The passage of time has seen countless civilisations rise and fall. Yet, few have had as profound an influence on our concept of time as the Sumerians of ancient Ur. It was here, in 3000 BC, where the first unit of time was crystallized—rooted in the golden number of 60: 60 seconds, 60 minutes. And it’s here that URWERK finds its muse.
Stepping into the annals of Mesopotamian history, URWERK’s 100V Time and Culture line has undergone an evolution. As described by URWERK’s co-founder and artistic director, Martin Frei, the vast tapestry of Sumerian achievements from mythology, to architecture, to the nascent stages of astrology, became the inspiration for the second edition of the 100V.
In this stunning horological masterpiece, named ‘Sumer’, the prominence of the ancient divinities is unmistakable. Under the sapphire dome, stands a representation of Utu, the god of the Sun. Depicted in a form dating back over two millennia, Utu surprises with a design marrying antiquity with contemporaneity—a sun symbolizing the four cardinal directions.
The watch’s design intricacies don’t end there. Nestled between the lugs, almost hidden, is the depiction of the moon god Nanna, the chief deity of Ur. The rich blue of the UR-100V “Sumer” is evocative of lapis lazuli, a stone closely associated with Innana, the Sumerian goddess of Love, War, and Fertility. What remains is the ethereal essence of the stone—an endless, mesmerising blue.
A glance at the periphery of the UR-100V “Sumer” reveals space-related motifs, a tribute to the Sumerians’ advanced understanding of the cosmos. These designs echo the community’s admiration for the celestial expanse and its associated myths, hinting at the origins of astrology.
Ensuring the authentic representation of these motifs, they have been crafted with laser precision. The detailing is so intricate that it demands the use of a magnifying glass to be fully appreciated. The contrast between satin-brushed motifs and micro-sandblasted hollows is a nod to the depth and importance of the heritage from which URWERK draws its name.
Incorporating horological innovation with ancient inspirations, the UR-100V of the Time and Culture line showcases both hours and minutes, complemented by data on the Earth’s rotation. After the 60th minute, the minute hand transforms into a kilometre counter, marking the 477.29 kilometres journeyed by every Ur inhabitant every 20 minutes due to Earth’s rotation. Conversely, the Earth’s revolution around the sun, or 35,742 kilometres every 20 minutes, finds its representation on the watch. Hours and kilometres, past and present, are presented on an equal footing.