Derek Pratt for Urban Jürgensen - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI Geneva Saturday, November 5, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Derek Pratt for Urban Jürgensen
    Year: Circa 1990
    Movement No: 3013
    Case No: 3013
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, jeweled
    Dimensions: 60mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a blank Urban Jürgensen & Sønner Certificate of Origin, fitted wooden presentation box and outer packaging.

  • Catalogue Essay

    With the rising interest in independent watchmaking, Derek Pratt’s aura has also grown. He started as a watchmaker revered by a select few, yet his name and oeuvres – never being mainstream - have now led to an almost cult following for those in the know.

    A British horologist, Pratt was a contemporary of George Daniels with whom he had long telephone conversations each Sunday, where each exchanged experiences and challenges they faced in their respective pursuit of chronometry. Even though not officially recognized by Daniels, the latter consulted Pratt on many of his innovations and Pratt even made some components for him.

    A watchmaker who spent his life studying the old masters such as Breguet or Tompion and mastering their techniques, Pratt never signed his watches, even under the newly reborn Urban Jürgensen & Sönner brand, where he was the technical director from 1982 to 2005.

    Urban Jürgensen was considered as one of the greatest watchmakers of the 19th century. Appointed to the court of Denmark, he established himself in Switzerland catering to monarchs, aristocrats and the greats of Europe. His name was abandoned in the early 20th century - even though workshops in Copenhagen were maintained all along- but brought back to life by watchmaker and entrepreneur Peter Baumberger, who first bought the name in 1979 and then the whole company in 1985.

    Pratt designed complications for Urban Jürgensen and even created the brand’s beautiful guilloché dials. However, his true passion laid in pocket watches - a passion that materialized under the form of the superb pocket watches he made for the brand using only traditional techniques and no CNC machines.

    The present triple complication pocket watch features a minute repeater, perpetual calendar and chronograph and uses a repeater chronograph ébauche from the Vallée de Joux for which Pratt designed a perpetual calendar module.

    Every component in this masterpiece, from the bridges to the tiniest of screws, involves manual labor, may it be adjusted tolerances, polishing, angling and so on. Pratt’s attention to detail is exemplified in the fact that even the underdial components that remain hidden are finished to the same standards.

    The incredible guilloché dial featuring 3 different patterns was hand made by Pratt, a painstaking manual work that took him close to a week to finish. The case is also hand made with a cavalcade of subtle details making it a work of art on to its own.

    Pratt made 16 perpetual calendar pocket watches with different added functions between 1978 and 2000. Scholarship and intensive research show that the present example is the only known piece that features a perpetual calendar, minute repeater chronograph with the minutes counter (placed at 12 o’clock within the month subdial.)

    Pratt earned a number of awards throughout his lifetime including Freeman of England’s Worshipful Company of Clockmakers (1979), Liveryman of the society (1982), silver medal of British Horological Institute (1992), the MIH’s Prix Gaïa for artisanal creation (1999), and the Tompion gold medal of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers (2005).


An extremely rare, refined, complicated and elegant yellow gold "Grande Complication" single-button chronograph, minute repeating, perpetual calendar pocket watch with moonphases, box and open paperwork

Circa 1990
60mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for CHF239,400

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva
+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI

Geneva Auction 5 - 6 November 2022