Snapshot(s) – URWERK UR-111C Black Cobra, pictures and musings
UR-111C an unconventional watch, that still represents traditional values of fine watchmaking if you go in detail. Polarizing, for sure!
A watch your banker probably would not agree on. An object of desire that could change your life, or at least your lifestyle. Will come back to the first point later.
OK let´s be honest, for some it is and will always be just a watch. Me couldn´t care less. It´s difficult enough to take your own pleasures seriously. Today too many people don´t even know anything about their pleasures, follow the crowd or just focus on impressing others. The latter is easier to reach if you stay with known designs, precious metals and of course THE big brands. Current (second) market proofs it very well, but this is not our topic for today.
Context – let´s talk about it. UR-111C Black Cobra, it´s not the first Cobra that features an unusual and unexpected way of telling the time on your wrist. In fact, it was 1958 and it was Louis Cottier (known for its World Time Watch designs, he did for powerhouses like Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin) who made a linear hour watch for Patek Philippe. A model that eliminated the use of hands and dial, as the passing time was indicated withing two graduated openings on the case. However, this model remained a prototype and was never in production. Can you imagine what the current collection of Patek Philippe could look like if they would have been more open to it? …
The second “Cobra” I am aware is the UR-CC1 Cobra King which was introduced in 2009. Even then it was ahead of its time for most. Even for Urwerk it´s kind of uncommon and therefore it is part of their UR-Special Projects. Me fall in love with it immediately, but the price tag was prohibitive – at least for me. Don´t get me wrong it was not overpriced from my point of view, just couldn´t afford to get something sophisticated and complicated like this. Aside the movement, the case is a complication itself and reminds me to modern architecture for the wrist. Handling was almost conventional and not that pleasing. On the wrist it felt good, but not perfect. Still me would like to wear one at any time – with a smile on my face, promised.
The latest “Cobra”, once more from Urwerk, was the UR-111C available in several versions and all of them Limited Editions.
Black Cobra is the version I would like to share snapshots about with you. Pictures and musings only, for good reasons. Lack of personal experience and therefore I won´t do a review or that kind.
Readability – it´s uncommon, but easy once you got it. Change of paradigms, I like it – not only when it comes to watches.
“There has to be a strong bond with a mechanism that merges into your wrist. For this reason, we created a new interface with the watch. Instead of the conventional crown, we conceived a roller integrated into the top of the case for a new sensation.” (Felix Baumgartner)
A roller on the case to perform the functions of the crown and an arm to set time. To me it looks good and sounds more convenient than a crown on top of the watch head, but I haven´t tried it yet.
To get a better understanding about the functions, to learn about and appreciate the technical complexity of the watch I would highly recommend to look here.
Traditional finishes like circular graining, sanding, côtes de Genève or polished screw heads are at hand. Still the best part, in my book, is the all over approach of the design shown. I am not a Sci-Fi person, but I love good “architecture” and well-designed tools and machines. If the haptic – touch & feel – is outstanding as well, it gets dangerous. Urwerk delivers all of it in the case of this watch. Handling the watch, even when a short time only, and putting it on my wrist was quite a lasting experience.
One of those experiences hard to forget and that doesn´t happen often, not these days.
My first time/experiences with a Patek Philippe Ref. 96, Mercedes G-Class, Porsche 356 Super 90, Linn LP 12, Nakamichi Dragon, Blumenhofer Acoustics Genuin, Contax RTS III, Leica M3 … come to my mind.
You can´t get them all (at least not at the same time ?), but all of them influenced my expectations and helped to define my way of valuable spending.
Life doesn´t get easier afterwards, but more interesting and valuable if you focus on the real things – important to you and your personal context.
My intention here was to do a snapshot only, and therefore I will stop with my musings and share more pictures instead. Hope you like them, like I do!
Bankers – they tend to advise you when it comes to spending or, better, ‘investing’ money. Not sure if most of them even understand their own business, these days. At least it appears to me like this as a banking customer and looking at their shares in my depot. Maybe one day if they are getting more successful (again!) they can at least help me to feed my pleasures … ?
Thanks for reading,