This year, 2020, marks the 10th commemoration of the demise of one of the greats of the advanced watch industry, Peter Baumberger. Dr. Helmut Crott, his long-term companion and originator of the Dr. Crott sales management firm in Germany , as of late sent me a recognition he had composed for the event and I requested that him for consent distribute it here, which he benevolently granted.
Crott’s accolade is underneath, however I’d prefer to initially accept the open door to share my very own story in regards to “Peter, the absolute knave,” as I will consistently (affectionately) consider him.
I initially had the delight of meeting Baumberger at his Urban Jürgensen workshop in Biel, Switzerland back in 2003 for what should be a one-hour meet. It wound up filling the entire day, including one of the paramount snacks of my life, in which the astounding food and wine was outperformed by one riveting watch story after another, interspersed by such an excess of giggling that I stressed that we may be tossed out of the restaurant.
While many may recall Baumberger for his unrivaled information on fine watchmaking and extraordinary watchmakers, his champion trademark to me was his endless feeling of humor.
I’ll always remember Baselworld 2010, when I was capturing watches in the autonomous area where Kari Voutilainen, Philippe Dufour, Vianney Halter, the Grönefelds, and Stepan Sarpaneva shared a little corner adjacent to the AHCI stand. I’d set up my little light box in the focal point of their corner and, in the wake of shooting their watches, circumvented the AHCI stand searching for some other intriguing watches I could acquire and shoot, saving me the trouble of getting together my stuff and setting up elsewhere.
While I was known by numerous free movers at that point, the AHCI watchmakers couldn’t leave their stands. I appreciated that I was requesting a ton of trust in requesting that they give me their costly and frequently indispensable magnum opuses while I strolled off far out to another stall to shoot them.
So I thought myself extremely blessed when an anxious Thomas Prescher hesitantly consented to loan me his triple-axis tourbillon. “Kindly be incredibly cautious with it,” he beseeched. “It’s the just a single I have and it took me years to make.”
“Trust me, Thomas,” I casually answered, while battling the desire to kick my heels in satisfaction at the opportunity of shooting such a treasure.
Back in the stall, my light tent was on a rack around chest tallness, and I set the inestimable (or should have been) Triple-Axis Tourbillon securely inside, at that point pivoted to get my blaze out of my camera pack on the floor behind me. I mounted the glimmer on my camera and peered inside my light tent to zero in on the watch; however there was nothing there. I looked to one side right, still indifferent, imagining that I more likely than not misremembered where I set it.
There were a couple of others in the room all in goal conversations, however no one nearby and no one giving any consideration to me. I was at this point getting stressed, checked my pockets and my camera pack. Nothing. I made a few inquiries the room on the off chance that anybody may have gotten the watch to examine it, and the appropriate response was no.
I’m not someone that alarms effectively: I’ve had two parachutes neglect to open and tranquilly thought about a potential arrangement (that worked) in the seven seconds I had prior to hitting the ground. What’s more, I didn’t feel that helped my heart rate.
But now I withered as the blood depleted from my face and my stomach began stirring. I’ve quite recently lost perhaps the most costly and most extraordinary watches on the planet. It was certifiably not a terrible dream; it was an awful nightmare!
Then I heard Peter Baumberger, who had been conversing with Kari Voutilainen on the opposite side of the room, chuckle. He was frantically making an effort not to giggle but rather couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“You knave!” I cried, more with alleviation than outrage. “You complete and utter knave!” He had seen me pivot, immediately got up, slipped the watch into his pocket and afterward plunked down and proceeded with his discussion with Voutilainen with a clear face.
He at that point hauled the watch out of his pocket and I might have kissed the bastard.
I don’t think I at any point mentioned to Prescher what had occurred. Thus, shhhh . . .
Baumberger passed on half a month later yet left me with recollections I will prize for the remainder of my life.
Tribute to Peter Baumberger (Koppingen, 1939 – Biel, 2010), companion and watchmaker, by Dr. Helmut Crott
Ten years prior, Peter Baumberger kicked the bucket in Biel. On the event of this commemoration, I might want to honor a dear companion and an unprecedented character, whose thoughts and character denoted the Swiss watch industry after the “quartz crisis.”
I initially met Peter in November 1975 during the Peter Ineichen closeout in Zürich. He was with the acclaimed Derek Pratt . Around then, Peter was one of the world’s driving sellers in classical watches. His beguiling and bona fide nature promptly intrigued me and we started a companionship that went on until the finish of his life.
Peter Baumberger will remain perpetually in Swiss watchmaking history because of his salvage and his recovery of the notable brand, at that point situated in Le Locle, Urban Jürgensen , which he procured in the last part of the 1970s. Peter played a certainly spearheading job in the renaissance of top notch Swiss mechanical watches, some time before others. As a prepared watchmaker, Peter combined front line specialized abilities with an unmistakable tasteful affectability, and he had a private information on crafted by the popular old expert watchmakers. The astounding juncture of these angles framed the establishment of his creativity.
Peter Baumberger put his entire being and soul at the removal of Urban Jürgensen, giving an incredible new flash to the brand. The horological magnum opuses delivered under his heading give testimony regarding his mission and love for uncompromising flawlessness. The Urban Jürgensen Reference 2 and Reference 3 never-ending schedules bear demonstration of his way of thinking, while the oval pocket watch Reference No. 1 “Hommage” is viewed as a contemporary symbol of customary mechanical watchmaking, both stylishly and technically.
As a last point, Peter’s examination into the improvement of a Urban Jürgensen in-house type with conventional detent escapement – a first for a creation wristwatch – is the apotheosis of his visionary spirit.
The Urban Jürgensen detent escapement development was created with Derek Pratt. Peter’s numerous ventures and very exclusive expectations of value principles would not have been conceivable without the virtuoso and the expertise of the English watchmaker with whom Peter kept up expert and well disposed ties since the mid 1970s. Prior to that, Pratt reestablished a couple of uncommon noteworthy looks for Peter, including a Vacheron Constantin pocket watch offered to King Faoud I in 1929.
As an excellent recognizer of ability, Peter Baumberger additionally helped numerous other extraordinary watchmakers in their initial vocations, including Kari Voutilainen and Jean-François Mojon. Peter had specific present for finding and advancing excellent gifts, which he at that point regularly put at the assistance of his brand.
Peter Baumberger searched to no end for a commendable replacement to lead his dearest image, and his family ultimately sold Urban Jürgensen after his passing. He kicked the bucket in his workshop in Biel on May 18, 2010 at 71 years old, with a tranquil demeanor all over and a watch magazine in his grasp. Peter left a tradition of his interminable enthusiasm for watchmaking.
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