63mm, and the thickness extends to 14.5mm. The casing is constructed from 54-layer ThinPly black carbon, exuding a subtly mottled, matte effect, and the caseback is fashioned from DLC-treated titanium, possessing a sandblasted and shotblasted finish. In homage to the paramount role of the Sun, the rotor assumes a stellar configuration.

The posterior of the watch unveils the automatic calibre 12.02. The complete star-shaped rotor on the flip side is perforated and controlled by a contoured airscrew recognized as the Windfänger, a contrivance employed to mitigate jolts and diminish wear. The carousel and triple baseplates are fashioned from ARCAP, an alloy devoid of iron and nonmagnetic. Operating at a frequency of 28,800vph, the automatic movement boasts a power reserve enduring 48 hours.

The Urwerk UR-100V LightSpeed comes accompanied by a crimson textured rubber strap and a folding clasp. The price is CHF 65,000 (excluding tax).

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