Urban Jürgensen timepieces are one of the purest examples of watchmaking craftsmanship respectful of centuries-old traditions.
Its collections include a wide-rage of models, from time-only dress watches to highly sophisticated perpetual calendars up to grande complications.
Among them, one of the most popular is the reference 1140 L, where the L refers to Lever Escapement, the type of device that transforms the energy from the unwinding of a coiled spring into countable impulses. In this type of escapement, the balance wheel is only in contact with the lever during the short impulse period so reducing friction and improving accuracy.
In 2017, Urban Jürgensen enriched its 1140 collection with the reference 1140 L RG Brown, a new time-only model characterized by a special brown dial.
This dial is truly special not only for its fascinating Urban Jürgensen brown but also for its fine guilloché decoration.
Urban Jürgensen are deservedly considered masters in the art of hand-finished guilloche dials. In this model, the exceptional attention to details is evident by observing the Grains d’orges and Guilloché Damier (used for the small seconds sub-dial) patterns. Each dial requires up to 700 operations and takes 2 full days of hand work to complete on a guilloché lathe.
It is important to mention that the guilloché decorations were not invented just as aesthetic enhancements but they were primarily motivated by functional concerns, helping to avoid premature tarnishing as well as strengthening the fragile nature of clear or polished surfaces easily exposed to nicks, scratches or other external attacks. Moreover, a guilloché dial offers better readability because their patterns suppress the reflection of light on metal plates.
The beautiful hue, which changes depending on the lighting, is obtained by repeatedly bringing the engine-turned dial to red heat and treating it with acid. This process develops a fine layer a of pure silver on the surface which is finally imbued with the proprietary Urban Jurgensen brown.
The guilloché dial and the rose gold baton indices find an ideal complement in the signature Urban Jürgensen hands, so easily recognizable for the large diamond-polished eye of the hour hand crafted from red gold. Just like for the dial, the hand-crafting of these key components of the dial require numerous hours of fine workmanship.
The steel arms of the hands are cut from selected steel and manually finished to ensure a perfect shape and fit.
To achieve the beautiful shade of navy blue, several hours of hand work are required, first polishing with increasingly fine-grained diamond paper, then mirror polishing applying a proprietary paste with a variety of wooden pegs and finally by thermally blueing.
Classical in its design, the 40 mm x 10.50 mm case crafted from rose gold - the ideal metal to match the brown dial - is only apparently simple. The round form is enhanced by a stepped bezel with a concave profile. And, of course, they are strongly characterized by the teardrop shaped lugs.
Contrary to industrial design of lugs for a watch case, which makes them easily machine milled out as an integrated part of the case, the teardrop lugs on Urban Jürgensen’s timepieces have been individually forged, heat treated, hand polished, and individually soldered onto the watch case.
The process of soldering the individual lugs onto the case requires great skills and attention to ensure the right angle for of all lugs and with no visible soldering line.
Visible through the flat sapphire crystal of the case back, the in-house manually-wound Urban Jürgensen P4 Lever Escapement movement is not less refined.
The finishes meet the highest standards of traditional haute-horlogerie as demonstrated by details like the uniform chamfering of the edges, the jewels inserted in recessed sinks finely hand-polished, the blued screws which add elegance while offering higher corrosion resistance and the sophisticated decoration of the main plate with non-parallel stripes.
Not only meticulously finished, the P4 Lever Escapement movement is also very robust with its bridge with two supports firmly holding the balance wheel beating at 3 Hz (21,600 vph). Thanks to its twin barrels, the movement offers 72 hours of power reserve.
The Urban Jürgensen 1140 L RG with brown dial is a feast for the eyes as well as very comfortable on the wrist thanks to the ideal proportions and the top quality semi-matt alligator strap secured by a rose gold buckle. The price of Euro 28,200 before local taxes is aligned with the quality and the exclusivity of a timepiece which only few skillful hands can create. urbanjurgensen.com