TEARDROP LUGS

TEARDROP LUGS
FORGING PROCESS
FORGING PROCESS

Under the pressure of 50 tons.

LITTLE BY LITTLE
LITTLE BY LITTLE

Between 5 and 8 cycles little by little the final form of a paired tear drop set is forged.

READY FOR SOLDERING
READY FOR SOLDERING

Near melting point levels required to hand solder the lugs to each case by master craftsmen.

Contrary to industrial design of lugs for a watch case, which makes them easily machine milled out as an integrated part of the case, the teardrop lugs on Urban Jürgensen’s timepieces have been individually forged, heat treated, hand polished, and individually soldered onto the watch case in a way which makes the soldering line invisible to the naked eye.

The forging requires between 5 and 8 cycles through a process where little by little the final form of a paired tear drop set is forged into shape under the pressure of 50 tons. To prevent the solid lugs from becoming brittle, it is necessary after each forging cycle to release the tension in the metal through a slow heat treatment at approximately 800 degrees with a cool off period. Small variations in the composition of the metal used means adjusting the process by experience is usually needed. This results in the initial process requires a full day of work to arrive at the basic forged lug shape, even in very small series.

The paired lugs are then separated from their base, and carefully milled and hand polished into the perfect fit for the case soldering. The process of soldering the individual lugs onto the case is secret, as the exact way of doing this requires extraordinary skills to secure a perfect soldering of the highest quality obtainable, while ensuring a perfect angle of all lugs at the same time – and with no visible soldering line. The heat level needed is close to the melting point of the used material, being it platinum or gold, and as such it is an extremely delicate process.

The resulting case design is, however, breathtaking in its sheer elegance and classic execution, but due to the difficulties and costs of the time consuming handcrafted process the technology is rarely used nowadays.

At Urban Jürgensen, it remains a treasured and iconic hallmark of distinction.