Urban Jürgensen - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Manufacturer: Urban Jürgensen
    Year: 1894 an recased in 1982
    Movement No: 15'131
    Case No: 3'016
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 17.5"", 36 jewels.
    Dimensions: 62mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case and dial signed Urban Jürgensen, movement signed Jules Jürgensen
    Accessories: Accompanied with Urban Jürgensen fitted box and service papers from Kari Voutilainen

  • Catalogue Essay

    A student of Breguet, Houriet and Arnold, Urban Jürgensen was considered as one of the greatest watchmakers of the 19th century. Son of a watchmaker appointed to the court of Denmark, Urban Jürgensen established himself in Switzerland catering to monarchs, aristocrats and the greats of Europe. After his passing in 1830, Urban Jürgensen’s sons took over his business, naming it Urban Jürgensen & Sonner, Louis Urban taking responsibility for the workshops in Copenhagen and Jules Jürgensen remaining in Switzerland. The latter, an extremely gifted watchmaker walked in his father’s steps creating precision chronometers and complicated timepieces and winning number of gold medals at major exhibitions such as the Great Exhibition in London (1851) and the Industrial Exhibition in Copenhagen (1873).

    The present timepiece is extraordinary not only thanks to its complications but by the fact that three iconic watchmakers have worked on it in the past 120 years!

    Using a Louis-Elysée Piguet ebauche, Jules Jürgensen painstakingly worked on this movement in the early 1890s and finished it in February 1894, the watch was subsequently sold in July 1896. The subsequent whereabouts of the watch are unclear, what happened to the case? Was the case melted during the war for its gold? We do not know; however we do know that the movement was re-cased in 1982 at a time when Peter Baumberger had teamed with one of the 20th century’s most respected and admired watchmakers, Derek Pratt, to revive the brand. Derek Pratt was involved not only in reworking the movement but also making the sumptuous hand guilloché dial.

    Enter Kari Voutilainen, genius contemporary watchmaker who was recently charged in restoring this timepiece that had already been worked on by Jürgensen and Pratt giving this timepiece an immeasurable cachet.

    Even though there is no specific definition of a “grand complication” scholars agree that there needs to be at least a calendar function, a time recording one and a chiming function, the present timepiece featuring a perpetual calendar, split seconds chronograph and minute repeater comfortably fits the bill.

    The present timepiece from the family of the original owner is in superb condition and provides incredible value. The case, dial and movement provide for a technically and visually stimulating formula and it is a superb example of human ingenuity made by Jürgensen at a time where no computers or CNC machines were available and worked on during the 20th and 21st century by two of the greatest watchmakers of their era.


A probably unique, large and heavy hunter-cased perpetual calendar minute repeating split-seconds chronograph watch with moonphases, leap-year cycle indication and hand engine-turned dial

1894 an recased in 1982
62mm. Diameter
Case and dial signed Urban Jürgensen, movement signed Jules Jürgensen

CHF50,000 - 100,000 

Sold for CHF62,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017