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Urwerk UR-CC1 Black Cobra

Beware of the Bite of the Black Cobra – Limited Edition of 25 Pieces

Hold the “Black Cobra” face on (very prudently) and you stare at two unusual indications: jumping hours and retrograde minutes. Bright yellow glowing from black is the only luminous evidence emitting from this reptilian machine. The hours and minutes count down the time by moving linearly. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

It took more than three years of research and development to overcome the technical challenges involved in linearly indicating the hours and minutes in this fashion. The resolution of three engineering puzzles allowed the URWERK team to master the reptilian beast: The movement develops enough energy to operate the imposing minute cylinder, which is much heavier than a traditional hand, but where to find additional energy to function the jumping hour cylinder?

A toothed rack moves vertically to rotate the minutes, but how to ensure that it operates smoothly in all positions, despite the varying effects of the immutable laws of gravity?

Having solved the power issues related to operating the jumping hours, how to ensure that there is enough energy available for the world-premiere digital seconds?

A toothed rack/lever, visible through a display panel on the side of the “Black Cobra” transfers energy from the movement to the minute cylinder. The honeycomb structure of the lever offers the two seemingly contradictory properties of lightness and rigidity. Rigidity to accurately convey the profile of the triple cam to the minute cylinder, and extremely light/low mass so as to consume as little energy as possible and so that position, gravity and shocks have minimal effect. The mechanism used is reminiscent of those seen in automata. A toothed segment at the end of a rack exactly moves up and down following the path drawn by the triple cam – a path that has been plotted from 104 reference points. Each of the three cams drives the rack for exactly 60 minutes. At precisely 60 minutes the rack drops on the cam provoking the opposite tooth-end of the rack to fall, which triggers the retrograde mechanism and rotates the minute cylinder. And all of this happens in just 1/10th of a second!

The energy released by the retrograde mechanism is recovered and used to power the rotation of the jumping hour cylinder. Visible through a display panel in the side of the case, a 12 pointed star and positioning spring are the only distinguishable components of this innovative mechanism for recycling energy.

The Black Cobra is a formidable beast and was extremely difficult for the team at URWERK to master. It took three years of work and ten prototypes, to finish.

The case is done in grey gold treated with AlTiN (Aluminium Titane Nitride), base in PE-CVD treated titanium. Hardness of gold: 380 Vickers, hardness of AlTiN: 3,800 Vickers. It measures 54mm x 43mm x 15.5mm.

Movement is the Urwerk in-house caliber UR-8.02 with 37 jewels, 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 39 hours. The minute and hour cylinders are done in aluminium elox (Anodicaly Inactivated Aluminium), with cylinder brackets in titanium and a honeycombed rack and seconds disk in nickel manufactured using photolithography. The base plate in ARCAP P40 treated with black PVD with a triple cam in beryllium bronze and an unidirectional winding rotor mass regulated by a pneumatic brake “Fly Brake”. Indications are: linear jumping hours, linear retrograde minutes and seconds displayed both lineally and digitally, a world first.

The bridges are decorated with perlage then treated with black PVD, movement components decorated with perlage, micro-blasted, complication components diamond-cut and mirror polished, gold case micro-basted then treated with AlTiN, titanium base plate treated with PE-CVD.

Written by kevin

June 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm

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