Urwerk’s UR-100V LightSpeed clocks speed of light as it beams through our solar system

From how I believe, understanding of time is biologically inherent in animals, but humankind has always looked heavenward to keep track of time. It is not astonishing then to say that astronomy and the cosmos have been a deep-rooted inspiration for horologists through time. While the moon phase has seen the most exciting everyday rendition; the speed of light and its usage have been little explored for the wrist.

“Urwerk’s UR-100V LightSpeed is the realization of this dream.” The latest entrant in the long list of time-and-space-related timepieces in the UR-100 series, the UR-100V LightSpeed, as the name suggests, is based upon the concept of light: essentially the time sunlight takes to reach each planet in our solar system. This phenomenon with a wandering hour carousel has been physically depicted through a miniature solar system on the dial of the new UR-100V.

Designer: Urwerk

UR-100V is like most of Urwerk’s black round watches, but it differs in how it lays out the eight planets of our solar system with indications of time, a ray of sunlight takes to reach them. For instance, it needs 8.3 minutes to reach the Earth, and for the furthest planet, Neptune, it requires 4.1 hours. This is overly perplexing when you reflect on the fact that light travels at a speed of 299,792,458 km/s (symbolized mathematically by the letter “c” that forms the foundation of Einstein’s theory of relativity and the conceptual hyperspace travel in Star Trek and Star Wars universes).

This incredible beauty of distance, time and light in our solar system is embodied by the UR-100V LightSpeed, where the ultimate reference is the Sun, which is the inspiration for the black PVD-treated aluminum rotor in the back, visible through the sapphire caseback. “Starting from the Sun, we calculated and illustrated the time taken for a ray of light to reach each of the planets,” Urwerk’s artistic director and co-founder Martin Frei says.

“Wearing this creation is like having a piece of the universe on your wrist, a vision of the cosmos in miniature, on a human scale,” Martin notes. The display of the cosmic bewilderment and time telling in the UR-100V LightSpeed is powered by self-winding, in-house movement regulated by a Windfänger airscrew. The movement gives it 48 hours of power reserve, and runs three rotating satellite arms along an arc toward the bottom of the dial to mark time in hours and minutes (no hands required).

All this wonderful haute horology is packed within a durable 43mm case made from grade-5 titanium. It is adorned with layers of black carbon DLC coating, sand and a shot-blasted finish. Urwerk pairs this fascinating machinery with a red textured rubber strap featuring a folding clasp. Surprisingly, there is no mention of this being a limited edition. If you have CHF 65,000 (roughly $75,000) to spare, you can grab a celestial wonder for your wrist now!