Meet the UR-106 ‘Lotus’ , the brand’s first watch aimed at women, although it is worth noting that they do have a solid female ownership and following as it is.
As Chief designer and co-founder Martin Frei says – “We never made watches for men and watches for women because we never thought in those terms when we put our ideas down on paper…We thus embarked on a stylistic exercise that was unprecedented for us. We have of course long considered what we regard as the ultimate challenge, because creating for women is indeed a perilous undertaking. With its glittering gemstones and soft curves we created the UR-106 with one image in mind; that of the lotus flower, which in my imagination represents the beauty of women in all their complexity.”
This new model Lotus is their smallest watch to date, measuring 35mm in diametre, 49.4mm from top to bottom, and 14.45mm in height. As well as being smaller its lines are noticeably less angular than its satellite predecessors. Both the variants are steel and titanium (the latter for the lotus-decorated back), with diamonds on the bezel, crown and buckle, the black one strikingly with black diamonds.
The Lotus features a revised version of the satellite hours that first appeared in the U4-103 but which have become one of their hallmarks. Three satellites, each with hand-painted hour numerals, sweep along a very fine minutes scale in an analogue and digital indication of time. If you look carefully you will notice something new, a moonphase in lapis lazuli.
Inside is an automatic movement with a Zenith Elite as its base, the same movement that featured in the UR-105.
The plate covering the hour carrousel is made of ARCAP, an alloy with high tensile strength and corrosion resistance, with a brush finishing. The hour satellites, carrousel and minute track all feature the same style of finishing. This makes for an almost índustrial’ contrast to the sparkle of the cases.
Although I confess that my first reaction was to think that they would be perfectly lovely sans diamonds, the decision to make the diamonds flow in a full U-shape, ending at the case bolts does give the stones a more gentle flow, nicely reflecting the softer lines of the Lotus.
To be made in a limitation of eleven pieces for each model, the Swiss price is CHF85,000 (ex taxes)
Calibre: Self winding UR 6.01, 48 hours power reserve
Circular graining, shot peening, brushing, chamfered screw heads
Satin-finished plate in ARCAP
Hours satellites and carrousel in titanium peened and brushed by hand
Serrated minutes scale
Lapis lazuli moon
Hand-painted hours and minutes markers in SuperLuminova
Indications – Satellite hours, minutes and moonphases
steel case and titanium crown set with diamonds, titanium caseback
(limited edition: 11 pieces)
UR-106 Black Lotus:
steel case and titanium crown, PVD coated in black, set with black diamonds, titanium caseback PVD coated in black
(limited edition: 11 pieces)
Width 35mm, length 49,4mm, height 14,45mm
Pressure tested to 3 ATM (30 metres)
For those who follow Urwerk, you may have seen the ‘Women of Urwerk’ series which started with their ‘godmother’ Christina Kreyenbühl and ended, charmingly, with Céleste and Gloria. If you haven’t seen them, please do go to their website at this link and take a look. How many of us realised that these doubled as a hint at an announcement?
The new Lotus may be both an homage to them and a smaller watch for their female admirers whose wrists are not big enough for their earlier pieces, but perhaps it is in the portraits of Christina Kreyenbühl, Sonia Afsar Shafie, Isabelle Cerboneschi, Elena Ivanova, Yacine Sar, Céleste, and Gloria that Urwerk is blooming brightest for women.
A final random thought. One male Urwerk fan has already commented to me that he not only likes the design of the Lotus, but that he would find this a perfect size for his wrist … Who knows, perhaps their new owners might not be just women?