Wearables

The Urwerk EMC – for when you really, really want to be on time

The Urwerk EMC – for when you ...
Urwerk is calling its latest project in development, the EMC, the first mechanical timepiece with integrated intelligence
Urwerk is calling its latest project in development, the EMC, the first mechanical timepiece with integrated intelligence
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Instead of a battery, the watch uses a hand-turned Maxon generator for the electronics along with large double mainspring barrels to provide up to 80 hours of reserve power
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Instead of a battery, the watch uses a hand-turned Maxon generator for the electronics along with large double mainspring barrels to provide up to 80 hours of reserve power
Urwerk designed a special 4 Hz balance wheel made of ARCAP, a non-magnetic alloy of copper and nickel that resists corrosion, to ensure almost no loss in precision over time
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Urwerk designed a special 4 Hz balance wheel made of ARCAP, a non-magnetic alloy of copper and nickel that resists corrosion, to ensure almost no loss in precision over time
The EMC is fully functional in the lab, but the next step for Urwerk's engineers now is to shrink all its elements down to fit inside a wristwatch-sized housing
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The EMC is fully functional in the lab, but the next step for Urwerk's engineers now is to shrink all its elements down to fit inside a wristwatch-sized housing
Pressing a button on the watch will trigger an optical sensor on the balance wheel to time its oscillations for about three seconds
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Pressing a button on the watch will trigger an optical sensor on the balance wheel to time its oscillations for about three seconds
With the EMC, Urwerk is hoping to give watch connoisseurs a device that they can easily maintain themselves, without the assistance of a specialist
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With the EMC, Urwerk is hoping to give watch connoisseurs a device that they can easily maintain themselves, without the assistance of a specialist
Pressing a button on the watch will trigger an optical sensor on the balance wheel to time its oscillations for about three seconds
6/10
Pressing a button on the watch will trigger an optical sensor on the balance wheel to time its oscillations for about three seconds
Instead of a battery, the watch uses a hand-turned Maxon generator for the electronics along with large double mainspring barrels to provide up to 80 hours of reserve power
7/10
Instead of a battery, the watch uses a hand-turned Maxon generator for the electronics along with large double mainspring barrels to provide up to 80 hours of reserve power
After obtaining an average rate, an integrated calculator compares it to a highly precise 16,000,000 Hz electronic reference oscillator to calculate the difference within 10 microseconds
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After obtaining an average rate, an integrated calculator compares it to a highly precise 16,000,000 Hz electronic reference oscillator to calculate the difference within 10 microseconds
Urwerk is calling its latest project in development, the EMC, the first mechanical timepiece with integrated intelligence
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Urwerk is calling its latest project in development, the EMC, the first mechanical timepiece with integrated intelligence
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View gallery - 10 images

Luxury watchmaker Urwerk has revealed the latest project in development at its U-Research Division. Like the company's past haute horlogerie creations, the EMC will offer exceptional accuracy and style, but with an unconventional twist. Calling it a "mechanical smart watch," Urwerk says the EMC will include an electronic mechanism that verifies its own precision and tells the wearer whether the timing needs to be adjusted.

The designers at Urwerk have a reputation for creating stunning examples of wrist-worn precision engineering, such as a watch that runs on compressed air and a timepiece modeled after a tarantula. With the EMC, the company is hoping to give watch connoisseurs a device that they can easily maintain themselves, without the assistance of a specialist.

Pressing a button on the watch will trigger an optical sensor on the balance wheel to time its oscillations for about three seconds. After obtaining an average rate, an integrated calculator compares the reading to a highly precise 16,000,000 Hz electronic reference oscillator to determine any difference to within 10 microseconds. It then works out how many seconds are lost or gained each day and displays the number on a timing indicator. The wearer can then use the timing adjustment screw on the back of the watch to make any corrections.

Pressing a button on the watch will trigger an optical sensor on the balance wheel to time its oscillations for about three seconds
Pressing a button on the watch will trigger an optical sensor on the balance wheel to time its oscillations for about three seconds

Once it's set to the correct time though, the EMC uses a number of features to maintain its accuracy. Urwerk designed a special 4 Hz balance wheel made of ARCAP, a non-magnetic alloy of copper and nickel that resists corrosion, to ensure almost no loss in precision over time. Instead of a battery, the watch uses a hand-turned Maxon generator for the electronics along with large double mainspring barrels arranged vertically to provide up to 80 hours of reserve power.

The EMC prototype is reported to be fully functional in the lab. The next step for Urwerk's engineers is to shrink all its elements down to fit inside a wristwatch-sized housing.

The company hasn't revealed any details about pricing or a release date just yet. Judging by its previous products however, you can be sure that when the EMC watch does hit the market it will be a very limited edition, with a price tag that could probably buy you a family car.

Source: Urwerk

View gallery - 10 images
5 comments
Slowburn
What is the point of getting a mechanical watch if you are going to add electronics.
The Skud
This is not yet a watch! Size does not appear to be shown, so it could be called a clock, but more realistically it could be called a laboratory model of a timepiece. It will not be a watch, until as they admit, it is scaled down to fit in an average (wrist) watch case.
The Skud
After looking again at the photo gallery, I wonder just how small could you make that hand crank without looking a little (no pun intended) weird against the watch case, or being too flimsy and hard to use if in scale? either way, cannot see it being used without holding the watch in your other hand to get rotation space. Would you wind it up each day or two to make sure, or not bother til that 80 hours runs out and have to reset? Isn't that why people invented battery watches?
sk8dad
You can get pretty cheaply a watch that will sync to some atomic time standard if you want that kind of precision without the Rube Goldberg complexity. Then again, the clientele probably isn't going to buy this for logical or practical reasons.
GoodLife03
The point is that if for some reason battery dies (EMP, solar flairs, neglecting to replace battery), the now tuned precise mechanical engine might still work precisely for a long time after. I like the idea.