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The Future Begins

Urwerk started its journey in 1997 when traditionally-trained Swiss watchmaker Felix Baumgartner and art designer Martin Frei decided to show the world that it was time to change their perception of watches. Thus, these two visionaries embarked on a journey that would change the world of modern-day watchmaking. 

Despite a rocky start to the company with the founders being afraid that their watches were perhaps too ahead of their time, Urwerk began making profits by the time they released their now-legendary Opus 5 collection in 2005, collaborating with Harry Winston. Currently, almost 24 years since its creation, the company has turned into one of the most recognizable and premium brands with futuristic designs and avant-garde watchmaking. Quite ironic to their design philosophy, the name ‘Urwerk’ has ancient origins. The prefix ‘Ur’ comes from the Mesopotamian city of Ur where time was first conceptualized. The term ‘werk’ has its roots in German - meaning work, create and evolve - a philosophy that lies at the core of Urwerk watchmaking.

The Ride To The Future

However, like all great success stories, there is a backstory to the creation of this enterprise. Born in the town of Schaffhausen, which is also known as the birthplace of the International Watch Company (IWC), Felix Baumgartner was part of a watchmaking family. Such was his fascination with watches that his first words were allegedly ‘tick-tock’. On the other hand, Martin Frei grew up in the town of Winterthur, born as the son of an engineer father and an art teacher mother. It is from his mother that Martin inherited his artistic style, and he often credits her as his first art teacher.

As the young men started growing up, their paths couldn’t be more diverse. Felix began working in his father’s atelier or workshop, where he accompanied in restoring some of the oldest and historical clocks and watches that include the Campanus Brother’s Night Clock. Soon, he took his passion for watchmaking to the next level by enrolling in the highly sought-after and prestigious Solothern watchmaking school. He graduated with a diploma in watchmaking in 1995. 

The slightly older Martin Frei followed his love of arts and design by acquiring a diploma in Graphic Design in 1989 from the School of Visual Arts of Zurich. He proceeded to obtain a graduate degree from the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst located in Luzern, Switzerland. It is here that he studied under the internationally acclaimed Swiss artist, Roman Signer.

Things moved forward after a chance meeting between Felix and Martin in 1995. The two shared ideas and soon realized their common goal of creating something for the future. After two years and countless brainstorming sessions, Urwerk watches was launched in 1997.

It wasn’t a smooth start for the company. Taking inspiration from the ancient Mesopotamian town of Ur, where time was first perceived in its current state, the company set about to create timepieces that would be the future of fine watchmaking. 1997 is also the debut year of the first Urwerk collections, the UR-101 and the UR-102. Despite being lauded, these collections weren’t very popular, and for the next 6 to 7 years, the founders toiled hard to create something that would tug people’s heartstrings. Finally, in 2003, they launched the extraordinarily innovative and minimalistic watch, the UR-103.01. After a two-year gap, the company launched the historic Opus 05 watches, and it hasn’t looked back since. Success came knocking on the doors of Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei. Now, with two workshops in Geneva and Zurich, Urwerk has become the leading brand of modern watchmaking.

The Future Is Now

At present, Urwerk has watch categories like the UR-Satellite, the UR-Chronometry, and multiple UR-Special Projects like the Only Watch, which provides research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 

The UR-Satellite has four futuristic and unconventional models in the collection. The UR-100 is an astonishing piece of designer watch that merges space and time, two of the core concepts of Urwerk, and has its iconic satellite display with a little twist. UR-105, on the other hand, has been described by the company as their knight, with the design is heavily influenced by a knight’s armour. The watch design aims to protect the mechanisms inside it from the ravages of time. UR-106 is a critically-acclaimed watch designed by the company, exclusively for females. The watch has not one, but three of the brand’s trademark satellite watches, across the dial, resulting in a unique and innovative design for women! The last offering of the UR-Satellite collection, the UR-220, is a limited production watch with 15 pieces produced every year. The watch’s ergonomic and sleek design is a throwback to the earlier Urwerk designs, along with concentric patterns of the thinnest carbon being used for the case!

The UR-Chronometry collection houses the AMC, the EMC, and the EMC Time Hunter, which is the world’s first mechanical watch with electronic indications. Plenty of other historical designs and special project watches are also sold by Urwerk.

Endorsed by countless celebrities like Robert Downey Jr., Michael Jordan, Ralph Lauren, Mo Salah, and Elena Ivanova, Urwerk has quickly turned into a bankable watch brand where the designers and watchmakers firmly believe the future is now! 

Important Urwerk Collections

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

What is special about Urwerk?

Urwerk breaks away from the status quo of the watchmaking world by providing an avant-garde experience of timekeeping. Known for its futuristic designs and unique timekeeping abilities, the brand encompasses various philosophies clubbed into one.

Which are the most popular Urwerk collections in India?

The most popular Urwerk collections in India are:

Which are the most popular Urwerk watches for men in India?

The most popular Urwerk watches for men in India are:

Where can I get my Urwerk watch serviced?

One of the best luxury watch service centres in India is operated by Ethos Watches. Ethos Watch Care | Shop No 118-120, First Floor, Square One Mall, District Center Saket New Delhi - 110017 | Phone: +91 11 4142 1691, +91 93190 95793 | E-Mail: | URL: