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An introductory guide to FP Journe watches

If you are new to the world of FP Journe watches and want to learn a little about them, this introductory guide to the brand may be the perfect place to start. FP Journe watches are a combination of technological innovation and watchmaking artistry. Many of the company’s watches have become beloved collectors’ items and for good reason. The brand has remained an independent manufacturer since it was founded back in 1999. These technically sophisticated timepieces stand out for their beauty, their horological complexity and their high-end materials.

Founded by François-Paul Journe, the company sits next to leading names in the industry such as A. Lange & Sohne and Patek Philippe. Within its very first year, FP Journe had developed one of its most popular and intricately crafted timepieces - the Souveraine Chronomètre à Résonance, boasting two balance wheels that synchronised with one another. FP Journe watches are innovative and exclusive. Other popular collections include the Classique line and the Elegante line.


How did FP Journe watches come to be so popular?

One of the most interesting things about FP Journe is that the brand tells the story of its heritage and journey through a series of timepieces. Regarded as the heir to British horologist George Daniels, who invented the Co-Axial escapement, Journe had once expressed his gratitude to Daniels for sharing his love of watchmaking through artistic merit rather than utilitarian. By doing so, Journe gifted him a beautiful platinum Chronomètre Souverain wristwatch.

Fascinated by 18th and 19th-century timepieces, Journe took inspiration from astronomical clocks and still does to this day. He worked closely with his grandfather and subsequently went on to collaborate with other watchmakers until the year 1999 when FP Journe was founded, coinciding with the release of the Tourbillon Souverain, which leads us to talk about some of FP Journe’s most popular watches. Ever since its birth, Journe has created all of his timepieces according to a Latin motto; "invenit et fecit”, which translates to “invented and made”. Having no desire to work with large brand ambassadors, the company remains discreet ad modest, preferring to rely solely on its own reputation to seek success. In doing so it creates timepieces for an elite circle of luxury watch enthusiasts. As a result, many FP Journe watches are manufactured in small quantities, with production numbers averaging at around 1,000 timepieces a year.


Popular FP Journe watches

The Tourbillon Souverain

The Tourbillon Souverain watch was developed during a production run that spans 15 years from 2003 to 2015. It was offered in rose gold and platinum and measured a 40mm diameter. The Calibre 1403 with a tourbillon was developed by François-Paul Journe and featured a tourbillon with a "remontoir d'égalité" mechanism, promising exceptional accuracy and precision. Put on display either through a silver or rose gold dial, the tourbillon is the star of the show in this Tourbillon Souverain watch design.

The cut-out feature or open-heart feature on the dial is accompanied by a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, enabling you to keep track of the energy levels of the Calibre 1403 accurately. The movement provides a 42-hour power reserve, enabling the wearer to keep perfect track of time overnight whilst alternating the watch with another favourite. The FP Journe Tourbillon Souverain watch also features a small second sub-dial at 6 o’clock whilst the hours and minutes appear on an off-centre dial at 3 o’clock.


Our Pick

F.P.Journe The Tourbillon Souverain

Reference: Tourbillon Souverain

Case/Dial: 40mm Stailess steel, grey

Movement: 1403, Self-winding

Strap: leather

Style: Mechanical

The Chronomètre à Résonance

In the year 2000, FP Journe released the Chronomètre à Résonance watch, which broke new boundaries in watchmaking. It incorporated a system that Journe had been working on since the 1980s. Two oscillating bodies in close proximity come to synchronise harmoniously. The watch remains the only one to operate on the principle of resonance in this acoustic way. The two balance wheels operate on two gear trains and the balance wheels synchronise like a tuning fork. These two gear trains, of course, mean two displays and two crowns.

One of the many resonating calibres produced by Journe was the Calibre 1520, which powers this watch and features a 24-hour display on the left-hand side of the dial, accompanied by a 12-hour display on the right side of the dial. Both of these displays are accompanied by a small second function at 6 o’clock. The innovative and technically sophisticated Chronomètre à Résonance watch means that you can also track the remaining power reserve of the Calibre 1520 by glancing at the power reserve indicator located at 12 o’clock.

