Urban Jürgensen - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Urban Jürgensen
    Year: Circa 1985
    Case No: 4054
    Model Name: Reference 1
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3019 PHC, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Urban Jürgensen pin buckle
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Urban Jürgensen fitted box and outer packaging.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Urban Jürgensen’s history begins in 1773 when the brand was originally established by a Danish clockmaker, Jürgen Jürgensen. His eldest son Urban traveled throughout Europe studying with Breguet, Berthoud, Houriet, and Arnold before taking over the family business in 1811 upon his father’s passing. The company remained in the hands of the Jürgensen family until 1912, with Urban’s sons expanding the company to Le Locle, Switzerland in addition to the company headquarters in Copenhagen. The mid-twentieth century was a time of upheaval for the brand, which produced their first wristwatch in 1919 after the First World War, and changed ownership numerous times.

    The brand came back with a bang in the 1980s until the 1990s, following its acquisition by Peter Baumberger with his partner, the much-heralded English watchmaker Derek Pratt. The duo set out to rebuild the brand, committed to the original tenets of technical excellence, traditional aesthetics, and handmade master craftsmanship.

    The first wristwatch model to be created was the Reference 1, first produced in 1982, though the brand was not officially launched until 1985.

    Research shows that only 186 pieces were produced between 1982 and 1986, with a very small series of 15 pieces in platinum produced later in 2001. It notably features the automatic chronograph caliber 3019 PHC, based on the reliable Zenith El Primero, in this instance with triple date and moon phase.

    Aesthetically, the present Reference 1 can be considered a pinnacle of elegance with a stepped case and tear drop lugs and a dial with satin outer track with Roman numerals, beautifully hand guilloché with different patterns for the subdials and the central section.

    In overall excellent condition the present Reference 1 is not only a an incredibly beautiful and rare piece but it represents a period of time, when now-household names such as F.P. Journe or Daniel Roth were experimenting, producing their very first prototypes, pushing the boundaries of watchmaking and re-defining the meaning of watchmaking. Industry veterans will look back at this golden period of horology as the cradle of Independent Watchmaking, with doses of both pride and nostalgia.


A pioneering, bold, and ingenious yellow gold automatic chronograph wristwatch with day, date, month, and moon phase display

Circa 1985
40mm Diameter
Case, dial and buckle signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF60,960

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The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023