Watches from Urban Jürgensen and Sønner (UJS) are known for their classic style, understated elegance, and mechanical perfection. One of their newer offerings, “The Alfred”, is no exception. This watch was named after Jacques Alfred Jürgensen, the last member of the brand’s namesake to run the company.
Created as a celebration of their new atelier – another word for workshop – this watch exudes the traditional UJS feel. It is strikingly simple, yet has the distinct look of quality. This is the kind of watch that you could wear every day without attracting undue attention to yourself – especially if there are people around that would be interested (for all the wrong reasons) in your $17,000 watch.
The first thing you will notice about The Alfred is the size. This watch is a little bigger than an average offering, measuring at about 42mm in diameter. However, other features of the watch take the attention away from the size – even if they enhance the effect. The watch is attached to the band by teardrop lugs that are hand-soldered to the steel case. This combines with the narrow bezel to create the trademark visual flow so common in watches from UJS. However, this watch differs from other offerings from the company in a few ways.
One of the most obvious differences is the dial. The dial is made of solid silver – a distinct departure from the usual material used by the brand. It has also been hand-frosted to create a perfect contrast to the simple face of this watch. The watch features a standard dial, with a 60-second dial in the bottom-center of the face. The heat-blued polished steel hands provide an accurate and clear reading of the time – quite an important feature for a watch, no matter how much you have spent on it.
The Alfred’s aesthetics suggest a carefully handcrafted piece that is not meant to stick out, but rather to reflect the buyer’s personal style. The design also speaks to indestructability, simplicity, and reliability. But how do the internals hold up to these descriptors?
This watch is powered by a hand-wound in-house P4 movement. This movement, nearly identical to the P8 from UJS, is a reliable one. The movement can be set in 5 positions, and is adjusted to temperature. In addition, it has two mainspring barrels that provide 72 hours-worth of reserve power. The Alfred also includes a stop-seconds feature for ultimate timekeeping precision.
Another interesting thing to note about this watch’s internal construction is the parts compatibility with the P8 movement. Most of the parts between the two movements are interchangeable. Perhaps UJS decided to make them modular for ease-of-construction, or quality assurance purposes. There is one significant difference: the P8 features a spring detent escapement, whereas the P4 (found in The Alfred) uses a traditional Swiss lever escapement.
The Alfred’s internal mechanics are a tried-and-true design, and they ensure the highest possible accuracy in keeping time with this watch. It must be wound every day – a function that speaks even more to the reliability of the watch. Anyone can create a digital watch, but it takes an artist to make a time-telling machine that works on a purely mechanical level. And the watchmaking professionals at Urban Jürgensen and Sønner will always deliver.
The Alfred is a great watch, and is a relative bargain for watches released by this company. It is only available at the UJS website – coming in at €14,300 (or about $17,000) before taxes. The classic look of this watch will lend an affluent vibe to whoever is wearing it.
The watch has been masterfully-constructed to be of the highest possible quality. It features a solid silver dial, and hand-soldered teardrop lugs to hold it to the fine leather band. The lacquered numbers contrast easily with the silver dial of the watch. In addition, the heat-blued hands ensure maximum readability.
Overall, the Alfred is a mechanically- and aesthetically-perfect watch that is a testament to the significant skill of the watchmakers at Urban Jürgensen and Sønner. It is a fantastic tribute to not only the last Jürgensen to own UJS, but to the newly-constructed atelier as well. If you have the extra cash, and you need a classy yet understated watch for your style needs, you should consider checking out The Alfred. Any watch from this prolific brand would be a great buy for a serious timepiece collector.