Urban Jürgensen Alfred at your service, sir!
One of the oldest names in watchmaking embraces the latest retail trends.
The name Alfred conjures up an image of a Victorian butler ready to attend to his master’s every need. This service mentality is inherent in the latest timepiece from Urban Jürgensen, but its name comes from the last watchmaker in the Jürgensen dynasty, Jacques Alfred Jürgensen, rather than some fictional valet. As the second generation of the Jürgensen family to be born in Le Locle, Switzerland, Jacques Alfred Jürgensen joined the company at the age of 19 and worked on chronographs and complications. He also set up his own company to produce watches under his own name and even for third-party customers such as Tiffany & Co. His name now stands for a bold new wristwatch by Urban Jürgensen that is designed for a much younger customer, to whom it will be available for purchase exclusively online.
© Urban Jürgensen
Like other independent brands that are exploring new online sales channels (consider the online configurator presented by Armin Strom earlier this year and forays into direct e-commerce by the likes of Alpina and Anonimo), Urban Jürgensen has embraced the trend with its concierge service, which offers a direct point of contact with the brand in countries where there is no authorised dealer. The company takes things a step further with the Alfred, however, speaking directly to the millennials to whom this watch is targeted, wherever they may be. Buyers will have the opportunity to collect their watches directly from the company’s new workshops in Bienne, Switzerland, at a quarterly rendez-vous hosted by the company’s CEO, Soren Jenry Petersen, who will personally hand over the finished watches and introduce the buyers to the craftsmen who have spent months working on them. It will be an opportunity for the company to explain its unique “grenage” dial finish, the intricacy of its hour and minute hands, which are assembled and finished by hand, as well as its in-house P4 manually wound mechanical movement.
The hands © Urban Jürgensen
From a collector’s point of view, the most exciting thing about Alfred is its 42mm stainless-steel case, which is a first from Urban Jürgensen and brings the Alfred more into line with the tastes of the millennial generation that it is targeting. The use of stainless steel brings the price down to an 15,200 Swiss francs (excluding VAT) for a timepiece that bears all the hallmarks of the much more expensive Urban Jürgensen watches. The case is still made in a multi-stage process, with the characteristic teardrop-shaped lugs invisibly soldered to the case middle; the dial is still in solid silver with the brand’s distinctive grenage pattern and the hands are still meticulously hand-finished and flame-blued in stainless steel.
The grenage dial © Urban Jürgensen
Timekeeping is provided by the Urban Jürgensen P4 manually-wound mechanical movement, which has two mainspring barrels to ensure a power reserve of 72 hours and beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour. This in-house movement, combined with the high level of craftsmanship employed by Urban Jürgensen and the low production volumes make the Alfred an enticing prospect for someone looking for a classic mechanical watch that few other people have.
Urban Jürgensen P4 manually-wound mechanical movement © Urban Jürgensen
Urban Jürgensen is one of very few watch brands that have a documented history of uninterrupted watch production that dates back over 240 years.Find out more >
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