Urban Jürgensen Reference 1, Yellow Gold

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The Urban Jürgensen Reference 1* was the first wristwatch produced during the revival of the brand in the 1980s, and is a wonderful representation of their aesthetics, with a classically styled dial and subtle blue features, yet fairly modern size of 39mm. Only 186 watches were produced for this reference between 1982 and 1986, with 15 later made in platinum.

The Urban Jürgensen Years

There has recently been some noise surrounding Urban Jürgensen, as Finnish watchmaker Kari Voutilainen has taken charge as its new CEO and placed his talented daughter Venla in charge of after-sales service. There was a similar excitement surrounding Peter Baumberger’s ownership of the brand, and it saw a rather prolific era of development, in large thanks to the ability of Derek Pratt.

When talking about Pratt’s involvement with Urban Jürgensen, everyone we spoke to first mentioned his dials. His engine-turning work was extremely highly regarded in the industry, even after his death. When clearing out his workshop, a drawer full of discarded dials was found. To the untrained eye they appeared perfect, yet after some serious close inspection it was possible to see the smallest of errors that someone less of a perfectionist than Pratt would be OK with. But while his dial work was extraordinary, it was far from the extent of his contributions to the brand. He would become the technical director from 1982 to 2005.