Urban Juergensen dates its history back to 1773 (although I suspect that the company initially had a different name and was re-christened somewhere along the road: after all Urban Juergensen is the name of a Danish master-watchmaker who was born in 1776, started his career in Le Locle, Switzerland, and even worked at houses of Abraham Louis Breguet in Paris, and John Arnold in London; I am still not sure whether he had any relationship with the company that inherited its name.) Soon, the brand will unveil their new hand-wound Urban Juergensen Chronometre P8 Avec Echappement a Detente, which is equipped with a modified pivoted detent escapement. Their revolutionary design significantly increases the accuracy of a mechanical caliber.
Although the pivoted detent escapement provides a mechanical caliber with an accuracy that can only be rivaled by quartz movements, its natural flaws (like low resistance to shocks) make it almost unusable in wristwatches.
Hence, until now, this type of escapement was reserved only to pocket watches and some stationary chronometers.
However, together with their master-watchmaker Kari Voutilainen and designer Jean-Francois Mojon, the German brand has managed to adapt the design for a smaller movement.
As a result, their new UJS.08 hand-wound caliber is about 40% more accurate than an average COSC-certified chronometer movement. Taking into account that the mechanisms are also built and decorated by hand, there is also a good chance that the mechanisms will also be more reliable than your normal COSC-certified mass-produced movement.
There are still no technical details, but Urban Juergensen cared to inform us that the UJS.08 movement uses a double-barrel design that allows for a power reserve of 88 hours.
Featuring traditional for the brand design with hand-guilloched solid silver dial, bold Roman numerals and modified Breguet hands, the dial sports a pair of off-centered sub-dials. The one at 6 o’clock is reserved for the small seconds display and the one at 12 o’clock is for the power reserve indicator.
According to the Swiss company, the Chronometre P8 will be available in three versions: two versions in yellow or rose gold and the third one in platinum.
Being only 42 mm in diameter and featuring elegant-looking lugs and a rather small winding crown, this is a perfect choice for those looking for a vintage-styled timekeeper with unrivaled accuracy.
The only issue of this watch is its price that will probably hover around the €100,000 points of attraction.
UPDATE 18 APR 2011: I have just been informed that the launch price for the Chronometre P8 is officially set at CHF 55,000, which makes it more affordable.
Photos: Urban Juergensen
Urban Juergensen Chronometre P8 Avec Echappement a Détente specification
Price: CHF 55,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, Caliber UJS.08, double barrels, pivoted detent escapement, Made in Germany
Movement decoration: Decorated by hand
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve
Power reserve: 88 hours
Case: Rose gold / Yellow gold / Platinum
Size: 42.00 mm
Dial: Solid silver, guilloche
Hands: Breguet-type, blued
Water resistance: No data
Strap: Black leather strap with 18K red gold or platinum buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective