URWERK UR-103 watch repair

Module “sandwich” review

It happens sometimes… Crashed from the 2nd floor, broken crystal. Swiss Urwerk 103 is so robust and properly constructed watch, but second floor is a strong point. The saphire glass is shattered, as well as a broken strap stud, the movement has stopped as well.

Urwerk 103 broken sapphire crystal repair
URWERK 103 limited model in white gold. Full repair official estimate was £4K+…
Strap holding stud broke off

First of all, we take the watch apart to check it for hidden damages and clean every glass micro-shards out. The movement must be fully disassembled and cleaned as well. Broken sapphire particles can cause great damage to cogs and pivots, lead to multiple scratches, as well as causing the movement to wear out for a few days of running.

The watch is taken apart for cleaning, we wash it throughly to get rid of glass micro-shards.
The case is to be polished as well, part by part.

URWERK UR-103 modules “sandwich”

Take a look inside the manufactured calibre, what can’t be seen in general reviews and catalogs.

At the beginning of the brand’s career, the whole idea was based on the standard ETA 7001 Peseux Swiss movement. The solution was nice, as it was easy to start up and not to be distracted with constructing ultra-precise escapement parts. The engineers focused on the complication, and their job was really well done.

It’s worth pointing out the fact, that in the further models, the creators of the URWERK watch fully integrated the mechnism and constructed fully in-house calibre. That makes the 103 model even more interesting, as it shows of how the engineers must have been thinking on solution.

Urwerk UR-103 movement repair

The 103 calibre consists of three interconnected modules, every module is essentially a separate appliance. The indication module shows digital coned disks on a carriage. The carriage is slowly turned by the main 7001 movement, and the coned disks show the current time. Back mounted module is for power reserve indication.

Urwerk UR-103 movement indication module
The carriage is mounted on ball bearing, maltese cross pieces interact with the switch pin.

The principle of numeral discs switching is based on Maltese cross – classical mechanical device. In UR-103 it is implemented abit inside-out: cross rotates around the carriage centre and being switched with a steel pin fixed in mainplate (please see blue arrows).

The carriage makes one full rotation per 4 hours, you can see video how the module works:


So how the base movement is connected to the indication module? It is positioned upside-down, the pinion is added to the centre wheel from the back.

Reduction 4:1 wheel transfoms the power to the necessary one turn per 4 hours, increasing power for driving the whole carriage instead of thin hands.

From the front side, basix Peseux movement is modified for power reserve counting.

Back to watch repair, fortunately, there was nothing unfixable inside the movement. The modules have absorbed the shock, and only one boss-axis was broken. Thus UR-103 is approved to be reliable and robust calibre!

It was much more fascinating to find out, how the new glass was made for the complex case shape.

Urwerk crystal making

Because of the vast cost of repair at an official service (as well as the shipment delays), we finally accepted the idea of making the glass from mineral, not sapphire. Obviously, mineral glass can be scratched much more easily, but with careful handling it lasts for as long, as well as the ability to polish the mineral and get rid of the scratches. The mineral glass is as brittle as sapphire, so the chances are equal in case of another unpleasant incident. As the owner accepted the decision, so now it’s time to do it.

First of all, we measure the curve of the glass inside the case. From a spherical mineral crystal blank, a rough part is eventually being cut out.

The shaped glass is cut out, first of all we look at how well it will fit.
We leave extra material, which will polished off later.
Next, we raw cut material off the middle of the rough part.
Gradually, the shape starts looking like the shape we would want to receive.
We will also have to slice some off the edges, and polish the edges, to ensure a flat face.
The edges are adjusted and polished, the new glass looks right in the case.
The case is polished and buffed too, and the scratches are taken off.
New strap stud was really easiest work here, just machined it with lathe.
So, here we have great wearable UR-103 !

I loved the “sandwich” construction of movement, the modules are well built, with an easy repairability and great quality joints.

Viva URWERK !!!!