Urban Jürgensen may be unfamiliar to many but it is a watch company steeped rich in tradition and history. Built over some 240 years both in Denmark and Switzerland, the brand has been through ups and downs and have changed hands frequently. In more recent memory, it is thanks to people like Peter Baumberger and Derek Pratt who steered the company forward with a vision for the future with conception for new calibers to give the Urban Jürgensen & Sønner brand a clear foundation for the 21st century. The present owners are Danish, a nod towards the brand’s origins that continues this passion today.
Urban Jurgensen is all about perfecting tradition, with its traditional dial treatment and classic movement finishing. The gentle case shape with tear drop lugs is also reminiscent of a past era that watch collectors so long to possess till today. With regards to the Urban Jürgensen 1140 C, we have to say that we absolutely love this piece and the vision that it embodies.
The new 40mm classic case design used in these references, has a round form, teardrop shaped lugs and stepped bezel combined with exquisitely finished dials and hands. The diamond-finished hands requires several hours of handwork to finish them to perfection. After careful bluing, the hands are polished to a perfect gloss. For watches in Gold cases the hands are made of Gold and Steel. These are visual landmarks of distinction that can only be found in Urban Jürgensen timepieces, bringing together a distinctly visible application of pure hand craft, where the intrinsic balance of all parts together form timepieces of true beauty.
Urban Jürgensen are masters of the hand finished guilloche dials. In the new collection, great attention to detail is givent to the dial layout and pattern selections of Grains d’orges and Guilloché Damier. Each dial requires up to 700 operations and takes 2 full days of hand work to complete on a guilloche lathe. After engine-turning, the dial is repeatedly brought to red heat and treated with acid to produce the unique warm color by developing a fine layer of pure silver on the surface
In 2011 Urban Jürgensen presented the prototype of the ground breaking UJS-P8 movement, the world’s first wristwatch movement utilizing a chronometer escapement. This groundbreaking feat thus brought together a marriage between the marine chronometers and clocks made by the firm in the 18th and 19th centuries and its wristwatches in the 21st century. The extreme precision of the detent escapement, which lies at the heart of defining a true chronometer, ranks far above the tourbillion in terms of accuracy and historic horological importance. Nonetheless, despite centuries of attempts – until 2011 it was still considered impossible to implement a detent escapement in a modern wristwatch. Watchmakers needed to circumvent the elements of shock from everyday wear as well as the need to be shrink the movement to fit into a wrist watch.
After several years of research and heavy investments in classic watch making R&D, Urban Jürgensen was not only successful in creating a revolutionary Pivoted Detent Escapement for its new caliber, it also created a robust movement that passed the Chronofiable® test – one of the toughest standards in the Swiss Horological Industry. In 2015, Urban Jürgensen took a step further in the development of its Detent Escapement and its caliber.
Urban Jürgensen represents a ‘movement’ in watchmaking that we highly respect- simple yet subtle complexities done at the highest standards without the fanfare of market appeal. Interesting to note is Kari Voutilainen’s affinity with the brand, (which may explain some overlapping design elements in the two brands). He was part of the team behind the detent movement and oversaw the finishing and assembly of Urban Jürgensen’s previous collections. All in all, we think Urban Jürgensen is a great brand to watch, and this 1140 C is our choice piece in its new collection. The collection is priced at 34.500CHF without Vat for the Platinum version and 27.900CHF without Vat for the Gold versions.