Urban Jürgensen springs a real surprise by adding four references to its offer in a segment where the legendary Danish watchmaker was not necessarily expected. The One is a sports model in the spirit of the great 1970s icons. The design accurately reflects the intention and the One stands out as the ideal versatile watch for daily and varied use rather than as an ultraspecialized model. The surprise stems from the fact that brand aficionados have thus far been drawn by exemplary mastery of a classic style refined over the centuries. So how will this One be welcomed by purists ? Will it succeed in broadening a circle of enthusiasts, membership of which – given the history of the brand and its technical inventiveness – quite frankly and without any wish to appear elitist calls for a certain amount of watchmaking knowledge. Perhaps this test bench will be able to provide some answers to these questions. The version analysed for this issue is the One 3 with central hands, date display and a blue dial.
Not exactly pebble-like, nor barrel-shaped, nor entirely round, the case profile is in fact all of these at once – which is precisely what gives it that inimitable 1970s style. The perfectly matched bracelet merges seamlessly into the case in broad waves. The volumes and shapes are highlighted by a succession of polished and satin-brushed surfaces. The blue dial features a central guilloché pattern of elegant “maritime waves” that combine the brand’s history with the 120m water-resistance of the One’s case. While everything about it suggests that the One could have been launched 40 or 50 years earlier, its ergonomics are second to none, offering a comfort entirely in tune with the fluidity of its design. Making a successful metal bracelet is a complicated exercise both in terms of design and comfort. That gracing the One deserves a special mention and might well convert some individuals usually “resistant”to steel. We saved the steel hands for dessert, because they alone deserve a double page of praise. As usual, they are breath-taking. They have been adapted here to the sporty character of the watch by skeletonizing them and filling them with Super-LumiNova®. The applied eye and canons of these hands endow them with the noblest of signatures, and that is indeed the truly distinctive element of the One… Even before one takes the time to observe the mechanism in detail.
This reference 5241 is driven by the P5 self-winding calibre. Right from first glance, this movement appears perfectly suited to its assigned mission and lives up to the brand’s watchmaking nobility, displaying a construction that inspires confidence in its reliability and performance. A fact worth emphasizing given how rare this is within this category that often features slimmer, rather “delicate” movements. The P5 is powered by two barrels that guarantee three days of autonomy (72 H) at a frequency of 21,600 vph. The twin seating of the balancebridge, as well as the wheels and pinions of the automatic gear train, are the most obvious elements of the reliability that should rapidly characterize this model. The oscillating weight features a large 22K gold segment that will efficiently harness the energy of even the most inactive wearer. The oscillating weight plate is generously cut-out so as to highlight the the “côtes soleillées” decorative pattern.
The tests all confirmed the sense of reliability and precision perceptible through straightforward observation of the movement, as the attached result grid confirms. We are definitely in the field of chronometry and the robustness of the construction is more than convincing. The automatic winding system and the inertia of its oscillating weight guarantee fast winding. It is certainly on its performance that the One should stand out, because rarely has a movement procured such a feeling of confidence and performance in a 41mm case.
The Danish watchmaker is successfully entering the difficult classic sport segment. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it is perhaps even too effective in this respect. Although displaying its own identity, the mastery of style is such that it inevitably evokes the genius of the 1970s design master. A success that could perhaps even destabilize some people if the hands did not clearly assert the brand’s identity. The One could easily have been born in the ‘70s and would have earned its place within an extremely competitive world. Today it brings a new dimension to the category by embedding a mechanism that benefits from past technological developments, but which represents a very timely choice. So in the end yes, the ONE certainly has all the assets to establish itself as an enduring classic and our successors will doubtless still be talking about it 50 years from now.