A talk with Martin Frei, co-founder of URWERK…

For the second year in a row, the dream team Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, founders of the independent watch brand URWERK developed a watch made for women.

Author By Eleonor picciotto

Famous for their particular design case with hours and minute markers made of rotating satellites, the 106-Lotus is coming back this year in a Flower Power version limited to 11 pieces made of steel with a central lotus and 3 additional flowers set with 2.53 carats of diamonds. An ode to poetry and complexity we discussed with Martin Frei, head-designer of the brand.

Why that flower?

From the beginning we thought that the Lotus flower had a very mystical name. The sound of the name itself brings out so many features not to mention that the Lotus flower is very sacred in a variety of cultures.

Another feminine timepiece for such a masculine brand, how so?

The first watch we did was for women, and the first Urwerk timepiece ever bought was by a woman! From the beginning of the Urwerk adventure twenty years ago, it was something important to us. The first LOTUS we made and launched last year came from the idea that the complication of the piece was the actual flower. We had to work around the symmetry of the piece in order to develop a technoflower where the person wearing the watch would jump into a journey as if it leaded to a mysterious path to discover the watch and its complication…

Challenge in designing a watch for a woman?

If you design a watch for you, as a man, you have to do it as cool as you can. But for a woman, you have to think differently, wondering what would be nice, what could interest her, what is important in terms of habillage, shape, weight or complication… Even if our designs have a neutral gender … the women who loves and wears our watches would go most of the time for the UR-103. When you specifically create a feminine piece – you have a different expectation. The original parameters need some adjustments. Also, one of the biggest complexity for the 106 Lotus Flower Power was to set diamonds on the case of the watch made of steel, a particularly strong metal.

Urwerk UR-106 "Lotus Flower Power"
Urwerk – UR-106 “Lotus Flower Power” 

Urwerk picture women

Urwerk UR-106 Duo
Urwerk – UR-106 Duo
Urwerk UR-106 "Pink Lotus"
Urwerk – UR-106 “Pink Lotus”
Urwerk - UR-106 "Pink Lotus"
Urwerk – UR-106 “Pink Lotus”
Urwerk Martin Frei & Felix Baumgartner
Urwerk Martin Frei & Felix Baumgartner

Why now?

We waited until we could afford it. Now is the time to go deep into a new market. I must admit that it is daring move, expecting that it will take some time to install the reputation of Urwerk designing watches for women. They need to understand the world of complicated watches … but so far, we have had a good echo from our clients who seem to be happy with the move!

What are the reactions from your clients?

We always go through the stage of introducing the watch personally to our clients listening to what they think, what they like or don’t. Strangely enough, we get from women the same reactions we get with men… almost. When we launched the first 106 Lotus in black and white versions, women’s reactions were interesting. It was a Ying and a Yang situation observing which woman would pick which watch. It’s all a matter of perception.. for example, the 106-Lotus in black has black diamonds paved on the case, but it becomes part of the structure and not so much a decorative pavage to get a feminine rendering. It’s a symbolic effect of the diamond, a princess feeling in a way.

The URWERK 106-Lotus Flower Power is a limited edition of 11 pieces with a UR 6-01 movement with automatic winding and a 48 hours power reserve. The Lotus Flower in the center of the dial is set on white gold with 30 round diamonds surrounded by 3 small flowers set with 6 diamonds each.

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