Baselworld Day 3-Urban Jurgensen & Son and Heritage Watch Manufactory

Most improved might go to Urban Jurgensen, the late Peter Baumberger's baby for the past decades, which has now a new owner, Dr. Helmut Crott and now the watchmaking power house of Kari Voutilainen & Jean Francois Mojon. Previously the great Derek Pratt, masterminded the development of the new Caliber 8, with it's detent escapement, it is now being developed for series production in their new watches and should be available soon for collectors.

Here are some images of the new pieces:

I love this chocolate guilloche dial in the red gold case!

Here we have a steel version:

The UJS Cal 8:


I have followed with much interest the exploits of a watchmaker from Germany, Karsten Fraessdorf, whom I first came across with Marc Brogsitter back a mere 2 years ago in Basel. Mr. Brogsitter is an avid collector and attorney in Switzerland, who contracted Mr. Fraessdorf to design and build his movements. The watches I saw were prototypes in superb vintage "Patek/Vacheron" looking rectangular cases with 1930's dial designs. From there he was involved in FDMN, a brand building watches in Brionne, France, who also was involved in a much anticipated Chronoswiss collaboration, designated as the Sauterelle.

Moving on the the present, Mr. Fraessdorf is now the technical man behind the concept & design of the chronometer calibers of the Heritage Watch Manufactory, a privately held company based in Neuchâtel. Here he continues on his quest for technically superior, classically designed manual wind calibers, that have superb chronometric performance for the connoisseur. His first three calibers are found in watches designed by a name familiar in watch circles, Eric Giroud. The Magnus and the Tensus are simple, yet classic wristwatches, that convey a feeling of tremendous quality together with a precision engineered in house caliber. Those that admire and value precision and very high chronometric performance will find these compelling. The third watch is a version of the Magnus, the Centenus, with an additional Chinese time measuring capacity. The day is subdivided into 100 units, this watch shows this.

Here is the Tensus, Cal 880:

And a close up:

And the Magnus:

This is the Cal 888, which is found in the Centenus.

In finishing, I was most interested to meet Karsten, and find out about these superb watches with his precision engineered calibers. He took his time to explain to me many of the technical aspects, patented, of his designs, from the "Vivax" balance wheel to the Constant Force escape and even the power reserve, that uses a differential to measure the power reserve without using up any power from the mainspring.

For those of you who are technically minded and find the movement designs interesting and fascinating will certainly enjoy his improvements to basic aspects of a mechanical caliber in order to improve accuracy.