Article contentHeading 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 and I meeting in the cramped quarters of the AHCI stand, Hall 5.
Well here are some of his current offerings:
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!
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.
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.