Some like to call it a UFO, while others see it as a fighter jet. The silhouette of an URWERK timepiece usually fans the curiosity of those who find it tough to call it a simple watch. Stealth watches typically refer to timepieces designed with a focus on stealth or tactical aesthetics. These watches often feature dark and subdued colours, matte finishes, and minimalistic designs that aim to blend in with military or covert environments. Adding to this intrigue, URWERK has now unveiled the UR-230, named the “Eagle”, replacing the UR-220, proclaimed “gone forever” in 2022. This new UR-230 model maintains the satellite display concept of the UR-220; incorporates new functions, such as the dual variable-geometry turbine and the hybrid winding system; and features a case with a protective cover.
The brand is known for its unique and unconventional approach to watchmaking, often incorporating innovative complications and futuristic designs into their timepieces. They have been recognized for their use of satellite complications in some of their watches. Satellite complications typically involve the use of rotating discs or satellites to display time in a non-traditional manner. Instead of traditional hands, these discs or satellites move to indicate the hours, minutes, and, sometimes, other complications.
The new 44.81 mm, 35-piece, limited-edition watch comes in an aerodynamic-shaped, black, DLC-treated titanium, and CTP (carbon thin-ply) carbon case, now equipped with a mobile cover, crafted from DLC titanium to protect the sapphire crystal. The cover has a beak-shaped edge for easy lifting in order to view the whole of the dial and a specially developed braking device is responsible for closure, ensuring that the lid rests gently on the sapphire crystal and clips into place.
When this cover is lifted, the dial showcases the signature satellite complication with a wandering hours mechanism. URWERK has developed a world-first set of shock absorbers, designed to protect the new UR-7.30 calibre via turbines. The first set protects the movement from any shock, while the second set, A, controls the flow of air that feeds the winding system. The three-armed grade 5 titanium carousel carries rotating blocks, each displaying four hours’ numerals. They scroll along a 120-degree section, with the face of the current hour pointing towards the wearer. The minute markings are displayed through an aluminium 3D retrograde hand with embedded cubes.
Various Super-LumiNova mixes enhance visibility, with yellow, white, green, and red glow for different indicators. SuperLumiNova components include white glowing blue for power reserves, and green glowing green and red glowing green for the 60-minute marker and the end of the power-reserve scale respectively. This watch also has a second switch opposite the first that serves to entirely disengage the rotor. The UR-230 "Eagle" then switches to manual winding mode. The level of adjustment of these two functions is indicated by two symmetrical indicators at 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock on the UR-230 dial. These two indicators show if the rotor is locked or released and there is an air-flow indication on how the turbines are activated.
An aerodynamic winding regulation indication (air brake) is spotted at 10 o’clock and the switch to the manual winding mode is indicated by the on/off at 2 o’clock. The strength of the air brake, designed to modulate winding power based on the wearer’s activity level, is set by a rotating knob on the watch’s back. There is a trapeze-shaped elongation at 6 o’clock; a crown rests at 12 o'clock.