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Hi everyone,

3 years ago I began a Journey into watchmaking by attempting to recreate an Urwerk UR-202 from scratch. There were numerous challenges along the way but after nearly 2 years the project was complete and was then given the opportunity to document the process from sketch to materialization in an article on ablogtowatch.


Shortly after this article was published I was flown out to Switzerland to meet with the amazing founders and engineers of Urwerk. They are an incredible group of people and their passion for watchmaking inspired and motivated me to start a new project of my own design.

Upon arriving back to California I quickly began sketching a multitude of unique time display complications until I had finally settled on a design. After months of refining and designing the parts in CAD software I finally had the first prototype. The timepiece is now on prototype iteration 8 of the research and development phase and will be going into testing soon.

Now on to the technical details! The watch will be designed, developed, manufactured, and tested entirely in California and will house a heavily modified Swiss ETA 6497 movement. This movement is a high torque manual wind that serves as the perfect engine and power source for my in house complications. The hours will be displayed through a 12 point Geneva gear system which creates a jump hour like display while allowing the user to set the time both forward and backwards which is generally not possible with traditional jump hour mechanisms.

The main attraction to this piece however is the linear cam path system. This mechanism is unique in its functionality and took nearly a year of research and development to finally get working. The mechanism works similarly to a vinyl record player. There is a groove embedded into a rotating disc which allows a pin to follow and track the current time. The pin which tracks the groove glides on two guide rails which then display the minutes in a linear fashion. The curvature of this cam path had to be precisely calculated and derived in order to ensure the minutes are run through accurately and in linear succession. Lastly there is a color wheel indicator which revolves around the perimeter of the case to indicate which side of the linear minutes to read out. These mechanisms and indicators provide the wearer with a dance of continuous movement and a simple easy to read display which should be at the forefront of any design. The project also features a side shield which will be produced in 3D printed stainless steel. This material was chosen to pay tribute to my first project with the Urwerk as well as creating a very unique finish with visible print lines that will be unique to each individual piece. the case will be in 316L stainless steel while the rest of the components will be manufactured in brass, aluminum, titanium etc.

The retro futuristic theme of the project is played throughout the entirety of the timepiece from the sunburnt orange and magenta color scheme, to the crown which was inspired by a mars rover wheel and is housed inside a thruster assembly at the top of the watch. If you are interested in the timepiece or you simply want to learn the process of creating a watch check out my Instagram page @Barrelhand.

I find that there is very little transparency in the watch industry, and I hope that with this project I can shine some light on the challenges that are faced when developing a watch as well as some of the misconceptions and claims other companies make. I want to create a project where people know exactly what they are getting and all the work that goes into each piece. This transparency gives the wearer a deeper understanding of their timepiece and prevents the watch from being subject to insane profit mark ups that we are all too familiar with in this industry.
 

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I'll definitely be following this ... very cool. Hoping it is not completely cost prohibitive. Great effort!
 

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I'll definitely be following this ... very cool. Hoping it is not completely cost prohibitive. Great effort!
thanks, im doing my best to get it in a reasonable price range by developing prototypes with 3d printing and doing all the work on the watch myself. by having transparency and documenting everything that goes into the watch and the work involved i will be able to price it at good value thats justified for both myself and the customers
 

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Wow! You're a freaking genius. If I had the spare cash I'd be on board in a second. This is a brilliant project, a brilliant watch, and I wish you all the best. If you can reverse engineer an Urwerk you can pull this off, no sweat!
 
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