Urban Jürgensen 1745 Collection Reference 1140 PT Blue
The epitome of luxury
The Urban Jürgensen 1745 Collection Reference 1140 PT Blue is made of the noblest of precious metals, platinum. Angus Davies looks closely at the latest model from this prestigious maison based in Biel / Bienne.
Every year it is estimated that 1500 tonnes of gold is mined, whereas only 160 tonnes of platinum is excavated over the same period. While a gold watch is justly coveted, the greater scarcity of platinum makes it particularly revered.
Gold and platinum share a similar price but the latter noble metal is denser, necessitating a greater amount of material to make an item e.g. a watch case. Moreover, 18-carat gold is 75% pure, with various alloys added, while platinum is 95% pure, again meaning the use of the latter material is more costly.
Platinum is less malleable than gold and has a higher melting point, making it much harder to manipulate. As a result, platinum necessitates additional skill and manufacturing time, once again, leading to greater expense.
Ultimately, because of the reasons stated above, platinum is considered to be the noblest of precious metals and viewed as the epitome of luxury.
Urban Jürgensen is no stranger to the luxury domain. It has made several high-end timepieces using precious materials, including platinum, despite the challenges this latter material presents.
Now, the historic brand has unveiled a new platinum timepiece, the 1745 Collection Reference 1140 PT Blue. This timepiece sports a vivid blue dial with a glorious pale white platinum case. The watch is limited to only 30 pieces, conferring a wonderful dose of exclusivity.
The hands are supremely slender and tastefully converse with the wearer. They are formed in white gold, with the hour hand featuring a diamond polished eye, augmenting ease of read-off. The minute hand gracefully stretches its elongated torso, almost kissing the dots populating the chapter ring. The hands evince a notable elegance to their form and shine resplendently.
The one piece solid silver dial is delivered in a magnificent shade of blue and is decorated with gorgeously contrasting guilloché motifs. The central dial area is adorned with grains d’orges, while the small seconds display features Guilloché Dimier, or basket work pattern. The chapter ring is circular brushed. In presenting an array of motifs and patterns, Urban Jürgensen has delivered delightful contrast. Nothing inhibits interpretation or taints the seemly dial appearance.
Each hour is denoted with applied domed platinum Arabic numerals. These numerals are ‘inspired by the hand painted enamel and grand feu dials’ found on historic Urban Jürgensen pocket watches. Each numeral is crafted by hand, presenting challenges that the brand’s artisans have mastered with deft use of hand and tool.
The platinum case of the 1140 PT Blue is wonderfully understated. It measures 40mm in diameter, has a thickness of 10.50mm and is formed of three parts. The dial has a refined simplicity to its form, however, its construction is the result of time-consuming meticulousness.
Each case is cut from a solid block of platinum using a lathe. The three parts of the case consist of the convex bezel, which retains the sapphire crystal, the case middle, to which the teardrop lugs are affixed, and, finally, the case back which is fitted with a pane of sapphire crystal, granting views of the hand-wound movement.
Urban Jürgensen has previously released 1140 L in white gold with a blue dial. While this gold watch may look similar to the 1140 PT Blue, there are some distinct differences. Firstly, platinum looks whiter than white gold. Secondly, platinum is denser than white gold, making it feel heavier on the wrist.
The watch is supplied with a solid platinum folding buckle and clasp, paired with a blue semi-matt alligator leather strap.
The Urban Jürgensen Movement P4 is a manually-wound movement featuring a Swiss lever escapement. The balance has a frequency of 21,600 VpH (3Hz) and the movement contains 23 jewels.
Two barrels combine to deliver 72 hours of autonomy. Pulling out the crown allows the wearer to stop the seconds hand, proving ideal when synchronising the watch with a reference clock.
The finissage of the movement is divine. The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève rayonnantes. Each stripe is crisp and perfect. The jewel sinks are beautifully polished and the movement is adorned with thermally blued screws.
While some movements affix the balance to a cock, Urban Jürgensen has fitted the balance with a bridge which connects to the mainplate at two points. This latter specification detail confers greater stability and robustness than a cock affixed to the main plate at one point. The balance bridge features a distinctive and highly attractive twin arm design.
The movement has been ‘adjusted to temperature’ and the isochronism has been checked in five positions. The Urban Jürgensen features engraved golden text.
One area which particularly appeals to me relates to the space between the bridges. By creating a small gap between the bridges, the wearer can glimpse some of the gear train. I also adore the anglage which bestows brilliantly gleaming bevels, contrasting wonderfully with the surfaces and flanks of the bridges.
The Urban Jürgensen 1745 Collection Reference 1140 PT Blue is a fantastic timepiece. It is the product of extended deliberations and protracted manufacture. There are no indications of expedience just fastidiousness and painstaking efforts on the part of the company’s employees.
The guilloché is the product of time-served hands imparting becoming patterns to the dial epidermis. Nothing is gauche or excessively flamboyant, quite the contrary, everything is elegant and tasteful.
The decision to make the case from platinum is brave as it presents many more challenges than white gold. However, the difference between white gold and platinum is plain to see and this justifies the time-consuming efforts of the artisans based at the Urban Jürgensen atelier.
Another virtue justifying discussion is the movement with its no-compromise specification and its elevated execution. The bridges are beauteous with their gleaming bevels and ray-like decoration. The spacing of the bridges also grants fascinating views of the gear train and balance.
Clearly with the release of this incredible watch, Urban Jürgensen has shown that it respects its own prestigious heritage. The 1745 Collection Reference 1140 PT Blue is a shining example of fine watchmaking and proudly doffs its hat to the founder of the company, Jürgen Jürgensen.
- Model: Urban Jürgensen Reference 1140 PT Blue
- Case: Platinum; diameter 40.00 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds.
- Movement: Urban Jürgensen Movement P4, hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3 Hz); 23 jewels; power reserve 72 hours.
- Strap: Semi-matte, alligator strap, presented on an platinum folding buckle.
- Limited edition: 30 pieces