Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Urwerk Time Bandit - The Opus That Never Was

An original sketch of what might have been the Opus V. Codenamed 'Time Bandit' by Urwerk's Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, it was an overwhelmingly difficult mechanical concept in which the wearer would engage the slot-machine style lever to activate the spinning digits and form the correct time on the side of the watch.

Even better, Felix Baumgartner describes the conundrum to Wei Koh of Horomundi/Revolution;

"You had to arm it like a slot machine. The time indications were placed on cylinders, but the watch did not show the time until you armed it. Once you released the arming lever these cylinders would turn until they stopped precisely at the right time. It was a completely crazy idea. It was really more complicated than a minute repeater; in fact, the base of this watch was essentially a minute repeater. You had a time telling base caliber and then a system of snail cams and racks like that in a minute repeater. When you armed the watch you would essentially be arming something similar to as strike barrel. But instead of translating the time into hammer strikes on gongs they would operate this one arm bandit like indication. And this indication involved a whole additional mechanism. When conceptualizing the watch we were joking that we were gambling with time, because we didn’t know if it was possible to create in a little over one year. This proved right."

Via Horomundi-->Link
The Complete Urwerk Story-->Link

The actual & highly successful Opus V
Related Urwerk Posts-->Link

Ian Skellern's video below
showing off the action of the watch

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