Once again, the independent watchmaker François-Paul Journe is acclaimed for his horological creations of exception. The Chronomètre Souverain has been awarded “Best Men’s Watch 2012” by the European Watch of the Year Award 2012.
It was said that François-Paul Journe triumphed for the integrity and beauty of this timepiece. The competition was organized by 00/24 WatchWorld and 00/24 Horloges. For this occasion, all major watch brands met at the London May Fair Hotel at the first ceremony promoted by this organization. The members of the jury had to judge over 100 nominated watches in four men’s watch categories and one category of ladies’ watches.
The winners in the five categories were:
Category 1, men’s watches up to £2,500: MeisterSinger Perigraph Anthracite
Category 2, men’s watches from £2,500 to £8,500: Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000
Category 3: men’s watches from £8,500 to £21,000: F.P. Journe Chronomètre Souverain.
Category 4: men’s watches over £21,000: A. Lange & Sohne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite.”
Category 5: women’s watches: Zenith El Primero 36,000
This award is a considerable achievement for François-Paul Journe who was born inFrancewhere he started making watches. After that he moved toGenevawhere he joined the AHCI (AcademyofIndependent Creative Watchmakers) in 1986.
“We are proud to be once again awarded for the Chronomètre Souverain”, said William Asprey, the exclusive retailer for F.P.Journe inEnglandwhile collecting the prize. “Usually known for his innovative complications and numerous distinctions, F.P.Journe is happy that the Jury understood that to make a simple but perfect watch was not an easy task. He has succeeded an antithesis of complicated watch making with this precision chronometer. Thank you”, he concluded.
The interesting fact about F.P.Journe is that this company makes approximately 800 watches per year, most of which are sold out a year before they actually appear. The Swiss high-end watchmaker often develops new movements, as well as inventing completely new systems, like the resonance chronometer. The motto of the company, Invenit et Fecit (Latin for “I invented it, and I made it”) symbolizes that the company builds the entirety of the watches.
The Chronomètre Souverain
The Chronomètre Souverain was inspired by the early 19th century marine chronometers. The watch is powered by the in-house developed and manufactured Caliber 1304 manually wound mechanical movement with some inventive features, such as the large balance that increases accuracy, concealing the link with the gear train and the unusual mounting of the escapement.
The twin-barrel movement works in parallel to deliver abiding power for most of their 50-hour indicated reserve that counts hours used rather than remaining. It is a very slim mechanism that oscillates at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. The connecting train has been placed under the dial, leaving only the centre wheel to emphasize the isolation of the balance.
The Chronomètre Souverain features a silver dial with outstanding guilloché on its central part and a hobnail pattern, clous de Paris. Its uncluttered dial exudes simplicity by only telling the time. A power reserve indicator is displayed at the 3 o’clock and it shows zero when it is fully wound. As the hours pass, it shows the elapsed time from when the watch was last wound. The seconds sub-dial is situated between 7 and 8 o’clock positions.
If you look carefully, you will see that Roman numerals which are closest to the sub-dial are a little bit smaller and the weight of the font is lighter than those placed on the other parts of the dial. The hands are crafted from blued steel. The brand’s name and the customary signature ‘”Invenit et Fecit” are located below the numeral twelve.
The Best Men’s Watch 2012 in category 3 is housed in a round case with the diameter of 40mm. Either platinum or red gold case is only 8.6mm thick, but it leaves the impression on the wrist of reassuring weight and solidity. The highly polished case incorporates a charming crown with a recherché rope like a pattern facilitating grip.
The case back has a sapphire crystal that reveals the mechanism, so you can see the inner beauty of the watch. Depending on a model, the watch is priced in a range from approximately $28,500 (gold model) to $34500 (platinum model).
The last thing I should mention is that the watch comes with a comfortable crocodile strap ending with an 18-karat gold buckle which also bears the F.P. Journe signature.