Christmas time is an occasion of joy and happiness. Regardless the age, geographical position or religion, the end of the year is a reason for celebration, for giving away and receiving. There’s nothing more inspiring as love. Love for your partner, your parents, your kids and the love for the ones around us. Some of us have horological dreams and ticking wishes. A collector dreams complications and wishes the best finishes possible. It’s even nicer when your partner shares the dreams with you and eases Santa’s job. But in the end, a question raises and remains: what watch/watches should I wish for. Here is my personal list.
Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is…
Ticking Wishes: Urban Jürgensen Reference 1741
One might ask why Urban Jürgensen and why the Reference 1741. The brand has an amazing history that touches the great names from the history of watchmaking: Abraham-Louis Breguet, Ferdinand Berthoud and John Arnold. The modern brand has some remarkable accomplishments. We remind ourselves of the patent for the calibre with detent escapement used in the P8 prototype. In 2014, Urban Jürgensen & Sønner wins the first prize at The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Men’s Watch category with Reference 11C Chronometer detent escapement Central Second. All the watches are, without exception, exceptional manufactured pieces. So is the case of my favourite watch from 2017, the Urban Jürgensen Reference 1741.
The reference 1741 is a perpetual calendar from the Jürgensen 1745 Collection. The complication itself pales in the shadow of the remarkable finishes. The watch is cased in platinum, using the secret soldering process for the brand’s signature lugs. The pleasant combination of case curves and teardrops lugs is extended to the refinement of the dial.
The dial is spectacular. The grenage dial is made from a piece of solid silver, adorned with cursive typographic numerals. At 12 o’clock, a gorgeous moon-phase indication rules the entire dial. The symmetrical day/month indication and the date/leap year balance the dial and give a traditional look. The hour and minute hands have their own fabulous details: a multi-part construction using steel, gold with several finishes and manufacturing techniques.
Reference 1741 is powered by the calibre P4 with a perpetual calendar module attached. The movement is superb finished: a skeletonized balance wheel bridge is revealing the perlage finish of the main plate. A sun-rayed Cotes du Genève decoration is divided between two bridges with polished edges.
The reason why I like this watch, in particular, is the classic look. The position of the moon-phase and the dial’s layout make the Reference 1741 a very appealing piece. Every look reveals to me new details I want to study and understand. I consider calendar watches practical and a definitive win when they bring heritage, special handwork and a spectacular look.
Ticking Wishes: Ulysse Nardin Classic Perpetual Ludwig
My second wish for Christmas is another perpetual calendar, the Ulysse Nardin Classic Perpetual Ludwig. Maybe it sounds kind of funny, but I love calendar wristwatches. One of the reason is that, besides the need of knowing the right time, I tend to forget watch date or day is. Having a clear display of the complete day/date/month helps me with planning. Another reason why I like this UN piece is the earthly and classic look. When traveling the piece does not withdraw attention of the general public, and is a great plus for me. Of course, a connoisseur will see it between a thousand paces.
Ulysse Nardin Classic Perpetual Ludwig was first released in 1996 and reiterated after 20 years. The watch comes with an unpretentious and well proportioned 41mm steel case with subtle design elements. A particular useful detail is the crown that offers a good grip. It’s important since all the function are set via the crown.
In my review, I noticed the great legibility of the dial. Despite the non-symmetrical design, the dial’s face is a harmonious balance of beauty and function. The time indication is done using blued leaf-shaped hands, baton hour indexes and another railway track for the minutes. The oversized small seconds (sounds like an oxymoron, but is properly descriptive) offers excellent legibility and fill the dial in a pleasant way. The calendar display is distributed over the dial’s surface. The day and the month are symmetrically placed under the median horizontal line. The big date occupies a generous position between two and three o’clock, having a good span and offering an ease of reading.
The watch is powered by the Calibre UN-33. Perhaps surprisingly to some, the movement is based on the generic ETA2892. The reason for this choice is the good robustness and the torque needed to drive complication easily. Launched at Baselworld 1996, the movement was a revelation: the ingenious solution of Ludwig Oechslin permitted all the indicators to be adjusted via the single crown.
The movement is nicely decorated. A nice element is the Ulysse Nardin’s anchor featured on a blue lacquered background at the rotor weight. The blue screws give a nice contrast on the circular Cotes du Genève decoration.
The classic look and the given functionality makes the Classic Perpetual Ludwig an excellent piece for a busy person. A high-quality wristwatch that can stay below the radar, still being a fantastic piece. The striking simplicity of the complex display without unwanted and extravagant decoration is desirable in many situations. Ulysse Nardin Classic Perpetual Ludwig is a watch I will wear everywhere. Not on the beach perhaps, but when travelling, at the office and even at home on my daily routine.
So dear Santa, these are my wishes. Wanting to know at each moment the right time, date, month and … cutting short – a calendar is not a much deal to ask. I find it easy to turn my wrist and having all the information instead of searching for my phone in my pockets. Plus, all the apertures of different indication on a clean dial is a week spot for a complocated pieces lover.