Upholding the model’s classic aesthetic, the traditionally styled hands are made of blued steel, whilst the centre of the 12-hour and 24-hour dials are executed in a guilloche effect, adding dimension to the surface of the display. Understandably, owning a Chronomètre à Résonance watch is a very desirable thing, since the model underpins the evolution of this special innovation from the year 1983. The 40mm watch is available in platinum with a stylish black alligator leather strap, enabling it to pair well with all styles of attire.


The Octa Calendrier

The Octa Calendrier watch powered by the Calibre 1300.3 was launched in the year 2004 and portrays the next chapter to the brand’s story. It was the first wristwatch to merge the simplicity of an outsize date feature with the complexity of a retrograde annual calendar. The movement that powers the watch offers an impressive 120-hour power reserve, ensuring that if the watch was left off the wrist for several nights, it would continue to keep perfect timing without a problem.

The FP Journe Octa Calendrier watch comes in different versions. It can be purchased in a 38mm size or a 40mm size and is crafted from either 18ct rose gold or platinum. The rose gold variant has a matching rose gold dial, which makes for an exceptionally luxurious-looking design, whilst the platinum model boasts a stunning silver-coloured dial. As with all FP Journe watches, the Octa Calendrier watch was designed to look different to previous models. It certainly has its own personality, featuring a date display that runs counter-clockwise along the periphery of the dial between the locations 1 o'clock and 6 o'clock.

The stunning Calibre 1300.3 is crafted from rose gold, exemplifying the brand’s commitment to making the beating heart of every timepiece as beautiful as the case that beholds it. Also taking residence upon the left-hand side of the dial is a day and month aperture level with 7:30 and 10:30 respectively. Across the other side of the dial is where the hours and minutes can be read via an off-centre dial, with striking blued steel hands to match the date hand. A small second sub-dial nestles into the edge of this main timekeeping dial, creating beautifully proportioned features that fill the dial without over-cluttering it. The options between a black leather band or a bracelet crafted from either 18ct rose gold or platinum determine whether the watch has a more relaxed styling, or a dressier one.


Our Pick

F.P. Journe Octa Calendrier

Reference: Octa Calendrier

Case/Dial: 40mm Gold, Gold
100

Movement: Self-winding

Style: Chronograph

The Élégante

Much simpler in style but still plentiful in unique design elements, the design code of the Élégante 40mm from FP Journe boasts a flat tortue case and is crafted from either platinum, titanium, TITALYT® (a material created by exposing titanium to an electro-plasma oxidation treatment to improve its hardness and resistance to wear and corrosion), or 18ct rose gold. The model’s hour track is represented in classic-looking Arabic numeral hour markers in black. The watch is tailored towards female tastes, displaying the time on a white dial.

The design of the FP Journe Élégante watch features a small second sub-dial at 6 o’clock, yet it is the electromagnetic movement sitting inside the case that becomes the highlight of this lady’s watch. A mechanical motion sensor is situated at 4 o’clock and once it detects a lack of movement for 35 minutes, the Calibre 1210 deactivates and goes into standby mode whilst its microprocessor continues to track the time in the background. This enables the hands to relocate themselves and jump to the correct hour once movement is detected again. The result is a timepiece that offers an incredibly long battery life – one that can last up to ten years - and a further 8 years if worn in standby mode.


Our Pick

F.P. Journe The Élégante

Reference: The Élégante

Case/Dial: 40mm Titanium, white
30 mt.

Movement: 1210, Quartz

Style: Sporty

The Chronomètre Bleu

The Chronomètre Bleu watch was first announced by FP Journe in 2009 and came in a compact 39mm tantalum case. This metal has a dark blue shimmer that can be picked out from across the room. Blue shades run throughout the timepiece from its unusual case to its captivating dial and stylish blue leather strap. There is a small second sub-dial at 7:30, accompanied by a white Arabic numeral hour track that remains incredibly easy to reference at a glance. Inside the case of the FP Journe Chronomètre Bleu is the in-house developed Calibre, which boasts a stunning 18ct rose gold baseplate and bridges. The performance of the movement can be observed through the back of the case via a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass exhibition feature. The movement beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour and provides a power reserve of 56 hours once fully wound.

FP Journe watches are instantly recognisable and it is this quality, paired with the beauty of an in-house movement and many fine examples of expert craftsmanship that make every timepiece so well-loved and highly collectable. Produced in limited numbers, the Genevan watchmaker makes wristwatches for those who can really appreciate the exquisiteness of a rare design.


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