Urwerk was founded in 1995 by watchmaker Felix Baumgartner and designer Martin Frei who set out to design and craft Haute Horlogerie timepieces that would blend tradition with a futuristic vision. They presented their first watch during the Baselworld watch fair in 1997 and since then the brand has created numerous timepieces that always challenge the way we read the time. Key pieces include the UR-100, the UR-T8, the UR-1001, UR-220, the EMC, and the LAB.
In 2018 Urwerk launched a limited-edition AMC Atomic Mechanical Clock that was paired with a wristwatch, costing USD 2.7 million.
Five interesting facts about Urwerk
- The name Urwerk is a play on the German word for clockwork “Uhrwerk”. The “Ur” comes from the ancient Sumerian city known for its huge sundials, and the “werk” comes from the German word for “work” or “creation”.
- In 1995, Martin Frei organized a New Year’s Eve party for students in Lucerne where he met Felix Baumgartner, a watchmaking apprentice. Shortly before midnight, the party was in full swing with everyone dancing and shouting. Martin and Felix, however, were in the corner having a deep conversation about the philosophy of time.
- Urwerk collaborated with Harry Winston on the Opus 5.
- For fans of outer space, Urwerk’s UR-100 SpaceTime model measures the distance the Earth has rotated (in a 20-minute period up to 555km) and also the distance the Earth has traveled along its orbit (in a 20-minute period up to 35,740 km).
- Famous people spotted wearing Urwerk include Mohammed Salah, Michael Jordan, Jackie Chan, Kwon Sang-Woo, and Robert Downey Jr., among others.
Brand ID Card
Company status: Independent company
– Felix Baumgartner, Co-Founder
– Martin Frei, Co-Founder
Number of employees: 16
– Ur-Special projects
– Historical Pieces
Retail prices in USD: From USD 47,000 to upwards of 133,000
Annual production: 150