In an era where science fiction seamlessly intertwines with reality, certain numerical values transcend the ordinary, embodying mysterious and nearly immutable characteristics. Among them, the number 299,792,458 km/s is a symbol of the ultimate speed of light, a constant that bridges the realms of classical mechanics and the imaginative worlds of science fiction, from Isaac Asimov’s creations to the galaxies explored by Jedi and Starfleet captains. This mystical number, representing the speed of light, often denoted by the letter “c,” serves as a cornerstone in both Einstein’s theory of relativity and futuristic visions depicted in iconic franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek. It symbolizes the ability to plunge into hyperspace, defy the laws of physics, and traverse the universe’s multiple dimensions – an adventure fit for the most daring explorers from various science fiction universes. URWERK, a pioneering force in avant-garde watchmaking, has materialized this dream with the UR-100V LightSpeed.
Described by URWERK’s artistic director and co-founder Martin Frei as “having a piece of the universe on your wrist,” the UR-100V LightSpeed unites Time, Space, and Light in a single, captivating timepiece. It features a 3D planetarium showcasing eight celestial bodies from our solar system, each serving as a point of reference. Martin Frei explains, “Starting from the Sun, we calculated and illustrated the time taken for a ray of light to reach each of the planets.” This meticulous calculation results in a mesmerizing journey through space and time, where light becomes the vessel that connects the wearer to the cosmic wonders.
Felix Baumgartner, URWERK’s master watchmaker and co-founder, emphasizes the significance of the light’s journey, stating, “What we see is no longer there; we perceive a time, a past that no longer exists.” The UR-100V LightSpeed serves as a reminder of the vast distances and ephemeral beauty within our solar system. The light reaching each planet echoes the past, frozen in cosmic time – an instant that captures the imagination.
The watch takes inspiration from the Sun, with its rays reaching each planet in specific measured times. Mercury in 3.2 minutes, Venus in 6 minutes, Earth in 8.3 minutes, and so on – each interval highlighting the exquisite beauty embedded in our solar system. The ultimate reference for the UR-100V LightSpeed is the Sun itself, inspiring the rotor on the back of the timepiece.
Beyond its interstellar dimension, the UR-100V LightSpeed innovatively adopts a principle rooted in the absence of traditional hands for displaying hours and minutes. Instead, satellites move along an arc of a graduated circle, with one carrying the hours and the other the minutes. This ingenious mechanism, extrapolated from a 17th-century clock, has been creatively reimagined, transformed, and transmuted into a design that defies space, volume, and time.
Martin Frei concludes, “Light serves as our connection to the Universe,” emphasizing the significance of light as the smallest unit of energy capable of being transmitted. The UR-100V LightSpeed’s ability to visually represent this cosmic connection adds a layer of depth to our understanding of reality, expanding our knowledge of the intricate universe surrounding us.
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