Novelty watches are usually cheap and cheerful. Just ask Timex, busy pimping Charlie Brown’s beagle. Or Romain Jerome, a brand that went under trying to sell novelty watches for 15 large plus (e.g., the Tetris-based Moon Invader). Judging from the Urwerk EMC Time Hunter Stormtrooper, Urwerk shares RJ’s ill-fated belief that really expensive novelty watches can be fun and profitable. The Stormtrooper sells for a startling . . .
In the EMC TimeHunter Stormtrooper’s defense, Urwerk is only making five examples. And all Urwerk’s watches are fabulously expensive. As the Swiss watchmaker is still in business, we can assume there’s a market for their mechanically complex, meticulously assembled, bizarro–bonkers designs.
That said, there’s not a lot of novelty on display. The “Stormtrooper” bit consists of the watch’s white ceramic “armour” case contrasting with black accents. Otherwise, we’re looking at a bog-standard Urwerk EMC Time Hunter Stormtrooper, a design launched in 2017.
It’s a clever piece of kit, aimed at wealthy horophiles obsessed with accuracy. The EMC TimeHunter’s in-house movement includes an optical sensor on the balance wheel (controlled by an integrated circuit board) that captures the precise rate of oscillation of the engine’s 4 hertz / 28,800 vph regulator.
The Stormtrooper’s dial displays the resulting “precision delta.” The accuracy indicator ranges from +/-15 seconds per day; the amplitude meter clocks the difference between 180 to 330, measured in degrees.
If these are not the numbers you’re looking for, flip the watch over and turn the little screw (top center) to lengthen or shorten the mainspring’s active length.
“This allows the owner to adjust the time to suit his own lifestyle.” Whose “lifestyle” involves a fast or slow-running watch? By the same token who wants to hunt for the exact time with a TimeHunter?
Back to the Galactica (so to speak) . . .
Why Stormtrooper? For one thing, there are those of us for whom the word evokes less than wonderful associations, especially considering the German word “werk” in the company’s name. (Macht Frei and all that.) For another Star Wars.
Talk about irony. A watch built for split-second accuracy evoking the cinematic soldiers famous for not being able to hit shit? Jon Wayne Taylor, my friendly neighborhood Star Wars fan, gave me the 411 on that.
The cartoons, Star Wars Rebels, which is cannon, explains why the stormtroopers are notoriously bad shots.
In one episode a Clone famous for his shooting puts on the stormtrooper armor as a disguise. Starts missing everything. Complains he can’t see anything in the helmet.
In several episodes, people complain that the troop weapons of the Empire suck. Slaves were making them by then, and the Emperor was siphoning money from everything to build his new secret personal Final Order.
Typical government graft. The troops were getting crap. The Urwerk EMC Time Hunter Stormtrooper generals the latest and greatest techno toys. The truth about the Urwerk EMC TimeHunter Stormtrooper: it’s a really big (43mm), really complicated (FastFix service unavailable), really expensive, white watch.
It’s kinda cool, totally legible (with G-SHOCK-like labels for the RTFM crowd) and . . . not much a novelty, Star Wars-wise..