Urban Jürgensen A case in point: the Jürgensen One
The case of the new Jürgensen One evolved from a simple design sketched on to a blank piece of paper.
The Jürgensen One presented this year is so special not just for the brand but for the industry as a whole, that we are devoting no fewer than three articles (in addition to one already published) to take a closer look at the three main elements of the watch: the case, the bracelet and the movement inside. In this first instalment, we look at the case.
Since the Jürgensen One fits into a category – that of the luxury steel sports watch – that has seen little evolution over the past forty years, largely because of the domination of giants like Audemars Piguet with the Royal Oak, Patek Philippe with the Nautilus and Rolex with almost any of their models you care to mention, and since this type of timepiece was something completely new in Urban Jürgensen’s 246-year history, the brand was obliged to start from a completely blank sheet of paper. The difficulties are of course exacerbated when you know that thousands of steel watch designs have been attempted, and the final product would by default almost surely be held up against the aforementioned references for the category.
© Urban Jürgensen
A design brief was written and the search for an original concept idea was initiated. The selected initial sketch from the early stages of the design process showed intertwined ovals and circles that outline an organic form that we don’t often see in the watch industry. The final design of the case translates this into a shape that – much to the relief of shirt-wearing business travellers – has no straight sharp edges. One may justifiably speak of the smoothness of a pebble – a sensation on the wrist that surprisingly few watches can pull off, and with a design that in its own quiet, confident way has its own clear identity.
© Urban Jürgensen
Even the type of steel used for the case sets the watch apart, since the medical grade 1.4441 stainless steel of the Jürgensen One offers improved resistance to corrosion and half the level of nickel found in 904L steel, which is itself only used by a handful of watch brands, most notably Rolex.
The construction of the 41mm diameter case is made of seven individual elements, with the visible surfaces either satin-brushed or mirror-polished in a perfect combination of contrasts. As befits a watch that has sporty pretensions in addition to its understated design, the case is water resistant to 120 metres. It’s the perfect home for the other two elements we will cover in the next instalments: the bracelet and the movement.