Urban Jürgensen Reference 8 Platinum - No Date - 1990's - Unique configuration
2023 marked the 250th anniversary of Danish watchmaker, Urban Jürgensen. For any brand to enjoy this kind of longevity, it requires a touch of something special and that is a touch that Urban Jürgensen most certainly has. Perhaps shown in a less ostentatious way than some of its contemporaries, yet undoubtedly present. Over the course of its nearly 250-year history there have of course been louder and quieter moments, and whilst it may have been a quieter moment as of late, this upcoming anniversary is sure to create considerable buzz around Urban Jürgensen.
In November 2021 the renowned Finnish independent watchmaker, Kari Voutilainen, became the new CEO of the historic Danish brand. The first, and highly anticipated, creations realised under his new direction will be released as part of the anniversary year in 2023. This new management is a particularly exciting development as Mr Voutilainen was notably present during the defining era of Peter Baumberger and Derek Pratt at Urban Jürgensen. The era to which this finely crafted Reference 8 belongs.
Peter Baumberger and Derek Pratt initially crossed paths thanks to their mutual admiration and respect for tradition within watchmaking. Mr Baumberger was an antiques dealer and Mr Pratt, a talented watchmaker who worked to continue the great work of Breguet, Harrison and Tompion. Considered one of the most important twentieth-century watchmakers, he had the rare and necessary skill to be able to restore Mr Baumberger's antique clocks. When Mr Baumberger became the proprietor of Urban Jürgensen in 1985, he knew exactly who to involve in order to restore and rebuild the brand that had been renowned in the early nineteenth century for its complex watchmaking.
This era of Peter Baumberger and Derek Pratt is known for its dynamic creativity in every aspect of horology, and the subsequent resurgence of Urban Jürgensen.
Each component of the Urban Jürgensen is an individual feat of exemplified skill and when all these components are combined, as they are on this Reference 8, they create an object that impresses from every angle and exceeds expectations.
Fashioned from platinum, its case measures 37mm in diameter, has a slim stepped bezel and a recessed crown. Put these first three observations together and we have a very classic, traditional and elegant timepiece. Delve a little further and whilst the classic elegance remains, the Urban Jürgensen individuality, craft and dedication to traditional technique really start to shine through.
Each of the teardrop lugs that embellish the case are individually created, heat-treated, hand-polished and then fused onto the case using a technique that has been in use since the mid-twentieth century. This faithfulness to traditional watchmaking techniques stems in part from the influence of Derek Pratt, who resisted modern developments within watchmaking.
Turning to the dial and the first aspect that catches the eye are the very unique observatoire Urban Jürgensen hands. These hands are entirely hand-crafted in Switzerland through a process that involves fifty separate steps and takes one full day's work to complete just one set of hour, minute.
While most of the Reference 8 have a blue second hand, this one has an unusual gold, counter-weight second hand. After investigation, the second hand is confirmed, by the brand itself, to be original. This could have been a special request by its original owner to match to magnificent gold eye on the unique observatoire Urban Jürgensen hands. A clear demonstration of the brand's commitment to creating truly unique timepieces.
The hour and minute hands are made from steel which is thermally blued to Urban Jürgensen's specific blue tone. The magnificent gold eye of the hour hand adds an unusual and intriguing dimension to the piece as it glides over the dial, matching the gold second hands. The minute hand also has its own touch of individuality as its tip has been slightly curved. It is also interesting to note that Copenhagen is found at the 12, something which is unique to early pieces and is not found on later ones. There is also no date aperture at the 6, an aspect which is usually found and it is rare not to see. Its absence leads to an overall cleaner look to the dial.
Texture is brought to the silver dial through varying forms of hand-finished, engine-turned guilloché which is seen in the centre of the seconds sub-dial and across the main part of the dial. The brushed hour chapter ring is completed with blue inked Roman numerals and is slightly separated from the outer ring of blue minute markers, the ring of markers on the seconds the sub-dial following the exact same pattern.
Teardrop lugs, observatoire hands and delicate guilloché dials marked the aesthetic development of Urban Jürgensen under Baumberger/Pratt and set the subsequent aesthetic standard for the brand.
The watch is powered by the automatic Caliber 1160, an ultra-thin movement that is produced by Frédéric Piguet. It contains 30 jewels, has a power reserve of 100 hours and a frequency of 21,600 A/h. While the movement may not be in-house in construction, it has been adorned with Urban Jürgensen's attentive in-house curation. The movement is covered by a platinum closed caseback, indicating it is one of the first Reference 8 pieces to have ben made, later version would have the see-through sapphire glass exhibition caseback. Another indication it is an early version, it's it movement number, 8-00XX, one of the first 10 to have been made. Geneva stripes and anglage can be seen on the bridges, while the 21K yellow gold rotor is almost completely covered in very delicate guilloché and is neatly completed with the UJS crest.
How it wears
A watch that wears as if it were always just 'meant to be'. With its slender dimensions, slim stepped bezel and decidedly elegant teardrop lugs, the watch blends flawlessly with the wrist and is incredibly comfortable to wear. Its classical form make it a distinctly versatile dress watch.
The set & condition
This refined timepiece is in great unpolished condition, with normal signs of wear. This rare and unique reference 8 hails from one of the most noteworthy moments within the Urban Jürgensen archive, comes with its original platinum pin buckle.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium.
No stock kept on site
* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *
|Silver Guilloché & Blue numerals
|Mr Watchley Grained Mid grey
|Original UJS Platinum pin buckle