For all Marvel fans out there, Avengers: Endgame marks the culmination of an era. Starting back in 2008 with Iron Man until a decade and 22 films later to Tony Stark’s death in the Avengers: Endgame, this glamourous nerd has got to be Marvels most celebrated superhero.
This, arrogant yet exceptional fictional inventor with his very own high-tech laboratory is one of the most charismatic Superhero’s of the moment. And who better to accompany Iron Man Tony Stark as he has to save half of humanity in Avengers: Endgame than URWERK’s iconic UR-105 CT Iron and the futuristic UR-111C Black Cobra.
Although URWERK is a young company established in 1997, it is recognised as one of the forerunners of the new wave known as nouvelle horlogerie. Producing just 150 watches a year, the company sees itself as a craftsman’s studio where traditional expertise coexists with avant-garde styling.
Robert Downey proudly displayed the UR-111C Black Cobra on his wrist at the movie’s Premiere last April 22 in Los Angeles. This mechanical timepiece, which URWERK unveiled earlier this year, is made in a limited edition of 25. It is part of the Special Projects collection of watches that depart from the brand’s signature series of wandering-hour complications. The UR-111C is unashamedly futuristic, displaying the minutes both digitally and on a linear track, as well as jumping digital hours and optically transmitted skeletonized seconds. In keeping with this model’s radical departure from convention, URWERK has reinvented the winding crown.
“Science fiction has always been a source of inspiration for me,” declares URWERK’s chief designer and co-founder, Martin Frei, “and you can see its influence in every model we create. This time we’ve gone through the looking glass. Fiction has overtaken us and absorbed us into its world. It’s magical!”
The UR-105 CT Iron also enters the fictional domain on the wrist of Iron Man Tony Stark. Showing a picture of the watch in action here would be a spoiler, but this selfwinding watch is fundamentally distinctive among so many original timepieces.
You have to slide the catch on the top of the case to reveal the mechanism of your UR-105 CT Iron. It’s a wandering hour indication based on an openwork 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. A power-reserve indicator and digital seconds make up the rest of the information displayed on the dial. The digital seconds are remarkable in that the mechanism was made using a photolithographic process, with each 10-second marker openworked to make it as light as possible. It thus weighs less than a tenth of a gram.
Two pneumatic turbines on the back govern the selfwinding rate, which can be set with a lever. In the FULL position, the slightest movement of the wrist is harnessed to rewind the barrel springs. Turn the lever to STOP to disengage the selfwinding system and wind up the UR-105 CT Iron using the crown. If you are particularly active, select the intermediate position, RED (for reduced). This engages the turbines to dampen the winding rotor and avoid overstressing the mainspring.
Such exceptionally futuristic instruments surely are the perfect fit for Marvels most cherished superhero as he sacrifices his life trying the save the world. Tony Stark’s story valiantly wraps up in Avengers: Endgame, but URWERK’s UR-105 CT Iron and UR-111C Black Cobra are surely here to stay!
“You can take away my house, all my tricks and toys. But one thing you can’t take away… I am Iron Man.”
―Tony Stark (aka Iron Man)