F. P. Journe is continuing its tradition of releasing special titanium and rose gold watches for the anniversaries of its boutiques around the globe. The latest model of this kind is the limited version of one of its most important watches – Centigraphe Souverain. The award-winning piece is known for its original chronograph function that is supposed to enable the measurement of the elapsed times with the precision up to 1/100th of a second. Moreover, it is theoretically capable of measuring extremely high speeds, even up to 360,000 km/h. The anniversary model with a ruthenium dial with red accents and three sapphire sub-dials marks the tenth anniversary of the brand’s boutiques. It has just become available in Tokyo and Hong Kong at the price of around $63,500.
The Swiss watchmaker, F.P. Journe, has an interesting concept of marking its anniversaries, or to be more precise, the jubilees of its official shops around the world. For these occasions, the brand prepares special versions of its models. As it is common, each of these anniversary pieces is set in a housing made of titanium which features several details in rose gold, just like it is the case with the most recent model we are now talking about. Among the golden details visible on its case and dial, there is also the ergonomically designed rocker that engages and stops the chronograph, the recognizable feature of Centigraph Souverain.
Exclusivity of the Anniversary Pieces
The celebratory model has just become available in the boutiques in China and Japan (the former is supplied with 20 models, while the latter one has only ten). As it is common, other shops around the globe will get their own limited editions of the piece once they are also in the tenth year of their existence. These pieces are available only during the anniversary year which raises their exclusivity even further. The next year, there will be editions for Geneva and Boca Reton. One year later, celebratory Centigraphe Souverain editions will hit the boutiques in Paris, Beijing and New York. Even later, its specifically marked versions will be available in Bal Harbour, Miami, Los Angeles and Beirut. It is expected that most of them will be restricted to the same number of copies like in Tokyo, so the total number of models in the limited edition should be somewhere around 100.
The Legendary Model with the Golden Hand Award
The tenth anniversary of the boutiques of this relatively young manufacturer is certainly a special event, so it comes as no surprise that the brand opted to use one of its most iconic models to mark it. Centigraph Souverain which was selected for the 10 year jubilee won the grand prize – The Golden Hand Award – at the GPHG 2008. The fact that it got the top prize at the most relevant award ceremony in the world of horology says a lot about the technical superiority of the watch.
The inspiration for the creation of the model was the contact of the brand’s founder with the legend of automotive racing, Jean Todt. What followed marks the milestone in the history of the brand and the watchmaking industry itself. F.P. Journe’s desire was to make a piece that would be able to keep track of extreme speeds. The founder of the brand and his team were able to do that, despite the fact that Centigraphe Souverain features the movement which ticks at the frequency of 3 Hz, meaning that its hand moves only six times every second. However, it is possible to stop the chronograph hand even between six movements, which theoretically allows extremely precise measurements for its stop feature.
Furthermore, the piece is also supposed to keep track of extreme speeds. The solution for this problem is quite simple. It measures the elapsed time for each kilometer passed and, in the combination with the featured tachometric scales, it tells the correct speed.
Three Counters and Several Patents
F.P Journe Centigraphe Souverain features three chrono sub-dials, each made with a seconds hand. The first one, on the ten o’clock position, features a flying pointer which completes a full revolution every second. It is paired with the scale which is divided into hundredth parts of a second. For the second one (which stands at the nine o’clock position and which has outer and inner tachometer scales for odd and even numbers, respectively), the period of rotation is 20 seconds. The bottom counter has a hand which completes a circle in 10 minute. It has a tachometric scale where speeds correspond to 20-second markers.
The model which was selected to mark the decade of the brand’s boutiques features several patents. One of them is the rocker at the side of the case which replaces the common push-pieces that are used to start, stop and reset the stop watch feature. Once it is pushed, the rocker rotates the column-wheel of the chronograph.
Furthermore, there is also the patented mechanism with a single mainspring that unwinds at both of its ends, which separates the chronograph from the basic timekeeping feature of the watch. This is important because it guards the steadiness of the amplitude of the balance even when the stop watch is activated.
The manually-wound in-house movement of the watch has the power storage which lasts for more than four days if the chronograph is not activated. If it is, the reserve lasts for a day.
F.P Journe Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire is set in a round housing which is 40 mm wide. The case includes 18 K red gold crown and rocker, as well as sapphire crystals on both its sides. The one on the back reveals the movement which is also made in 18 K rose gold. Once again, the same noble metal is used for the central hands, the Arabic numerals, and hour markers on the gray face of the piece. The wristlet of choice is a burgundy alligator leather strap.
As the brand has announced, the price of the limited edition watch (whose each copy is individually numbered and made with the engraving of its assorted boutique location) is $63,250 without the VAT.