In the rarefied world of luxury goods, utility or functionality does not always rank very high. Indeed, what constitutes “luxury” is the attribute of uniqueness associated with the product. Only 12 pieces of the Urwerk UR-110 ZrN Torpedo have been manufactured.
But that’s not the only reason this luxury watch is priced at $135,000. The case of the watch is vapour-deposited with Zirconium Nitride (ZrN), a very hard material that gives the watch superior strength. In fact, ZrN is usually used only in industrial-grade tools.
The UR-110 also boasts of a unique, self-winding precision movement based on Urwerk’s “orbiting satellite” concept, which allows the time to be read using only a third of the dial. Originally, this feature was intended to make it easy to tell the time while driving without having to take one’s hand off the wheel.
Now, that particular use may not find many takers; however, you can’t deny that the concept of three “torpedoes” revolving and rotating around a central bearing is ingenious. In essence, the 12 digits representing the 12 hours are distributed over the four faces of each “torpedo”.
The “torpedoes” work as if they are part of a relay team, smoothly handing off one hour to another, while the minutes are shown in the 120 degree arc. If that sounds very complex to visualise, just watch the video on Urwerk’s web site.
For the price, you also get a day/night indicator. Depending on how many drinks you’ve downed and how many time-zones you’ve criss-crossed in the last two days, that feature may actually be quite useful, don’t you think? And you thought all the UR-110 could do was tell you the time?