Photoessay: The C3H5N3O9 (Nitro) Experiment ZR012

_8015235 copy

Despite being completely unpronounceable, this watch is just plain outright cool. The brainchild of Max Busser (MB&F) and Felix Baumgartner (URWERK), it is the first watch to use an eccentric planetary transmission system for the timekeeping mechanism – i.e. the same geometry as the Wankel engine. (Curiously, there’s only one ratio of inner to outer satellite that actually permits the three distinct chambers to be formed; any other ratio doesn’t seal at all). The minutes are read off the red tips of the upper ‘rotor’, with the hours on the level below. There is no seconds indication, but there is a power reserve on the back of the watch.

I believe these are the first photos outside the official press release, and I was told that the watch is a working production prototype – which means non-final parts and finishing, and some potential tool marks in places as befits an engineering experiment…

Many thanks to Ian Skellern at C3H5N3O9.

This series shot (hastily) with a Nikon D800E and AFS 60/2.8 G Micro. It wasn’t a commercial shoot, so please excuse me if I missed a spot or two. All images can be clicked on for larger versions.

_8015485 copy

_8015301 copy

_8015482 copy

_8015534 copy

_8015386 copy

_8015355 copy

_8015306 copy

_8015266 copy

_8015202 copy

_8015171 copy

_8015161 copy


  1. tesilab says:

    One side-effect of your incredible watch photos is that they make the Leica system seem very affordable!

  2. Love the watch and the pictures. Too bad the watch will probably cost more than my house.

  3. Wow – for a hastily taken series of photos, these are awesome! Hat off!

  4. Great macro!! Love them

  5. The perfect watch for Mazda RX-7 and RX-8 owners. It looks awesome!

  6. Stephan says:

    Cool images of a spectacular watch. I think I would change the time all the time, just to see the movements inside ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. wow! u need a manual to read the time… great pics… alien watch… ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Uh you read it as 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane also better known as nitroglycerin but i suppose that means the watch is a total bomb ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. […] the three distinct chambers to be formed; any other ratio doesn’t seal at all).”See FULL STORY / photo credits by […]

%d bloggers like this: