Less than two weeks ago, we brought you the news about the new Urwerk UR-105 CT Streamliner released to celebrate the 20 years of this independent manufacture. Today, we bring you our hands-on review with this impressive timepiece that is as much of a watch as it is an object of desire. Designed by Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei with New York in mind, we see more of a military look on this new watch than an urban concrete jungle feel to it. Available in titanium with mirror-polished steel and in Titanium with black PVD coated steel, the latter is our favorite one and the one we are reviewing here. With an impressive matte finish and a relatively light construction, the total weight of the Urwerk UR-105 CT Streamliner is about 116 grams —4 ounces.
With the shape of an alien spaceship or the helmet of a gladiator, the hours, minutes and seconds are indicated at the front thanks to the emblematic and instantly recognizable signature element of the brand for 18 years. This carousel has been recently redesigned by Urwerk for this particular new watch. Indicating the hours, minutes, seconds and the power reserve, one can find on the far left, a digital seconds indicator in tens of seconds.
The mechanism was made using a photo-lithographic process, with each marker openworked to make it as light as possible. The highly polished disc features a black honeycomb pattern layer on top and a bright red framing indicator completes the design.
On the far right corner, opposite to the seconds indicator, there is a 48-hour power reserve indicator with white and red segments and the remaining power reserve is marked my a small thin needle hand.
With its wandering hour indication based on an openworked carousel, which carries the four satellites, each bearing three numerals for the hours, the hours successively sweep past the minutes scale for an analogue and digital display of the time. When it comes to the hours and minutes, these are indicated by the carousel hour indicators with Arabic numerals and by a minute scale at the bottom of the dial. As time passes by, it is common to see two different hour pointers on each end of the minute scale. As the passing hour disappears under the case lid after being briefly aligned with the red '60' minute marker, the new hour will align with the '0' on the right side of the minute scale.
Making things even more interesting, all numerals and indicators are coated with luminescent material that starts to glow at the lightest change in lighting conditions. Like a bright spaceship that fills up sky with its glow, the bright lume on the Urwerk UR-105 CT Streamliner will give you that extra wow factor as you drive under an underpass or you walk back into your house after being in the sun.
The Case, Lid & Strap
The new Urwerk UR-105 CT is first of all a beautiful object that fits snugly in the palm of your hand. Its unique shape is a remarkable octagon with deep grooves along its length and on the top of its lid. With a catch on top of the lid secured to the case, you open it up to reveal the full mechanism of the UR-105 CT Streamliner. When this lid is closed, the watch looks more simple and rugged, as if you were holding a military object on a secret mission. To the touch, the case feels so smooth that one could think it is made of matte black ceramic. The case made of titanium with black PVD coated steel measures 53 mm in length, 39.5 mm wide and 16.8 mm thick.
Rounding out the industrial and rugged design of the new Urwerk UR-105 CT Streamliner there is an oversized winding crown. Unfortunately for those of us with bigger hands, the crown is hard to pull out as the space between the crown guards and the crown is very tight.
Secured by a black fabric strap that looks in between aramid fabric and sailcloth, the Urwerk UR-105 CT Streamliner looks rugged and ultra sporty, just like a watch that you would expect to see on the wrist of a Navy SEAL or a military commando as they take on a Spec Ops mission. The strap is equipped with a black PVD titanium pin buckle.
The Movement & Case Back
Turning the UR-105 CT Streamliner around reveals more impressive components and yet another interesting surprises. Equipped with two pneumatic turbines on the back, these turbines govern the selfwinding rate, which can be set with a lever that could very well look like the safety lever on a semi-automatic pistol.
The lever can be moved to three different positions. In the 'FULL' position, the slightest movement of the wrist is harnessed to rewind the barrel spring thanks to the turbines system. Turning the lever to 'STOP' disengages the turbines selfwinding system and you can then use the crown to wound the UR-105 CT Streamliner. An intermediate position, 'RED.' —for reduced— engages the turbines to dampen the winding rotor and avoid over stressing the mainspring, if you are particularly active.
The beating heart inside the Urwerk UR-105 CT Streamliner is the automatic UR 5.03 calibre governed by twin turbines. This 52-jewel movement features a Swiss Lever escapement and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph to provide a power reserve of 48 hours when fully wound. The satellite hours are driven by bronze beryllium Geneva crosses and an openworked aluminum carousel.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the new Urwerk UR-105 CT Streamliner wears surprisingly comfortable for its size and unique shape. With stunning wrist presence and the unmistakable Urwerk look, this watch is simply on the money. The watch is available in titanium with mirror-polished steel and in titanium with black PVD coated steel. While this is a limited edition piece, no information has been given to us by the brand regarding limitation. Additionally, the watch is water resistant to 30 meters.
Sticker Price CHF65,000 Swiss Francs —approximately $68,000 USD— for either version. For more info on Urwerk click here.