Laurent Ferrier and his company have worked with Urwerk to create a single piece called Arpal One, made for the Only Watch charity auction that takes place later this year. Laurent Ferrier’s sense of grace and proportion is combined with Urwerk’s beautiful wandering hours movement. The result is something both mysterious and beautiful, like a sort of a space ship with the transparent window enabling its passengers to see out and us to see in, and the massive crown at the back like a rocket engine.
A special alloy, Arpal
The name Arpal One comes from the material used for the case, Arpal, made by company Cendres+Méteaux located in Biel, Switzerland, consisting of 75% precious metals alloyed with other metals, with a better scratch resistance than steel. It doesn’t oxidise, and so it can be given a high-polish finish that will remain permanent. The case contrasts with the darker colours of the movement, with grey satellite hours, and hour and minute indications in white SuperLuminova. The time is shown by the hour numeral which sweeps around the fixed minutes scale, Once the number reaches the end of the scale, the next hour numeral on the next satellite wheel is ready waiting at the 0 minutes point.
The movement is Urwerk’s UR5.03, running at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz), self-winding, with 48 hours power reserve. It is a complicated piece of engineering, as can be gauged from the number of jewels, 52. The materials used include the high-tech polymer PEEK, polyetheretherketone, beryllium bronze and Arcap, adopted to reduce the weight of the assembly of satellite wheels which weigh far more than a normal minutes and hour hand.
The watch is like a large, wide bracelet, 60.8 mm long and 40.9 mm wide, and 20.7 mm in thickness. It has a water resistance of 3 atm/30 metres. At the moment this is a unique piece whose price will be determined by the Only Watch auction to be held on Saturday 11 November 2017, in aid of research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Perhaps later it could become a production watch? More info at the Laurent Ferrier and Urwerk websites.