Urban Jürgensen - The New York Watch Auction: SIX New York Saturday, June 11, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Urban Jürgensen
    Year: Circa 1985
    Case No: 4041
    Model Name: Reference 1
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3019 PHC, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold pin buckle
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed Urban Jürgensen.
    Accessories: Accompanied by a pending Urban Jürgensen Extract from the Archives.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Urban Jürgensen’s history begins in 1773, established by a Danish clockmaker, Jürgen Jürgensen, whose 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.

    Finally in 1979, the noted watchmaker, antique watch dealer, and collector Peter Baumberger acquired Urban Jürgensen & Sønner and honed in on the brand’s legacy of superb timepieces to reinvigorate the Swiss watch industry in the wake of the Quartz Crisis.

    The first wristwatch model to be created under Baumberger’s “exceptional eye” was the present lot, the Reference 1, first produced in 1982, though the brand was not officially launched until 1985. Our 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, more commonly known as the Zenith El Primero, in this instance with triple date and moon phase. The timepiece itself embodies a traditional ethos of watchmaking, with the teardrop lugs reminiscent of mid-century Vacheron Constantin wristwatches (and still reflected in the work of Kari Voutilainen’s eponymous brand today), the handmade engine-turned dial, painted Roman numerals, and blued steel Breguet hands. All this is housed in a 40mm waterproof 18K yellow gold case with a stepped bezel.

    Ever striving for excellence in the tiniest details, the unique 18K yellow gold pin buckle, signed Urban Jurgensen on the underside, bears a unique shape meant to echo that of the downturned teardrop lugs. Hark, the age of the independents is upon us, and the Urban Jürgensen Reference 1 is one of the earliest examples of the pioneering spirit of the independents that has captivated the watch industry today.



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

Circa 1985
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed Urban Jürgensen.

$12,000 - 24,000 

Sold for $81,900

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293



Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285


The New York Watch Auction: SIX

New York Auction 11-12 June 2022