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The Legacy

Our story starts in 1745 with the birth of Jürgen Jürgensen in Copenhagen, founder of the watchmaking dynasty which still bears his name. Jürgen’s son, Urban Jürgensen (1776 - 1830), quickly followed in his father’s footsteps. After being apprenticed at such extraordinary watchmakers as Breguet in Paris and Arnold in England, Urban steered the Jürgensen brand to new heights. King Frederick VI of Denmark granted him a Royal Appointment to supply the Court with watches and the Danish Admiralty with chronometers, and in 1815 Urban was even admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Science, the first craftsman to be honoured in this way. 

Urban’s two sons, Jules-Frederik and Louis Urban, continued the family tradition. Jules studied in Switzerland and moved to Le Locle, while his brother Louis remained in charge of the factory in Copenhagen, giving the company a base in both countries it has maintained ever since. Such was the innovation and excellence of Jürgensen’s output that the company exerted a tremendous influence on the watchmaking industry of Le Locle, and indeed the entire Canton of Neuchatel, introducing the latest techniques from around the world. As a result, Jules Jürgensen was honoured in 1864 with a Gold Medal by the Canton of Neuchatel for his efforts in precision horology and betterment of Swiss Industry.

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After the death of the last watchmaker in the family, Jacques Alfred Jürgensen, in 1912, the company passed through several hands. Despite these changes the name Urban Jürgensen always possessed a very particular cachet, testimony to its reputation amongst watch aficionados.

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Our collection embodies our unswerving commitment to quality and brings to perfection our groundbreaking UJ-P8 movement, the world’s first to use a chronometer escapement. The result connects the marine chronometers and clocks made by Urban Jürgensen in the 18th and 19th centuries to watchmaking in the 21st. As so often in the Urban Jürgensen story, our past defines our present.

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In 2014, Urban Jürgensen won its first prize at The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) Men’s Watch category with the Reference 11C Chronometer Detent Escapement Central Second.


The History
1745               Jürgen Jürgensen born in Copenhagen
1759-1765     Jürgen Jürgensen apprentice to Johan Jacob Lincke
1766-1772     Jürgen Jürgensen travels through Europe as a journeyman
1768               Jürgen Jürgensen arrives in Le Locle and works with Houriet
1776                Birth of Urban Jürgensen in Copenhagen
1781                Larpent & Jürgensen start Copenhagen production of pocket watches
1784               Jürgen Jürgensen appointed Court Horologist by King Fredrik VI
1797               Urban Jürgensen arrives in Le Locle to study precision timekeeping with Houriet
1798               Urban Jürgensen introduces the steel cylinder escape wheel. UJ travels to Paris to                         study with Breguet
1799               UJ travels to London to study with Arnold
1801               Urban Jürgensen introduces his bimetallic thermometer
1804              Urban Jürgensen publishes his book "General principles concerning timekeeping by                         clocks and watches"
1810               Urban Jürgensen starts the production of marine chronometers. UJ awarded the                         Danebrog Order
1815               Urban Jürgensen accepted into the Royal Danish Academy of Science
1818               Supply of marine and deck chronometers to the Royal Navy
1822               Urban Jürgensen announces his new, detached double-wheel chronometer                         escapement
1824               Urban Jürgensen is made Knight of the Danebrog Order
1830               Urban Jürgensen dies and his two sons Louis Urban and Jules continue the                         company under the name UJS. LUJ makes his first marine chronometer
1834-1836    Jules Jürgensen introduces precision horology and quality improvements into the                         manufactures of Canton Neuchâtel, settling permanently in Le Locle. Start of "Jules                         Jürgensen Copenhagen"
1836               UJS receives Grand Medal at the Copenhagen Industrial Exhibition
1850               Victor Kullberg and Moritz Grossmann work for Louis Urban Jürgensen
1852               Louis Urban Jürgensen awarded 2 medals at the Great exhibition in London
1860               Hans Christian Andersen visits Jules Jürgensen in Le Locle
1867               Jules Jürgensen patents his handsetting mechanism. Jules Jürgensen honored in                         Canton Neuchâtel for his efforts on precision horology and betterment of Swiss                         Industry. JJ is awarded the Gold Medal for his watches at Paris 1867 World's Fair
1871                Jules Jürgensen awarded a gold medal at the Maritime exhibition in Naples
1873               Jules Jürgensen awarded a gold medal at the Copenhagen Industrial exhibition
1874               Jules is made Knight of the Legion of Honor
1883               Jacques Alfred Jürgensen Diploma of Honour at the National exhibition in Zürich
1893               Jacques Alfred Jürgensen awarded gold medal at the International exhibition in                         Chicago
1896               Jacques Alfred Jürgensen awarded gold medal at the National exhibition in Geneva
1900               Jacques Alfred Jürgensen is awarded the "Grand Prix" at the Paris exhibition
1912                The last Jürgensen, Jacques Alfred, dies in 1912. Until 1979 the company is split up                          yet continues under various shareholders
1919                Jules Jürgensen Copenhagen begins to manufacture wristwatches
1979                UJS owner grants permission to Mr. Baumberger to sign his watches Urban                          Jürgensen & Sønner. Peter Baumberger finally acquires the Company in 1985
1982-1986     Peter Baumberger presents the Ref.1 Calender Chronograph on the market of which                          186 will be produced. Derek Pratt worked for UJS until his death in 2009
1990                Peter Baumberger presents the Ref. 2 Perpetual Calendar wristwatch of which 122                          Gold and 50 Platinum will be produced. In the following decade, he expands the                          collection with models Ref. 3 to Ref. 10
2009               A prototype wristwatch P 8 with the patented detent escapement is presented for                          the first time at Baselworld. Peter Baumberger passes away a year later
2011                 UJS Ref. 11 C Chronometer detent escapement awarded first prize at the                          international trade show SIAR in Mexico. Dr. Helmut Crott becomes the owner of                          UJS and JJ
2012                UJS and Jules Jürgensen Copenhagen under the same roof
2013                First limited series of the new detent escapement movement is presented at                          Baselworld. Four centuries of watchmaking in two countries is presented in John                          Knudsen’s book "The Jürgensen Dynasty"
2014                On the eve of the brand's 241st birthday, UJS Ref. 11 C Chronometer detent                           escapement Central Second wins "Men's Watch" first prize at GPHG. November                           2014, a group of Danish private investors took over the company lead by Mr. Søren                           Jenry Petersen who was appointed President and CEO


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