Urwerk’s novelty, a space-time bridge between cultures and the notion of time

Inspired by the Sun Stone exhibited in a museum in Mexico City, it is the result of a reflection carried out by the Urwerk teams around the appreciation of time by different cultures at different times in different places.

And for this first series, they decided to be inspired by Aztec and Mayan cultures.

Time and Culture URWERK

Before diving into the heart of this watch and the different worlds it contains, we must first define what time is.

According to the Petit Robert dictionary: “time is an indefinite medium in which existences appear to unfold irreversibly in their change, events and phenomena in their succession”. You will notice that the very definition of what time fundamentally is is not given. This definition shows us that this abstract notion must be illustrated so that our brains perceive its contours without completely understanding it.

The notions of place, moment and displacement seem to be the components of this definition. Components that are found at the very heart of this piece.

Urwerk was the only brand that could offer us such a reflection and such a piece because it is in its DNA.

Let me explain!

The Urwerk name, cradle of time reading and innovation

The key to understand the piece, its design and its reflection is found in the etymological analysis of the brand name. This one is composed of two parts. The first one concerns the first two letters: UR. They refer to the city of Ur in Mesopotamia. It is there, in -6000 years B.C. that the Sumerians, by observing the shadow of the sun on their monuments, have defined the unit of time as we still know it today.

During the course of the sun’s journey, the shadows form and disappear, as does the time indication on the watch.

Hours Time and Culture URWERK
Minutes Time and Culture URWERK

The last four letters of the verb Werk, which in German means to realize, to work, to innovate, are added to this. The very name of the brand is an invitation to challenge what the Sumerians did centuries ago.

The universality of the questioning of time

This project was not born out of purely cerebral and strategic thinking. It was born during a conversation Martin and Felix had with a collector friend of theirs.

Who knows, maybe one day you too will be at the origin of a series proposed by Urwerk. We count on you to tell us about it.

By chance, these three interlocutors are from different cultures. Martin and Felix are from European cultures while their friend is from Asian culture. But they have this common point, this will to express time. Time that has captivated the greatest philosophers and the greatest civilizations. Resulting from the observation of celestial elements and cyclic events over a given period.

Like a sun, the indication of the hours passes, but does not disappear. Its course continues to help us capture time, indicating the distance traveled by the earth during its rotation from a specific point. Point of reference that is here the location of the Sun Stone in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

At this precise point in 20 minutes, the earth travels during its rotation 524.89 km. And if you leave this indicator to go to its opposite, you will learn that in 20 minutes, the earth has traveled 35 740 km during its revolution around the sun.

Rotation Earth Time and Culture URWERK
Revolution Earth Time and Culture URWERK

Well, yes, we are all sitting on a speeding ball. But that’s the feeling the watch should give you. You have to feel the smallness of human nature. We are very small in this universe that seems infinite and that is governed by rules that are beyond us.

The Sun Stone, first step in this research on time

Real physical marker of a not so ancient civilization, the Sun Stone is a gigantic monolithic block of 3,6 meters in diameter and 1,22 meter in thickness. Entirely engraved, it represents an Aztec calendar. Not being able to explain the events which surround them, they illustrated them. And it is this representation of time proposed by this civilization that Urwerk wanted to honor by placing it in the center of the piece.

Engraving Time and Culture URWERK
Engraving Time and Culture URWERK 2
Engraving Time and Culture URWERK 3
Engraving Time and Culture URWERK 4

The reproduction of this engraving on this dome that comes to dress the mechanism as if to keep it secret, requires no less than 8 hours of consecutive work to the 5-axis machine that makes it. And that’s if the milling tool doesn’t break. Admire the fineness of these details. And again, the surface is not even flat. Now you understand why this series is limited to 20 pieces.

In the end, what should we remember about it? The design seduced me, but my love for the UR-100 collection is unquestionable.

Think of this piece as a totem, a necessary tool in your space-time journey. It will begin when you look up from reading this article. Contemplate your surroundings. Admire the stars, enjoy the unstoppable course of our planet. We are true travelers and we explore time and space day after day.

This watch has created a space-time bridge, and it is up to us to use it to discover this civilization.

On that note, I’ll leave you to it and I’ll go watch Apocalypto.