Timothy Treffry, Derek Pratt Watchmaker FBHI, British Horological Institute, 2012
Urban Jürgensen & Sønner, Company Catalogue, c. 1995
Urban Jürgensen has a long tradition of tourbillon production. The Company’s first tourbillion (numbered 101) which dates to circa 1830, can be found in the collection of the International Watch Museum at La Chaux-de-Fonds.
In 1975, Peter Baumberger and Derek Pratt took the tradition to a new level when they embarked on production of a new small series of Tourbillon pocket watches. Baumberger and Pratt, together with Albert-Piquet Benoit, Lemania’s former technical director, were convinced that the pocket watch format was the only acceptable platform to present their new Tourbillon.
No. 3060, the present watch, is the product of this collaboration and employs Derek Pratt’s one minute tourbillon with one second remontoire mounted within the tourbillon carriage. The new design marked a first in tourbillon production. Positioning the remontoire inside the carriage achieved Pratt’s goal to provide a greater rate of accuracy – the one second remontoire isolates the carriage from the wheel train and maintains a constant balance amplitude, thereby allowing superior timekeeping.
According to the archives of Urban Jürgensen & Sønner, production of the new series lasted 20 years and included just 12 to 15 Tourbillons, each made with different layouts.
The tourbillon carriage with one second remontoire, as found in the present watch, is the rarest and most sophisticated version of Pratt’s invention and as such provides the collector with a rare opportunity to acquire not just a horological Tour de Force, but an important piece of horological history.
For a discussion of these tourbillons see, John M.R. Knudsen, The Jürgensen Dynasty, p. 316 and Derek Pratt, In Breguet’s Footsteps, BHI March 2009, pp. 105-110 and fig.4.
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