Le coup de foudre, that instantaneous love, the love that makes your eyes shine, your heart beat faster, heightens your senses and makes your life more intense. This is what UR-106 is talking about in its Flower Power version, a limited edition of only 11 pieces. Of course, it is an URWERK. Of course, it is complicated. Of course, it is an example of Haute Horlogerie. But above all, this UR-106 is beautiful, desirable and addictive.
Focus on an example of poetic mechanical jewellery.
Finding the right adjectives to describe the URWERK watches is always a challenge. Creations of luxury watchmaking, original to say the least. What is certain is that they all have a touch of eccentricity that sets them apart from the rest. The UR-106 Flower Power is no exception. Here is a happy marriage between steel and diamond, technique and gentleness, manual dexterity and mechanical precision.
The UR-106 Flower Power casing houses no fewer than 239 Top Wesselton quality diamonds making a total of 2.53 carats (crown included). Its execution was supervised by the house of Magnin located in Geneva, who have specialised in watchmaking assembly since 1959. “One of the biggest problems in mounting arises from the complexity of the casing. We began with a single block of steel, a metal that is exceptionally hard and difficult to work with. We had to pave the perimeter of the glass, a rounded, convex curve, and its outer frieze. We then sourced, cut and ordered the appropriate stones for a paving in a crescendo fashion, as in a mandala,” explains Patrick Magnin, the CEO.
Run a piece of fine silk over this part encrusted with diamonds and the fabric slides smoothly over the casing. This is the cruellest and most uncompromising of tests, which the UR-106 Flower Power passes with flying colours. Because every piece of jewellery must meet draconian criteria. The effort, the hours of work, must be imperceptible. The gemstones fit neatly into the material. They are not constrained, but held in place, highlighted in the hollow of the metal.
Added to this decorative work on the casing is the beautiful workmanship carried out on the UR-106 Flower Powercarousel itself. Martin Frei, co-founder of the URWERK house and chief designer, says: "Ever since the launch of the 106 line in 2015, I have been dreaming of its different variations. Playing with diamonds and light is one of my greatest pleasures. We worked extensively with our engineer on the sketches of the flowers in this piece. We ran various tests on wax models before finally achieving the desired result. Each flower was then cast in white gold before being set and mounted on the carousel.”
A Lotus flower acts as a pivot to the satellite indication of this UR-106. A delicate flower that houses no fewer than 30 diamonds, all adapted to fit by the expert hand of the jeweller. The only indication that this is a technical as well as an anaesthetic item is hidden in the heart of the motif, a watch screw with a perfect finish. Three ornaments in gold and diamonds complete this bucolic picture. Each is composed of five mounted petals; they fit delicately in between the hour satellites. These three flowers are like a pause in this perpetually-moving carousel. Flowers that the watchmaker gently affixes to his mechanism, ensuring a fragile balance.
This indication of the wandering hours, so dear to URWERK, consists of three satellites, each one carrying 4 indexes. One after another, they parade along the path of the minutes, showing the time in both analogue and digital fashion. A phase of the moon completes the UR-106 dial. “We have paid particular attention to the smallest details of the UR-106. We have taken 18 years to perfect this idea, and made no concessions. The carousel and its satellites have been patiently satin-finished and sanded by hand. Each hour and minute index is painted by us. The cutting of the minute track of extreme delicacy is performed in our workshops. The blue of the lunar phase borrowed from lapiz lazuli was chosen from hundreds of others; the cutting of the lotus at the back of the piece is just as Martin designed it.
The result is in keeping with the amount of effort made. Will this bring about that hoped-for instantaneous love, that makes your eyes shine, your heart beat faster, that heightens your senses and makes your life more intense?