Mechanical innovations, high complications, advanced materials… we do tend to get a little sidetracked by contemporary watchmaking sometimes. The cutting edge after all is an exciting place to be. That said, there’s nothing wrong with relying on the established traditions of watchmaking, particularly when the result is something as exceptional as the Urban Jürgensen Reference 1140 PT L Blue.
If you didn’t know that this was released as Baselworld 2017, you could be forgiven for expecting it to be a prime lot in an auction of antique timepieces. But then it shouldn’t be a surprise; the techniques used in Urban Jürgensen’s atelier have barely changed in centuries.
It means that while the 1140 appears simple it’s actually anything but. Every facet of the watch has been painstakingly handmade, from the smooth 40mm platinum case to the hand-cut, white gold Arabic numerals. Even the hands go beyond what most watchmakers would contemplate. Each is cut from a solid piece of white gold, hand-polished and tapered in their own asymmetrical way.
The dial goes even further. Urban Jürgensen have built a good deal of their reputation on the art of guilloche and fine engraving and the textured blue here illustrates why, with three different finishes. The outer ring is brushed while the main part of the dial uses a pattern known as Grains d’orge. The small seconds subdial on the other hand uses Guilloché Damier which along with a deeper blue, creates an extraordinarily intricate yet balanced dial.
The end result is a watch with the kind of details you’d expect to see on an antique pocket watch more than a modern timepiece. It might not be cutting-edge in aesthetics of mechanics, but that’s no bad thing. Sometimes we all need a little classicism, a little touch of the archaic. Regardless of whether the 1140 was made in 2017 or 1917, there’s only one thing that matters: it’s absolutely beautiful.
- 40mm platinum case
- In-house Urban Jürgensen P4 movement
- Hand-finished blue guilloche dial with hand-cut white gold numerals and hands
- Hours and minutes with small seconds at 6 o’clock
- Limited to 30 pieces worldwide
- Swiss Francs 49,650 (excl. taxes)
For more information: www.urbanjurgensen.com