It isn’t the first occasion when we investigate watchmaker Urban Jürgensen . In case you’re incessant perusers of MONOCHROME, you realize how extraordinary the watches made by this production of Haute Horlogerie are. On a gatherer’s side, there is a great deal to cherish here, from the magnificently rich plans, the crazy thoughtfulness regarding subtleties ( those hands… ) or the excellent developments. However, What is it like to run a company like this today? How can it keep a particularly elite, very good quality creation significant in 2019? Søren Jenry Petersen, owner of Urban Jürgensen, answers our questions.
Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – What is your first horological memory?
Søren Jenry Petersen – My absolute first vibe of an exceptional watch, purchasing something I desired for quite a while, was a rectangular Casio, with a case a lot of like an Apple today and a simple hour and moment show on the top. On the base was a computerized show. It had one of these ordinary 1980s meager steel lashes. I was captivated with the plan of the piece. That is the main watch I truly minded about.
When did you get intrigued by mechanical watches?
That happened much later. Toward the finish of the 1980s, I had learned enough about watches to comprehend that Rolex was something truly uncommon. I was working for Philips with cell phones. During a work excursion to the US, we went over a retailer in Kentucky and I got myself a dark and burgundy GMT II. I’m sitting tight for them to reissue it so perhaps I can purchase the enhanced one as the bygone one is with my child now. I thought “I presently have the solitary watch I am truly going to require for the remainder of my life… ” you purchase a Rolex and you’ve achieved whatever you need to attain.
When Philips got obtained by Nokia in 1994, I started an exceptionally decent vocation at Nokia, driving their worldwide item portfolio arranging. I engaged in a great deal of undeniable level gatherings and occasions with customers, dark tie occasions. I got a handle on increasingly more of spot at these occasions with my steel Rolex professional watch. Everyone was dressed with an exemplary dress watch. I began exploring; you should focus on all that you can bear. I immediately discovered that Patek Philippe was the top name. I was after a reference 5139 Calatrava, a 3 sub-dial never-ending schedule with a Clous de Paris bezel. I pursued it for various years. Be that as it may, back during the nineties you truly couldn’t discover one. It was troublesome, and with no web and just handouts and little envelopes to go on.
At one point in 1996, when I was back in Denmark, I went to the Ole Mathiesen shop, a Royal purveyor and a Patek Philippe seller in Copenhagen. I was met by a courteous fellow, presently a dear companion, Hans Ryser. As I asked about the Patek 5139, he addressed ‘you are fortunate, I have one here’. I could at long last see one in the tissue. It was all that I thought… yet he said ‘Lamentably as you may have speculated – this piece is sold… yet well, you were quite certain that you needed something truly exceptional – and I have something that may bear some significance with you’.
He drew out a Urban Jürgensen watch, a reference 2 in yellow gold. He gave me a loupe, and I was exceptionally perplexed in light of the fact that I was unable to sort out how this watch was made… I realized you were unable to make it with a machine, however I was unable to compute how anyone could make it by hand either. Things were so sensitive and expound in the best subtleties. The moon plate, specifically, the sheer degree of handcraft, expertise, and feeling of exemplary excellence that was in that part were outstanding. I wound up purchasing that Urban Jürgensen. That was the means by which I originally became more acquainted with about the brand.
What drove you from possessing a Urban Jürgensen to purchasing Urban Jürgensen as a company?
Well – presently I had two watches, and two watches is the beginning of an assortment. I developed an assortment and turned out to be very learned about watches and the various brands. My assortment developed to around 15-20 pieces and of good quality. I left Nokia in 2011 and functioned as an expert for a couple of years. By the fall of 2013, my most established child was prepared for a decent watch. We were back in the Ole Mathiesen shop. Ryser was there and asked me how I was doing after Nokia. I addressed that I was really occupied with consultancy. He replied, ‘how about a genuine work? Have you at any point contemplated purchasing Urban Jurgensen?’. This was one of those minutes in a man’s life where everything sort of comes together in a decent manner. I had met Peter Baumberger (Editor’s note, the late owner of Urban Jurgensen) a few years sooner at a Patek occasion in Geneva. We had a taxing evening, talking pretty much a wide range of things. I didn’t realize that he had kicked the bucket and Hans Ryser had been a long companion of Baumberger.
To spare the gritty details, I went through around four months looking at the circumstance of the business, visiting the atelier. I met with Dr Helmut Crott (who ownied the company then) here in Biel. He was looking for a decent home for the company. Normally, he knew the tradition of the company and he was worried about the possibility that that it would be grabbed up by one of the huge gatherings only for the licenses on the detent escapement. Peter Baumberger and Derek Pratt, with the assistance of Jean-François Mojon at Chronode and Kari Voutilainen helping for the prototyping work, had at long last figured out how to build up a COSC-guaranteed, Chronofiable-tried detent escapement for a wristwatch. A sacred goal for quite a long time in the business for the additional accuracy. There was a here thing of huge horological esteem. Dr Crott needed to guarantee that the company stayed a working entity.
