The One-Off Urwerk UR-102’s Dial Changes According To Your Temperature

Next month, the Swiss Institute of New York is holding a benefit watch auction in support of contemporary artists. It’s picked one hell of a horological headliner, too.

The TimeForArt sale, which will be held for the first time this December, will feature exceptional timepieces from 17 big names, including Chopard, Laurent Ferrier, Ralph Lauren and Speake-Marin. The star of the event, however, will be a one-of-a-kind piece by Urwerk and contemporary artist Cooper Jacoby known as the UR-102 “Reloaded.”

As its name suggests, the custom design is based on the watchmaker’s iconic UR-102. “It was a watch reserved for our first circle, our friends, our family members,” Urwerk’s founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei explain. “Those who were the first ones to believe in us, so it is a highly emotional piece.” The UR-102 beautifully showcases Urwerk’s signature wandering hour indicator. So too does the Reloaded variation, but Jacoby has given it a twist.

The LA-based artist used thermochromic pigments to illustrate one of the body’s most essential regulatory systems: temperature. This gives the dial the unique ability to change color in response to thermal variations. The result is a totally new approach to the rainbow trend through the precision of chronometry and the harmony of human biology. The infinitely variable tones perfectly pop on the all-black 41 mm case, which is complemented by a matching black fabric strap.

Participating the the Swiss Institute of New York’s inaugural auction was a no brainer for Urwerk. “After graduating from the University of Arts and Applied Sciences in Lucerne, I started my creative journey in New York,” shared Frei. “With a few friends, we created the USA (United Swiss Artists) association, an anchor point far from home. It is the same philosophy that I find in the approach of the Swiss Institute.”

The TimeForArt sale will be held as part of the Phillips New York Watch Auction: Seven on 10 and 11 December. Happy bidding.


Previously published on Robb Report.

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