Urban Jürgensen: the time of perfection

The story of Urban Jürgensen began in 1745, guided by a dynasty of watchmakers who made a considerable contribution to the history of horology. Uninterrupted since 1773, the history of Urban Jürgensen was given a fresh boost in 2014 under the impetus of its CEO and co-owner, Søren Jenry Petersen. Perpetuating its founder’s age-old heritage of fine horological workmanship, Urban Jürgensen produces watches of extremely high quality in which craftsmanship plays a defining role. Proudly aware of its responsibility, the centuriesold brand gives time its true significance and value. For the people in charge of Urban Jürgensen, the significance of Haute Horlogerie calls for extremely meticulous workmanship teamed with extremely rare skills. In an age when the watch industry prefers to focus on the speed of automated production and the indispensable role of machinery, Urban Jürgensen remains true to a traditional manual approach to watchmaking. Crafting an Urban Jürgensen watch takes time, but such is the price of excellence, and each of them – stemming from the variations naturally implied by human production – is a one-of-a-kind model keenly appreciated by connoisseurs.


The Ref 1741 PT perpetual calendar from the Jürgensen 1745 collection features all the aesthetic codes of the Urban Jürgensen style. Its classic case topped with drop-shaped lugs frames an understated and refined dial highlighting the artisan-based skills that the brand is dedicated to perpetuating – starting with hand-crafted grenage (sometimes referred to as frosting or fine graining). The markings and numerals are engraved on the solid silver dial, filled with lacquer and them polished. The frosty finish of the grenage stems from brushing a mixture of pure silver, salts and oils on the dial. An electrochemical reaction forms millions of small silver balls leaving the dial with a unique frosted surface of immense depth. Its meticulous execution involves a degree of complexity and various risky stages reminiscent of Grand Feu enameling. Another distinctive feature of Urban Jürgensen craftsmanship is its moon phase, hand-crafted from a polished steel disc in which tiny stars are manually punched in and filled with gold, then blued and teamed with two gold moons. The entire process comprises over 20 different operations.


In the same collection, the Ref. 1140 RG Brown Limited Edition with its warm chocolate brown and rose gold colors displays three other Urban Jürgensen specialties : hand making, guillochage and Arabic numerals. The entirely hand-crafted slender steel hands are polished using extremely fine diamond paper and secret polishing pastes, then heat-treated in order to achieve the trademark Urban Jürgensen shade of blue. The hour hand has a rose gold ‘eye’ clicked in place by sheer fit of precision. The gaze is irresistibly drawn to the barleycorn and checkered motifs of the splendid engine-turning. Urban Jürgensen has taken cues from the Grand Feu enamel dials of its historical pocket watches in creating the domed Arabic numerals in solid rose gold, necessitating several cutting processes to create the fine details.


Ref. 2240 RG with its 40mm pink gold case, made of three parts and topped by a convex bezel, turns out to be a little more contemporary while preserving the classic Urban Jürgensen style. On this model from the Jules collection, named after the brand founder’s grandson, winglet-shaped lugs replace the teardrop shape of the 1745 collection. Like the two above-mentioned models, this timepiece is driven by the mechanical manual- winding P4 movement, developed in-house in partnership with Chronode. Comprising two barrels ensuring a 60-hour power reserve as well as stop seconds mechanism, and based on a Swiss lever escapement, this large 32mm movement is also adorned with refined hand-crafted decoration. The sunburst Côtes de Genève motif radiating out from the heart of the balance wheel, the chamfered bridges and internal sharp corners, along with the blued, chamfered and polished screws, testify to the exceptional level of artisanal detail mastered by the watchmakers of the Maison.

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Review overview