Urban Jurgensen had importance, an impeccable history, gigantic potential and was in undeniable reality the last constantly working watch brand with a heritage dating as far back as 1773. I discovered five other similar financial backers in Denmark. We wound up purchasing the company in November 2014 – the very month we won the GPHG men’s watch grant for the Ref 1142 Detent Escapement piece.
What was your plan to stay with the relevant?
The entire reasoning for building an incentive in a company like this is that its inheritance and current movement were one of extreme, stickler exemplary watchmaking in an alliance where numerous players where gradually floating away. Extravagance is two sections equivalent extraordinariness and worth. You should have both. For brands from huge combinations, the extravagance viewpoint is hard to keep up. They are not, one might say, bosses of their own predetermination since they are gotten on these enormous structural plates of freely held company stages that must persistently develop, and their items become clones and rather common. Like “Restricted version 500 pieces”. At Urban Jurgensen, we are at a totally different place.
Urban Jürgensen has not made at this point 1,000 wrist watches (note: Urban Jürgensen just began making wristwatches since Baumberger assumed responsibility for the brand in the mid 1980s). This is a genuine extraordinariness. Our watches are extravagant on the grounds that they are still very handmade. The position the company has had for a very long time is as yet important however it must be secured, keeping up the handcraft and the selectiveness, keeping up the atelier design and not becoming a clone manufacturing plant, working with the best, most skilled craftsmans and accomplices. That is the thing that we proceed to do, and it’s obviously noticeable in our products.
You introduced a steel sports watch this year. How was it born?
Note: read our inside and out article about this new steel extravagance sports watch here.
There is a market section for vigorous, exquisite, waterproof, multipurpose steel watches where the standard speculates planned by Gerald Genta during the 1970s have framed the character of the class. That class personality actually completely appeared in the previous 10-15 years. I figured we could increase the value of that classification. It’s been a long time since it was considered during the 1970s and not a lot has occurred since. A few years prior, I began working on this. This is a huge errand, and a cycle that should be overseen and controlled cautiously – or you simply end up either replicating (seriously) or making something so urgently unique it will not hold up after some time. The principal viewpoint was that this kind of watch needed to have a programmed development. Furthermore, we ought to have our own development. And afterward, I thought we were not going to play the slender dressy lively watch card here. Working with extra-meager developments you need to make compromises, whatever they are. In the event that we are making an extravagance steel sports watch, it should be robust.
Then, seeing how to make this sort of new item in a respected classification characterized by the symbols and Gerald Genta’s work during the 1970s was amazing and unnerving… however the one expectation I had was that with all the gatherers and individuals who came to us, I have consistently got a bounty of inquiries that were along the lines of ‘do you have anything in steel… . – are you going to make anything in steel?’
If you have an unadulterated degree of starting point of thought, that is sufficient, you can create something that becomes a reasonable plan. I composed a plan brief and imparted the test to around 15 of my old architect companions – and one of them responded back inside 20 minutes of accepting the document delineating for me ‘I don’t think a lot about watches however they are throughout, the earth turns around the sun, it’s all round.’ So I messed with a lot of circles. Out of that basic sketch came the DNA for the Jurgensen One assortment. The idea was awesome as a beginning point.
I then worked with a plan house here in Switzerland and we transformed it into a 3D case. The last large missing piece was the steel arm band. I was after a particular 10-meter acknowledgment factor – and this comes from the wristband. I was jotting with circles across the idea drawing and out of nowhere I got these focal, oval interlinks. With extraordinary compared to other arm band producers in the business – and working hard to understand the plan flawlessly – we transformed it into the wristband we have today and it’s been gotten incredibly well.
That’s the means by which the entire thing came to fruition. We began with a three-hander and I needed to do a GMT adaptation, which emerged from my movement experience from my Nokia days. For a very long time I went around 120 days per year. I needed to make a GMT watch that worked the manner in which it ought to for continuous voyagers. I have 5 GMT watches in my assortment, and none of them works truly right. On the ONE GMT, you have a 24h sub-dial which consistently shows your home time. You needn’t bother with a day-night pointer since it is 24 hours. It likewise is the reference for 12 PM date change when setting the time. The nearby time then is the focal 3 hands – on the grounds that one of the extraordinary sins of numerous GMT watches is that when you travel – out of nowhere you should look elsewhere for the time. Not OK. You have in addition to and short correctors for the focal hour hand and clearly, the best one is in addition to and the base is less. That is all you require to do, and you can do this without looking at the watch!
The ONE Collection has been very generally welcomed, and I think part about the explanation is that the ONE is as yet finished with heaps of carefully assembled subtleties not found in some other models in the class. Hand-completed hands with centre canons, hand-completed developments and utilization of careful steel to give some examples. We attempted to combine the foundation of the brand with our craving to bring something really new in the classification – and the interest has been phenomenal.
More subtleties at www.urbanjurgensen.com .