Thursday, July 1, 2021

The UR-102 “Gaïa”

From Urwerk for Only Watch -

Courtesy of Urwerk 
Per Urwerk -

URWERK reaches for the stars with the UR-102 “Gaïa”

Geneva, May 30th 2021

It is an iconic model, jealously safeguarded until now at the heart of the watch Maison, since it marks the beginning of the URWERK adventure in the 1990s. The foundation stone. A watch of almost disconcerting simplicity, with a wandering hour as its only marker of time. The UR-102. This one-of-a-kind model in asphalt-coloured anodised aluminium with a platinum caseback has been newly enhanced with a midnight blue lacquer. It will be auctioned on 6 November 2021 on behalf of the "Only Watch" charity to fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Courtesy of Urwerk

This unique piece embodies the wild aspirations of a team composed young dreamers who had only just graduated – from the School of Arts for Martin Frei and from the Solothurn Watchmaking School for Felix Baumgartner and his brother. In 1997, they set out to conquer the world, armed with a brilliant idea and modest capital. Their first watch, the UR-102, was presented at the Baselworld watch fair on the booth of the AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants). This model ran resolutely counter to existing and generated a certain amount of controversy at the time its launch. It is now the symbol of victorious pugnacity, of salutary stubbornness. What a destiny!

"We have chosen to name this model ‘Gaïa’. We recently had the immense honour of receiving the Gaïa Prize* for Entrepreneurship from our peers. This award recognises a journey from oblivion to the limelight, along with tenacity, conviction and pugnacity that have repeatedly been put to the test. This model reflects this fierce determination that blazes new trails. We dedicate this symbol of hope to all those who struggle to make things happen”, said URWEK co-founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei.

This UR-102 is unique in many ways. It is undoubtedly one of the first watch creations to honour a mixed-genre approach merging the common metal aluminium with the nobility of platinum.

Its full, round shape is seamlessly smooth. Framed by precious platinum, the caseback features an interpretation of the Gaïa prize, a dazzling flight of fancy symbolising URWERK’s unswerving resolve to reach for the stars.

Technical specifications: UR-102 “Gaïa “

Based on the historical UR-102 

Original design by Martin Frei

Mechanism development and assembly by Felix Baumgartner

Case design and hand machining by Thomas Baumgartner


Movement                      Self-winding

Finishing                         Satin-brushed and rhodium-plated

Frequency                      28,800 vph

Jewels                            21

Power reserve                42 hours

Indications                      Hours indication by satin-brushed, rhodium-plated and engraved disks.   

                                       Hour-marker engravings filled with matt black lacquer


Case                               Case middle and lugs in anodised aluminium; 

                                       Screw-down caseback in circular satin-brushed platinum, Gaïa logo filled     

                                       with glittering hand-applied blue lacquer

Dimensions                    Diameter: 38mm; thickness 12mm; lugs 16mm

Glass                              Special-shaped sapphire crystal


Strap                              Sandblasted, polished and satin-brushed pin buckle

                                       Strap hand-sewn in Geneva (1 x black Baltimora and 1x black Alligator)


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