Urwerk Introduces the EMC Pistol, Combining Gun Engraving and High-Tech Watchmaking

Urwerk gives its high-tech EMC wristwatch an elaborate, hand-engraved case decoration done by Austrian gun engraver Florian Güllert.

Introduced two years ago, the Urwerk EMC combines a traditional mechanical movement with a novel electronic rate monitor, allowing the wearer to regulate its timekeeping. Now Urwerk has utilised the large steel case of the EMC as a canvas for hand-engraving of the sort used to decorate high-end rifles, resulting in the EMC Pistol, a limited run of just five watches.

Inside the Urwerk EMC a hand-wound calibre that functions like a traditional lever escapement movement. Integrated into that is the rate measurement mechanism made up of a tiny LED light and sensor that detects the flashes of the light as the balance wheel passes across it.

A circuit inside then compares that rate with that of a reference quartz oscillator, indicating the difference on the sub-dial at 11 o’clock. All of that is powered by a tiny generator that’s linked to a crank lever in the case – five to ten turns of the crank is enough to power the mechanism for five rate measurements.

Urwerk co-founder and design director Martin Frei
Felix Baumgartner, watchmaker and the other founder of Urwerk

With that information, the wearer can tweak the rate of the EMC movement via  screw on the back of the watch. The EMC Pistol gives this high-tech creation a touch of elaborate decoration. Done by Austrian gun engraver Florian Güllert, the acanthus leaf motif covers much of the front and sides of the watch case.

Urwerk also recruited the leatherworkers of Portales, a Geneva maker of leather straps, to create the unusual horn back straps used on the EMC Pistol. Made from the back of a crocodile, hence the ridges on the top, the straps are seamless, since the thick hide means neat stitching is impossible.

The EMC Pistol is a limited edition of five watches, each priced at SFr135,000.

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Artisanal Crafts Take Centre Stage with the Vacheron Constantin Fabuleux Ornements

Vacheron Constantin combines skeletonised, ultra-thin movements with enamel, precious stone inlays and delicate hand-engraved in the Métiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornaments.

While the recent SIHH 2016 preview revealed the Métier d’Art Year of the Monkey intended for men, the Fabuleux Ornaments is something for the ladies. Comprised of four elaborately decorated ladies’ watches, the Métiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornaments “New Horizons” combines various artisanal techniques favoured by Vacheron Constantin, including enamelling and open-working of movements. Each model in the Métiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornaments collection is inspired by specific decorative themes, namely Ottoman architecture, Chinese embroidery, Indian manuscripts and French lacework.

The wristwatch inspired by the Ottomans for example combines a hand-finished, floral gird made of gold and decorated with pearls, set on a mother of pearl base. Located off-centre at two o’clock is the skeletonised calibre 1003, the calibre that’s the benchmark ultra-thin movement from Vacheron Constantin, standing just 1.64mm high.

“Ottoman architecture”

Originally conceived by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1955 but now made by Vacheron Constantin, the calibre 1003 is now in its 60th year, proving that there are limits to the slimness of a movement. Each of the other watches in the Fabuleux Ornaments collection are equipped with the same movement, but decorated differently.  The “Chinese embroidery” model, for example, has the dial base set with jade inlay, then topped with flowers made of mother of pearl and pink opal.

“Chinese embroidery”

The Fabuleux Ornements watches are 37mm in diameter, with the case made of either white or pink gold. Though the dial decoration varies, each is set with 64 diamonds on the bezel.

“Indian manuscript”
“French lace”

The Métiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornements is limited to just 20 pieces in each guise, available only at Vacheron Constantin boutiques. They are priced at S$208,000 in Singapore, equivalent to US$146,000.

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