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Urban Jürgensen

Urban Jürgensen is one of very few watch brands that have a documented history of uninterrupted watch production that dates back over 250 years.

About

Jürgen Jürgensen was born in Copenhagen in 1745. After serving as an apprentice to Johan Jacob Lincke, he spent six years travelling around Europe as a journeyman from 1766 to 1772. Shortly after the birth of his son Urban in 1776, he moved to Le Locle in Switzerland to work with Jacques-Frédéric Houriet, thus laying the foundations for a Danish-Swiss connection that still exists nearly 240 years later.

After Larpent & Jürgensen started producing watches in Copenhagen in 1781, Urban Jürgensen followed in his father’s footsteps in 1797, travelling to Le Locle to work with Houriet. In the following years, he also studied with Breguet in Paris and Arnold in London. In 1804, Urban Jürgensen published his book “Regler for Tidens Noiagtige Afmaaling ved Uhre” [General principles concerning timekeeping by clocks and watches”].

Urban Jürgensen’s two sons, Jules Frederik and Louis Urban upheld the family tradition, Jules Frederik moving to Le Locle and the heart of the Swiss watchmaking landscape to set up the Jules Jürgensen brand, while Louis Urban managed the Urban Jürgensen  factory in Copenhagen. Still today, the Urban Jürgensen brand maintains a presence in both countries. Urban Jürgensen started producing marine chronometers in 1810, later supplying the Danish Royal Navy and being admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Science in 1815.

The two brothers did their father proud, earning between them a number of gold medals at major industrial exhibitions such as the Great Exhibition in London (1851) and the Industrial Exhibition in Copenhagen (1873). Jacques Alfred Jürgensen, son of Jules Frederik was the last watchmaker in the family and continued the tradition with gold medals at Chicago (1893) and Paris (1900).

Since the death of Jacques Alfred Jürgensen in 1912, the two branches of the family company continued to operate without interruption for the next 70 years, producing timepieces throughout the Art Deco period and, more recently, collaborating with the British master watchmaker Derek Pratt, who passed away in 2009. Swiss watchmaker Peter Baumberger acquired the Urban Jürgensen brand in 1985 and continued its tradition in high-end watchmaking with models such as the ref. 1 calendar chronograph and the Ref. 2 perpetual calendar. In parallel, the Jules Jürgensen brand had continued production and distribution in the US, also without interruption. Peter Baumberger died a year after the company presented its prototype P8 movement at Baselworld in 2009.

The ground-breaking UJS-P8 movement, the first to use a pivoted detent chronometer escapement, has since established the connection between the watches in the current collection and the brand’s heritage as a producer of chronometers and clocks in the 18th and 19th centuries. The innovation earned Urban Jürgensen recognition at the prestigious Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix.

After the death of Mr Baumberger, the company was acquired by renowned watch expert Dr Helmut Crott, who brought UJS and Jules Jürgensen under the same roof in 2012 when he acquired the trademark and trade designs for the Jules Jürgensen brand. Two years later, the reunified brand was returned to Danish ownership after over 30 years in foreign hands when it was acquired by a private investment group led by Soren Jenry Petersen, who is today the President and CEO of Urban Jürgensen.

1773
Urban Jürgensen was founded in Denmark.
1797
Urban Jürgensen travels to Switzerland, Paris and London to study with Houriet, Breguet and Arnold.
1867
Jules Jürgensen is honoured in the canton of Neuchâtel for his work in precision horology and the betterment of Swiss industry. He is awarded the Gold Medal for his watches at the Paris 1867 World Fair.
2009
Urban Jürgensen is granted the worldwide patent for the new Urban Jürgensen in-house calibre with a detent escapement.
2014
Urban Jürgensen returns to Danish hands and the UJ reference 1142 Chronometer with detent escapement wins the “Men’s Watch” prize at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix.
Philosophy

Danish roots, Swiss know-how


In an industry where money and machinery can today solve most production problems, even down to almost unimaginable levels of miniaturisation, Urban Jürgensen stands by time-tested traditional manual approaches for reasons of artistic integrity.
As well as the aesthetic merits of such an approach, Urban Jürgensen also believes that a company should be judged on the quality of the choices its makes. The brand has therefore chosen heritage and tradition in the firm belief that automation does not offer a shortcut to excellence.
This attitude gives every Urban Jürgensen wristwatch a unique aura – invisible to many but appreciated by true watch connoisseurs everywhere. For those who seek the very finest things in life.

Collections

Référence 10

Twin barrels offer a power reserve of 48 hours for the upgraded FP 1160 calibre self-winding movement that powers this perpetual calendar watch. It has a 40mm diameter case in platinum or 18-carat yellow, rose or white gold.

Référence 1142C PT

A limited edition of only 20 in platinum, this watch features the manually wound P8 chronometer calibre and a hand-painted enamel dial. It also comes with an extremely rare observatory certificate.

Référence 1142C RG Montre émail observatoire

A limited edition of only 20 in rose gold, this watch features the manually wound P8 chronometer calibre and a hand-painted enamel dial. It also comes with an extremely rare observatory certificate.

Référence 3

A perpetual calendar with day and month windows and a moon phase display, the Reference 3 uses an upgraded self-winding FP71 movement and offers a power reserve indicator. It is available in 18-carat yellow or red gold or platinum.

Référence Big 8

Available in a complete range of metals, with or without date indication, the Big 8 with its larger 40mm case size has a hand-finished guilloché dial, hand-made hands and is fitted with an upgraded FP 1160 calibre with Swiss lever escapement.

Référence1142C CS RG

The flagship model and winner of a prize at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix, the Urban Jürgensen Ref. 1142C CS uses the brand’s patented P8 chronometer calibre with a pivoted detent escapement. It is available in 18-carat rose gold or platinum.

Watches