A SUPERLATIVE WATCHMAKING DYNASTY

It is said that the time progresses in three stages that we call the past, present and future. However, the past and the future intersect each other with such intensity that hardly anything is left for the present. With lightning speed, time has been transformed and what we describe as the present is only useful to us, when we borrow a bit from both the recent past as well as from the nearest future and add them to the present.

“What is time? We surely know what we mean when we speak of it. We also know what is meant when we hear someone else talking about it. What then is time? Provided that no one asks me, I know. If I want explain it to an inquirer, I do not know”.

Augustine 354-430

It must be this inherent volatility of the present which caused people to seek methods of time measurement in an attempt to better understand its mysteries. In order to measure time and to be able to carefully examine its passage, you need a timer and so the precious luxury item of a civilized society, the town clock, marked the start of what would later, in portable form, develop into a necessary article for everyday use. So it is that the great artists of time measurement lived not only in and with time, but also in the world of time itself.

And so the story begins in the year 1745. At that time Christian VI was King of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, on this year a child named Jürgen Jürgensen was born, and he was to have great significance for watchmaking history. He was both the father of the most famous Danish watchmaker Urban Jürgensen and at the same time the founding father of the horological dynasty which was to revolutionize the outdated structures of the clock- and watchmaking craft in Denmark. Through their use of new theoretical findings and practical working methods, they subsequently achieved the highest recognition both in Denmark and Switzerland.

extract from the book The Jürgensen Dynasty

1773

Urban Jürgensen & Sønner (UJS) foundation in Denmark - 1st generation

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

1776

Birth of Urban Jürgensen in Copenhagen

BEGINNING OF RELATION WITH SWITZERLAND

1768

Jürgen Jürgensen arrives in Le Locle and works with Houriet*

*JF Houriet & fille Sophie Henriette . Musée d’horlogerie du Locle – Château des Monts (photo Schmid Muller).

Jürgen Jürgensen arrives in Le Locle and works with Houriet

INTRODUCTION OF WATCH INDUSTRY TO DENMARK

1781

Larpent & Jürgensen start Copenhagen production of pocket watches

1784

Jürgen Jürgensen appointed Court Horologist by King Fredrik VI

1791

UJS - 2nd generation

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

1798

Urban Jürgensen introduces the steel cylinder escape wheel

UJ travels to Paris to study with Breguet

1801

Urban Jürgensen introduces his bimetallic thermometer

QUEST FOR PRECISION TIMEKEEPING

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

1821

The Krusenstern Chronometer

1822

UJS - 3nd generation

1822

Urban Jürgensen announces his new, detached double-wheel chronometer escapement

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

The First Marine Chronometer for the Danish Navy

1824

Urban Jürgensen is made Knight of the Danebrog Order

1834

Production starts in Switzerland

1834-36

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

Reinvention of chronometer and precision Timekeeping

1852

Louis Urban Jürgensen awarded 2 medals at the Great exhibition in London

1860

UJS 4th generation

From 1834 to 1912 UJS wins 34 international awards

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

UJS revolutionises industrial watchmaking in Switzerland

1873

Jules Jürgensen awarded a gold medal at the Copenhagen Industrial exhibition

1874

J is made Knight of the Legion of Honor

1883

JAJ Diploma of Honour at the National exhibition in Zürich

1888

JFUJ Le Locle conferred honorary citizenship on him

1896

Jacques Alfred Jürgensen awarded a gold medal at the National exhibition in Geneva

1900

Jacques Alfred Jürgensen is awarded the "Grand Prix" at the Paris exhibition

1893

Jacques Alfred Jürgensen awarded gold medal at the International exhibition in Chicago

JFUJ is made Knight of the Legion of Honor

1912

Death of the last Jurgensen

1900

Jacques Alfred Jürgensen is awarded the "Grand Prix" at the Paris exhibition

1912-85

The last Jürgensen, Jacques Alfred, dies in 1912. Until 1979 the company is split up yet continues under various shareholders

1919

Beginning the manufacture of wristwatches

1919

Jules Jürgensen Copenhagen begins to manufacture wristwatches

1920-30

The Art Deco period for Jules Jürgensen pocket and wristwatches

1979

Peter Baumberger starts to manage UJS

1979

UJS owner grants permission to Mr. Baumberger to sign his watches Urban Jürgensen & Sønner

Peter Baumberger finally acquires the Company in 1985

1982-86

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

Worldwide patent for the new UJS house caliber with a detent escapement

Dr Crott the new UJS CEO

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

UJS ownership returns to Danish hands

Søren J. Petersen is appointed President and CEO

2014

On the eve of the brand's 241st birthday, UJS Ref. 11 C Chronometer detent escapement Central Second win's "Men's Watch" first prize at GPHG

Nov. 2014 a group of Danish private investors took over the company lead by Mr. Søren Jenry Petersen who was appointed President and CEO