Explosive new brand C3H5N3O9 releases Rotary engine inspired watch “Experiment ZR012”

Experiment Z012
Experiment Z012

Two of the most avant garde watchmakers, Urwerk and MB&F have joined forces to form C3H5N3O9.

Which according to the website is “an experimental platform, not a luxury brand.”

The name is actually the molecular formula for nitroglycerine, and their first watch, in keeping with the theme is named Experiment ZR012.

The internal mechanism of the ZR012 has been inspired by the Wankel Rotary engine. A famous example of a wankel engined car would be the Mazda RX-7.

Wankel engines are known for their capability of very high rpm’s without damaging the engine, the trade off is that they use more oil than traditional engines.

Despite its complex first impression its actually fairly straight forward to read, with the tips of the two triangular rotors responsible for indicating the time. The smaller inner rotor indicating minutes and the larger outer: hours.

The time below is: 5.36

Experiment ZR012 Front

I think it looks great, its profile is reminiscent of the sleek lines of a sports car, in keeping with its automotive inspired guts.

ZR012 profile black Explosive new brand C3H5N3O9 releases Rotary engine inspired watch "Experiment ZR012"

Experiment ZR012 is made from Zirconium, for those not familiar with this metal (I wasn’t) its visually similar to Titanium and is highly resistant to corrosion. Its choice perhaps intended to tie in with the explosive references made by the brands statement of intent, since Zirconium nano-particles are also used in explosive weapons.

Experiment ZR012 Side

The aim of the Urwerk and MB&F collaboration is to allow them the creative freedom to explore ideas away from their respective brands and as they put it “Many of the most reactive (and most exciting) chemical reactions derive from combining seemingly innocuous ingredients.”

Some technical aspects: the manually wound 42 jewel movement is water-resistance up to 30 meters and housed inside a 60 component zirconium case fitted with an articulated front lug which is reminiscent of MB&F Horological Machine 4 and helps make the watch more comfortable to wear by wrapping around the wrist.

The Experiment ZR012 is limited to just 12 pieces for 2012, with 12 in red gold scheduled for 2013.

Retails at the brands site for $114,000 USD CHF110,000

Experiment ZR012 Movement


Experiment ZR012: Case

Dimensions without lugs: 59mm long x 44mm wide x 17mm high

Dimensions with lugs: 71mm long x 47mm wide x 25mm high

Case and lugs: Zirconium case with titanium lugs

Number of case components: 60

Articulated front lug, compound rear lug

Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment both side

Water resistance: 30m/ 100’ / 3atm

Strap and buckle: Brown calf leather strap. Titanium and white gold (palladium 150 alloy) folding buckle.
Experiment ZR012: Movement

Movement dimensions: 41.35mm long x 32.65mm wide x 11.55 mm high

Number of components: 328

Number of jewels: 42

Manual winding

Power reserve: 39h

Balance frequency: 28’800

Finishing: satin finishing, sandblasted, circular graining on movement, black PVD treated components, black ruthenium treated components

Number of plots to create epitrochoids for hours and minutes: 180

Tolerance between hour and minute indication rotors and inside of epitrochoids: 0.20mm


  1. Hi .Are there one for sale, i collect rotary toys and emblems im a rotor freak. Thanx
    Jacques South Africa Sasolburg 1947

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