Baselworld Day 2-Paul Gerber & Urban Jurgensen...

Heading back over to Hall 5 where many of my friends are up in the AHCI, we met up with Paul Gerber and got to cement a relationship begun last year in Basel by ordering some watches. Initially we'll have the Model 42 pieces arriving followed later in the year by a Model 41 which houses Paul's inhouse twin barrel caliber sporting his legendary triple synchronised rotors of 18K gold.

Paul is quiet man, who gets on with creating some of the most amazing watches, often times for others, rather than under his own name. His watches are tremendous value and knowing his work on one of the worlds most complicated wristwatches ever, I think he is highly under appreciated.

Paul and I meeting in the cramped quarters of the AHCI stand, Hall 5.

Well here are some of his current offerings:

On the left is the Model 41 with the jumping/standard secs complication together with the two Model 42 versions, the Aviator and the Synchron.

Two pics of the 42mm Titanium Model 42 with the aviator dial.

The Synchron version of the Model 42, I very much like this.

This is the caliber 42 with the wonderful synchronised triple rotors of 18K.

Here is black dialed version of the Model 41 with Paul's inhouse Caliber 41 with the synchronised gold triple rotors.

And the white dialed version of the Cal 41 with his neat additional complication, the button at 2 when pushed switches the second hand between standard sweeping motion to a jumping seconds. I love this complication!

Two views of his Cal 41 housed in a three part case made in Paul's workshop, with his synchronised triple 18k rotors to power the double barrels which give a 100 hour power reserve.

This is another of Paul's amazing work, the Skeleton Pendulette with Flying Tourbillon, essentially a desk clock of superb design by a Master Watchmaker. I am enamoured by these, and suspect others will find them rather fascinating too.

The back showing the winding mechanism and the twin barrels that provide 8 days of continuous running. The flying 1 minute tourbillon is fantastic to watch, and owing to it's size easy to see!

From here we then wandered across the aisle to where my friend John was at the Independent Watchmaker stand showing amongst others, the Urban Jurgensen watches with the Detent chronometer escapement. A first in serially produced watches. OK, let's be clear, they do not make lots of these wristwatches, but they will be produced in a series rather one off pieces. Kari Voutilainen has been involved in this project for a while and I have to say Urban Jurgensen has some of, if not the most elegant and stunningly beautiful watches available anywhere, with lovely unique calibers to boot. I have admired them for years, and see them as the sleeper micro brand. The late Peter Baumberger, the former owner was a perfectionist, and it shows. Years in the making, it is unfortunate he didn't live to see all his hard ground work come to fruition!

I challenge anyone to find a more elegant silver guilloche dialed watch! This version is platinum with blue roman numerals, with the killer Urban Jurgensen hands that they have been using for over 10 years & the killer drop teardrop lugs.

The following are the official pics from Urban Jurgensen, the lighting in the stand is terrible for my amateur skills and relatively simple camera to get decent pictures, so I defer to a professional!

The platinum pivoted detent manual wind piece, black numerals.

This year a new automatic caliber was revealed.

Another view of the platinum piece, any questions...

The detent escapement caliber, which is lovely although one cannot actually see the innovative mechanism in action, you just know it's there by the motion of the second hand, which moves a little differently than a lever escapement.

A diagram of the escapement.

A close up of the underside of the escapement which shows it in greater detail.

Well to finish this piece I am going to show you what I think is the most lovely of all pocketwatches I have ever had the fortune to handle, the superlative Derek Pratt one minute Tourbillon with remontoir in the cage. Made for Urban Jurgensen in 1987, it is my favourite piece of Baselworld 2012.

A close up for you, finished superbly all by the late Derek Pratt.

Well after that, I walked away in a sort of daze with a broad grin on my face. Where does one go from there...

Dinner that night was with one of my two favourite Irish watchmakers, John McGonigle and an aspiring new American watchmaker, whose first trip to Basel was, I think, opening up his world tremendously. We had an excellent dinner and headed back to our room happy with the days progress and the evening spent with dear friends.