It can be argued watches aren’t made like they used to be… I think the same debate can be had about watch boxes and their accompanying paperwork. To me, modern day guarantees – with their barcodes and holograms – fail to capture the charm of an old warranty filled out with an ink pen in cursive.
On this edition of “Full Set” we present a watch with some seriously cool packaging. And while this box isn’t as famous as the cork treasure chest housing Patek’s Nautilus of the 1970s – in my opinion – it’s just as badass.
Not only do I appreciate a solid vintage watch, but I particularly have a soft spot for old watch advertising… I love how a wristwatch was marketed to the public before the days of the Internet: The advertising in magazines and merchandising at jewelry stores, whether for an entry-level timepiece or a brand’s top-of-the-line model, were all presented regally. I mean, just look at this Jules Jürgensen Sea Diver available on watchsteez.com: a $145 stainless steel watch whose purpose was to keep accurate time underwater, yet the design and execution of its box and booklet has an air of prestige and quality befitting Swiss watchmaking tradition of the highest order.
It’s hard enough to find a vintage watch in exceptional condition, never mind finding one with it’s original box and paperwork… Just like too many old watches have been butchered by a polishing wheel or had their original parts replaced, just about all have been separated from their packaging. If you manage to score a vintage watch with all its extras – consider yourself lucky. To me, it’s like digging up a time capsule: opening the lid of an old watch case is like unlocking a door to the past – when your grail was sold at a mom-and-pop store or by mail order. Not only does a complete set give a watch’s value a bump – but to me – box and papers also elevate its cool factor – no matter the brand.
About this Sea Diver’s box: The company decked it out in luxurious fabrics and proudly adorned it with black and mint green embroidery and gold embossing – details that speak to the brand’s pedigree. And if that’s not enough to woo you, how about the sewn in skin diver – brandishing a harpoon – to class it up even more.
As you can probably tell from the name and punctuation, Jules Jürgensen has Danish origins, which go back to the 18th century. The forefathers were serious about producing precision instrumentation, so they moved the company to Switzerland in the 1800s. You can bet over the course of 200 years, the Jürgensen family tree did their fair share to contribute to horology, including refining chronometers and pocket watches. Jules and his brother, Louis Urban, received a number of awards at major watch exhibitions for their work. Unfortunately the company – and the Jules Jürgensen name – no longer exist. This signed dial, produced in the late 1960s, represents one of the last hurrahs for the firm.
I check myself before uttering or typing the word “rare” to describe a watch. However, I feel pretty-comfortable saying this watch – with its box and papers – is indeed rare. I challenge you to find another Jules Jürgensen Sea Diver this nice and this complete… With funky dive watches being all the rage in the watch collecting community, this special example deserves attention and your consideration to purchase… It’s being sold by Mr. Justin Vrakas for $495.