The URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov – A story about meeting R. Daneel Olivaw

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Two details stroke me during my first encounter with Daneel: his uncanny resemblance with the victim and the strange ancient time-telling device he had on his left wrist… This is an unusual presentation of the URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov seen from the possible perspective of Elijah Baley meeting R. Daneel Olivaw from the Isaac Asimov universe.

From it to he

I never left or ever wanted to leave Earth. I hate space… Jessie is a medievalist and hated space even more. But living in those small underground caves of steel, I sometimes dreamed of the luxury offered by the new worlds and said that Bentley will always have its future tied up to this human infested planet because of her. But I could never stand the Sunlight and plus, they (Jessie and Bentley) have a good life from my job as Police main investigator.

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

When Dr Sarton was killed, many people said it is an irreplaceable loss and the future of humanity will never be as glorious as would have been with him designing the best androids. I hate robots. No robot can do a real job and be as good as a man… But against my will, the captain made me investigate that murder and assigned me with a partner from the doctor’s home planet – Aurora.

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

So I met for the first time R. Daneel Olivaw in the space city. His typical Auroran physique and attitude of superiority of spacemen were already drawing some angry and hateful looks from the Terrans working there. Daneel had a broad, high-cheekboned impassible face and short bronze hair lying flatly backwards and without a parting. I hate space and I hate the spacemen… But the line of surprises has just started.

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

Although an Auroran, he wore a wrist mechanical device to tell time. How stupid is that?!? Time is displayed anywhere… I know from Jessie that the medievalists loved those devices from the pre-interstellar flights’ era. But those devices were extremely rare and hyper-expensive. Why a spaceman would wear one is beyond my understanding.

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

That mesmerising little mechanical device had a strange way of telling time and I could not understand how it worked. Our ancestors had innovative ideas on how to complicate their life beyond reason. Just like Daneel use it to read the time from it instead of just looking at one of the luminous clocks placed all arround. But the most striking detail is was the device’s glow in the dark and soon to find that it was not even nuclear… I have almost missed my accelerating band once, since my eyes were drowned by the greenish glow of that wrist device…

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

The shock of finding out the Daneel’s origins and that the R. was in fact the short for Robot was reduced by the understanding of R. Daneel Olivaw’s affection for that object. I always had my doubts about the ways he speaks and reacts, but I “blamed” it on the spacemen’s way to be and not that everything was the result of wiring and programming. Finding of his cerebroanalysis capabilities made me understand how he could so well react arround people and their emotions.

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

But I think he was capable of more than just fast-reacting based on predetermined programming. Only the fact that he was attached to an inanimate object created by man, just like he was, shows a human need for belonging. Although, his huge database and scientific knowledge were the reason why he could use and maintain a 2500 years old device

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

Due to the success of working together, I had to travel to Solaris and Aurora, two of the oldest conquered space worlds. I saw Daneel, for the first time, in the light of those worlds’ Sun. The shine and glow of his skin reminded me of the first shiver I had seeing the mechanical device glowing that night on the accelerating lane… How strange is to see these inanimated objects appearing so alive…

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

Daneel showed me the intricacies of his mechanical device: one time on Aurora he dismantled it, clean it and oiled it! “Again” – he said… The care and slow movements were more like of an old watchmaker (this is how the creators of those abjects were once named) than an ultra-fast machine – “some things just must be done in the right manner“, he said.

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

If you told me years ago that I would not recognise a human from a machine I would say you are a mad man. Furthermore, that I, a Terran, would have as a best friend a robot and reach the stars – pure nonsense. But looking back at all the adventures I experienced with him, I understood that R. Daneel Olivaw was sometimes more than even a man can be. That he can understand a man beyond a man can understand himself. And what are we, humans, more than biomechanical puppets led by our needs and greeds? When Daneel’s drive is the MAN’s not only survival but also the prosperity of body and mind.

URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov
URWERK UR-220 SL Asimov

Urwerk UR-220 SL Asimov Technical Specifications


  • Calibre: Calibre UR-7.20, developed by URWERK
  • Winding: Manually wound
  • Escapement: Swiss lever
  • Frequency: 28, 800 v/h – 4 Hz
  • Hairspring: Flat
  • Energy source: Single mainspring barrel
  • Jewels: 59
  • Power reserve: 48 hours
  • Materials: Baseplate in ARCAP P40, 3D minutes pointer in aluminium with bronze counterweight; central spring in steel. Hour transporter in aluminium; central carrousel and screws in grade 5 titanium.

Decorative finishes

  • Hours studs moulded in Swiss Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 BL. Black-lacquered markers.
  • Black circular-grained power-reserve bridge and module.
  • Black shot-peened power-reserve subdial.
  • Finely sandblasted carrousel and its cage featuring a circular satin finish and black rhodium-plated.
  • Finely sandblasted satellite cam with a circular satin finish.
  • Finely sandblasted PVD-blackened 3D hand
  • SuperLuminova components: yellow glowing yellow for the hour transporters and hour-markers; white glowing blue for power reserves; green glowing green, red glowing green for the 60-minute marker and the end of the power-reserve scale.
  • Polished screws.


  • Wandering hours on a satellite complication ( URWERK patent).
  • 3D retrograde minutes hand.
  • Double power-reserve indicator.
  • Oil-change indicator on two rollers on the back showing the accumulated running time of the movement in months.


  • Material: Carbon CTP (Carbon Thin Ply) – 81 layers
  • Dimensions: Width: 43.8mm; length: 53.6mm; depth: 14.8mm
  • Glass: Transparent sapphire crystal
  • Caseback: Black DLC-treated titanium and sapphire crystal glasses.
  • Water resistance: Pressure tested to 30m/3 ATM
  • Decorative finishes: Black DLC-coated shotpeened and sandblasted crown;
  • Black DLC-coated sandblasted crown guard;
  • Back: black DLC-coated sandblasted caseback;
  • Pin: satin-finished body with sandblasted engraving, polished needle;
  • Tinted sapphire crystals;
  • Polished screws.


  • Vulcarboné© cured rubber, reference “Kiska” with black DLC-coated buckle; Velcro© fastening


  • CHF 147´000.-


  1. Great story!
    I love all the versions of this Urwerk model
    But if I had to choose today between the 103 and this one
    I would still stick to a 103.03 in white gold or steel.

    • Dear Geo,
      Glad you enjoyed it and thank you for your kind words! 🙂
      I perfectly understand where are you coming from – the undisputed elegance of the white gold makes it more of a jewel piece…
      For me, it would be a tough choice that thankfully I don’t have to make (sad tear in the corner of my eye).

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