Gently improving a neat complication.
Fifteen years after the debut of the Harry Winston Opus V, Urwerk’s ingenious satellite cube time display is now in its fifth generation, the just-launched UR-220 “Falcon Project”. While the UR-220 bears many similarities to its predecessor, the UR-210, the new watch improves in several substantial ways. Most notably, it is powered by a hand-wound movement that hasn’t been used in a satellite cube display since the UR-201 13 years ago.
Three-dimensional roaming hours, the satellite cube hour display is one of the most important innovations of modern independent watchmaking. The hours are displayed on three rotating cubes, while the retrograde hands point to the minutes, running in sync with the current hour’s cube. However, complications have reached a certain level of maturity.
Introduced in the Opus V in 2005, the satellite cube display is incredibly special, although its influence has been tempered by subsequent inventions by other watchmakers, making it seem less avant-garde. So when I first heard that Urwerk was launching a successor to the UR-210 from 2012, I was eager to see the complication evaluated.
The UR-220 is undoubtedly a better Shopping fake watch – it’s thinner, lighter, and has improved in terms of design details, the hand-wound movement is a plus – but it’s an evolution of the UR-210, not a Totally remodeled. To be fair, it’s hard to beat the Satellite Cube Display.
Incidentally, the fact that the UR-220 is the lightest satellite cube watch to date may seem accidental, but it is significant. The quintessential versions of the first-generation Satellite Cube watches, the UR-201 and UR-202, were black-coated platinum models that weren’t exactly comfortable on the wrist, but thick, chunky, and attractive nonetheless.
210 and 220
From a distance, it’s impossible to tell the new UR-220 apart from its predecessor. From the front they look almost identical: the UR-220 has a footprint of 43.8mm x 53.6mm, exactly the same as the UR-210. But the new model is thinner at 14.8mm tall, up from 17.8mm. The reduction in height is significant, but even so, the UR-220 is still a chunky watch.
While the case is slimmer, the reduced height is mainly due to the case back, which is now flat rather than slightly arched, which was achieved by removing the automatic winding mechanism. The case middle and outline are essentially the same for both models. As such, the two look indistinguishable on the wrist, as the UR-210’s domed back hides some of its height. Review fake watches
Up close, many details have been refined, but the changes are only apparent when compared side-by-side. The crown of the UR-220 has finer grooves, while the linear grooves on its sides are more angular.
In the hand, the UR-220 is a noticeable but insignificant gap lighter than the UR-210; light but not as lightweight as the Richard Mille. Admittedly, the comparison between the two generations is unfair since the UR-220 has a carbon composite case while the UR-210 is all metal, but the difference is less than expected, perhaps because of the heavy black-coated titanium The metal case recedes.
A new strap — a rubber strap covered in woven carbon fiber fabric — also helps the watch fit better. Because it is large and light, and the strap fits snugly, this watch fits better on the wrist than the UR-210.
That said, there’s no stop on the end of the strap—it’s essentially a split ring—meaning it can slip out of the metal ring, which makes it a bit difficult to get started.
Although the UR-220 is hand-wound – making it the first hand-wound Satellite Cube Display perfect fake watch since 2007 – it uses the same movement as its automatic predecessor. Both are powered by the Zenith Elite, an automatic movement in its original form and the basis for most of Urwerk’s current movements.
In the UR-220, the Elite has been modified to remove the automatic winding mechanism, turning it into a slimmer, hand-wound movement. The UR-210 and earlier models, on the other hand, had the automatic mechanism engineered to have a “turbo” winding with adjustable winding speed.
While the Elite is clearly reliable and robust, it is an older movement, introduced at Baselworld in 1994. Its base form has a power reserve of 55 hours, while the UR-220 has 48 hours, a relatively short three days is almost the norm in these days.
Urwerk’s signature satellite cube hour display is an ultra-refined take on the traditional vagabond hour complication. Despite its insane mechanical complexity – the display moves in horizontal and vertical planes – it’s easy to read, such is its genius.
The display remains largely unchanged, with the main tweak being the twin power reserve indicators. Indicators at 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock each cover half of the 48-hour power reserve; note that this is a separate mechanical display for a single barrel, not a two-barrel movement.
In contrast, the UR-210 has a separate power reserve display and a winding efficiency indicator, which basically shows how much winding has been done in the last two hours of wearing (this is also an approximation of how much the wearer has been active) . This is more interesting than the power reserve indicator, but only makes sense when matched to the automatic movement that the UR-210 has. The UR-220 is manual wind, and the efficiency metric is meaningless. Online fake watches
Urwerk is undoubtedly correct that the split power reserve indicator is complex, requiring around 83 parts, but it does seem to be less eye-catching than the winding efficiency indicator. Something somewhat useful but exotic, like a thermometer, would be more fun.
While the UR-220 loses an interesting display – inevitable but sad – it does add new typography to the numbers on the dial. While seemingly insignificant, the new typeface is a useful addition, perhaps because there are so many numbers on the dial. The stencil-style font has a sci-fi military look that works well with watches. One could imagine the olive camouflaged version of the UR-220 as a perfect space marine instrument.
The back of the “dashboard” reveals the watch’s key new feature – the “oil change” display, which is actually an elapsed time indicator.
When delivered from the factory, the runtime indicator is held in place by a pin. Once the watch owner pulls out the pin – which cannot be replaced except by the watchmaker – the elapsed time indicator starts to rotate. The two cylinders calculated how long the core had been running, and it stopped at 39 months, which is three years and three months. At this point, recommend the service.
I initially thought 39 months was too short a maintenance interval. Then I realized that most UR-220 owners probably own several watches, so it could take at least a decade to get to 39 months of runtime, which makes that metric relatively reasonable.
Carbon Composite Shell
The carbon composite shell of the UR-220 is a first for Urwerk. While the brand has historically been adventurous when it comes to case coatings, using steel or platinum cases and a variety of hard-wearing coatings from black to brown to gold, it has stuck to metal alloys.
The composite material consists of 81 sheets that are thinner than normal carbon fiber and has finer grains than most carbon composites used for watch cases. And the carbon flakes are also neatly arranged within the resin, explaining the concentric particles.
Interestingly, the carbon composite case echoes the look of the 2018 UR-210 Royal Hawk. Its case is embossed, radially patterned, but unusually heavy, in platinum-coated black diamond-like carbon (DLC), perhaps Urwerk’s inside joke.
For what it’s worth, Urwerk cheap watches are impressive in terms of fit and finish. Not hand decoration, but precise and rigorous processing. This quality has steadily increased over the years, reaching a level of excellence in the UR-220.
The interior of the watch is equally as good in detail and finish. For example, the flanges of the dial and minute markers feature beautifully engraved concentric rings that echo the grain of the carbon composite case.
In short, the UR-220 is a new and improved version of Urwerk’s most important complication. For those who don’t own a Urwerk satellite cube watch, the UR-220 is the ultimate iteration of the satellite cube concept from a technical and practical standpoint. For those who don’t have a complication example, here it is. But for UR-210 owners, it’s not all that different.
Urwerk UR-220 “Project Falcon” Carbon Edition
Case Diameter: 43.8mm x 53.6mm
Case Height: 14.8mm
Material: Carbon Composite CTP, Titanium Case Back
Water resistance: 30 meters
Features: Satellite cube hours and retrograde minutes; dual power reserve displays; and ‘oil change’ indicator
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: hand winding
Power reserve: 48 hours
Strap: Rubber with Velcro