We have some exciting pre-Baselworld news today. As of this morning, Urban Jürgensen has officially unveiled its first-ever luxury sport watch collection. Given the name Jürgensen One, the new range is made up of four watches that mark a series of firsts for the brand. Not only do these watches represent the first attempt at making a luxury sport model for the brand, but they also feature Urban Jürgensen’s first in-house automatic movement, its first bracelet, and one of the models features the designation of being the brand’s first GMT.
Urban Jürgensen has long prioritized the production of some of the finest three-hand dress watches on the planet. Models like The Alfred, Ref. 1140, and Ref. 2340 all stand out as some of the most attractive and formal dress timepieces on the market today. Combine that fact with the brand’s small-scale approach to production and its commitment to craftsmanship by making their hands, dials, and movements in their Biel atelier, and it’s understandable why the brand has built up a cult following. Over this past weekend, I met with CEO Søren Petersen at the Cellini Jewelers NYC Watch Fair to view the Jürgensen One prototypes and discuss the motivation behind diversifying his brand’s production.
Petersen told me that one of the questions he has received most often since taking charge of the brand in 2014 is whether or not they will release a stainless-steel sports watch. Watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Patek Philippe Nautilus, and Vacheron Constantin Overseas are three of the most in-demand watches in all markets at the moment and having a model in that space is a no brainer for many. However, despite the prominence of the luxury sports watch, it’s still an incredibly difficult space to enter. Not only is it highly competitive, but any watch introduced will undoubtedly be compared to one of Gérald Genta’s creations for better or worse.
That’s why I’m happy to report that, at least in my mind, Urban Jürgensen has done an excellent job with the Jürgensen One collection. Remarkably, the stainless-steel watch uses no straight lines in its case or bracelet construction, favoring intersecting circles that provide the watch with a harmonic balance (see the original sketch for the Jürgensen One in the above image). The Jürgensen One comes in three different dial colors: Urban Blue, Charcoal Gray, and Soft White. I was automatically drawn to the charcoal gray option as I felt it was the most aesthetically pleasing but all three options offer a blend of studied professionalism and kinetic intrigue. The recessed center part of the dial features a barleycorn guilloché pattern that can be seen across Urban Jürgensen’s other lines such as in Ref. 1142, which took home the GPHG award for Men’s Watches in 2014. The outer portion of the dial features Urban Jürgensen’s noted mastery of grenage-type dialmaking. The brand moved away from traditional Roman numerals for this release, opting instead for baton hour markers filled with Super-LumiNova. The openworked hour and minute hands are produced by Urban Jürgensen in their Biel manufacture and are polished by hand. The 41-mm stainless-steel case features a combination of satin brushing and mirror polishing.
The new P5 caliber found in the three time-and-date-only models is based on the handwound P4 manufacture caliber and represents the firm’s first attempt at a fully automatic movement. It vibrates at 21,600 vph and features a power reserve of 72 hours. The movement is visible courtesy of the sapphire exhibition caseback that shows off the superlative level of finishing. Côtes de Genève and blued screws abound. The rotor features the Urban Jürgensen logo and the oscillating weight is made of 22k gold.
Urban Jürgensen has also unveiled its first GMT timepiece within the Jürgensen One collection. Featuring the same case design and coming only in the Urban Blue colorway, the travel-time option adds a 24-hour subdial at 6 o’clock to display the second time zone. Dual pushers on the left side of the case allow you to adjust the central hour hand forward or backward in one-hour jumps, making setting the time a simple endeavor once you have arrived in your new destination. The 24-hour dial represents your home time and can be set via the crown protruding at 3 o’clock.
The bracelet of the Jürgensen One will likely be the highlight of the watch for many. It really is quite excellent with a robust construction thanks to the mirror-polished oval-shaped central links. It was the result of two and a half years of development. The bracelet is nicely integrated to the case and each link, other than the ones near the butterfly clasp that are meant to be taken out for sizing purposes, is tapered inward.
Within the watch industry, the luxury sport watch market is perhaps the most competitive, but the Jürgensen One comes at an interesting time. Audemars Piguet is in the middle of transitioning out of multi-brand boutiques and the shortage of the Patek Philippe Nautilus and other Rolex sport models at boutiques and ADs worldwide is approaching unforeseen levels. Once the Jürgensen One hits the market later this spring, I expect it to successfully attract any enthusiast looking for a daily driver luxury sport model that can stand out on its own merits.
The Urban Jürgensen Jürgensen One is priced at 24,500 CHF in its three-hand iteration (Ref. 5241) and 33,500 CHF in its GMT version (Ref. 5541).