Urban Jürgensen & Sønner’s 2015 Rebirth With Five New Watches
Urban Jürgensen & Sønner has had quite an exciting twelve months: perhaps the most exciting of its 240-year history.
On October 31, 2014 the brand’s Central Second took home the prize for Best Men’s Watch at the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Shortly thereafter, in November 2014, came the news that Urban Jürgensen had returned to the hands of Danish owners after 30 years of Swiss ownership. A group comprising five private investors, who are also passionate watch collectors, had purchased it from interim owner Dr. Helmut Crott (see Urban Jürgensen Under New Danish Ownership).
Søren Petersen, the new managing director comes from this group of five investors. Petersen, a Danish collector and engineer who previously worked at Nokia, has moved to Switzerland from Denmark in order to lead the boutique brand.
Petersen became interested in Urban Jürgensen when, as a Rolex owner, he felt the need to look for a dress watch. While he set out looking for Patek Philippe, he discovered Urban Jürgensen and ended up buying a Reference 2 in yellow gold.
Eleven weeks to revamp the collection
At Baselworld 2015, we were astounded to already see the first results of the new ownership: in just eleven weeks the new team managed to revamp the existing collection to present five “new” models at the fair.
Urban Jürgensen is known for its classically beautiful style of watchmaking. This has not changed; it has only been slightly tweaked – and in a very positive manner.
The case has been reduced from 42 mm to 40 mm, a classic size that is unlikely to ever show its age. The lugs that secure the strap to the case are still the beautifully classic teardrop shape that remind the observer exactly where this brand comes from – and where it intends on going.
But it is the solid silver dial that is the star of this show and one of the strongest visual hallmarks of today’s Urban Jürgensen & Sønner. All of the dials are guilloché by hand; each dial requires up to 700 operations and needs two full days to complete to perfection.
Likewise, the perfectionist hands require several hours of polishing and tempering if they’re blue to make them so gloriously beautiful.
These five timepieces are all powered by the in-house pivoted detent chronometer movement introduced in 2011 when Urban Jürgensen reentered the watch scene with a bang: a new movement from scratch with the idea of improving rate, performance, and stability.
This pivoted detent escapement was the world’s first in a production wristwatch.
Large, beautifully finished, and horologically aesthetic Caliber UJS08 – the beginnings of which were born under the extremely capable loupe of late watchmaker Derek Pratt – contained a world premier: the first pivoted detent escapement in a production wristwatch.
The pivoted detent escapement was used in marine chronometers of Jürgensen’s era, which were generally large, stationary timepieces like deck or observation watches. Though more precise than the standard Swiss lever escapement used in wristwatches today, the pivoted detent was deemed unsuitable for use in a wristwatch because small shocks can stop the escapement and it does not automatically restart.
After many years of research and development, Urban Jürgensen developed a mechanism that will automatically restarted the pivoted detent escapement if it stops.
Thanks to a new design by Jean-François Mojon of Chronode in collaboration with Kari Voutilainen, Caliber UJS08 achieved the previously unthinkable. This three-Hertz movement is so stable that it even passes the Chronofiable test, the industry standard for wearability.
This pivoted detent escapement movement is currently in use in Reference 1140C, which comes in a red gold case topped off by a solid silver dial. This timepiece is the continuation of the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève winner, the Central Second.
The new management has re-christened Urban Jürgensen’s other movement, which contains a “normal” Swiss lever escapement, the Caliber P4 Lever Escapement.
This movement is in use throughout the 1140L line; “L” naturally stands for “Lever.” In case you were wondering, the “C” in the 1140C movement stands for “Chronometer.”
Reference 1140L comes in four variations: in platinum with a silver dial and platinum numerals; in red gold with a silver dial and matching red gold markers; in white gold with a blue dial; and in a traditional yellow gold with a black dial.
All of the extremely detailed gold 1140L timepieces in this new base collection are offered for the same price of 27,900 Swiss francs. The platinum version retails for 34,500 Swiss francs.
For more information, please visit www.urbanjurgensen.com.
Quick Facts Reference 1140C
Case: 40 x 11 mm; red gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber P8 by Urban Jürgensen with pivoted detent escapement; twin spring barrels for 60 hours of power reserve; stop-seconds
Dial: solid silver hand-guilloché with a barleycorn (grain d’orges) pattern and hand-finished tempered blue stainless steel hands with red gold elements
Functions: hours, minutes, sweep seconds; power reserve indication
Price: 49,000 Swiss francs