Going to visit URWERK has become one of the highlights of every SIHH. I am still amazed that such a small watchmaker is capable of developing and presenting new things every year. While giants like Jaeger or AP have a wast amount of resources and brainpower, small manufacturers like URWERK that produce about of 200 units per year rely on the proficiency of their founders alone. It must be an incredible effort to be able to bewitch watch lovers year upon year. The new "Cobra" (that will officially be presented in April) simply bogles the mind. To think that this is based on a Prototype by one of the great Patek watch makers is simply extraordinary. When Luis Cottier (father of Patek's "World Time") made this piece, completely out of his traditional path of design, Patek simply was not up to the task nor had the guts to make these. In fact, it is not really clear if the original Cobra actually works. Cottier's Cobra landed in the Patek Philippe museum as an oddball. It is only now, over 50 later that Felix and Martin resuscitate the Cobra.
The idea is to use a linear indication of time with the means of two cylinders. both are placed in parallel and as the rotate they give a linear display of time. Graphically similar to the Cadillacs from the 60's but completely different in concept and in difficulty.
Even if they say that the Cobra is a titanic feat, I am not sure they are yet conscious of their extraordinary achievement. There is no doubt in my mind that Felix and Martin are going to be part of horological history in the future. With understandable doubts in the minds of collectors as to the longevity of brands during hard times such as these, I am certain that URWERK will not only prevail but grow. Martin is a design "monster" and Felix has his feet well planted on earth like few in this business.
In any case, I have seen the piece, there are two working and fully finished pieces and they are simply mind-boggling. Unfortunately it will be presented in April and until then there will be no more info... darn.