For its newest chronometer, F.P.Journe has chosen the mythical name Byblos – a Mediterranean city in Lebanon with a rich history and compelling story. Byblos is the very first city to be built in ancient Phoenicia and today it is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world having been first settled some 10,000 years ago. The city is in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The new F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu Byblos is created specially to celebrate the opening of F.P. Journe’s tenth Boutique in Beirut, Lebanon. The watch is issued in a limited series of only 99 pieces.
F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu Byblos boasts an open-worked dial which reveals the guilloche 18-karat rose gold base plate of the movement, inside a tantalum case. The plate is actually encrusted with barleycorn guilloche, circled by a bright blue chapter ring and it meant to represent the Sun in the blue Mediterranean sky.
A small seconds counter is placed between 7 and 8 o’clock position and that is why those two hour markers were reduced in size. On the top of the dial, at the 12 o’clock position, as a subtle nod to Byblos, the letter “J” in the stamped “F.P. Journe” logo has been replaced by the same letter from the Phoenician alphabet. To be precise, it is equivalent in the Phoenician alphabet which represents the letter “yodh” which is read as “J”. This letter symbolizes the hand which is yet another nod to the hand craftsmanship in F.P. Journe’s watchmaking.
F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu Byblos is housed in a round 39mm case crafted from a rare dark metal with blue overtones – tantalum which is highly corrosion resistant. Tantalum is not used more often in watchmaking industry because it is a challenging material to work with due to its hardness.
The beating heart of the new chronometer from F.P. Journe is a manually wound caliber 1304 mechanical movement which oscillates at the frequency of 21,600 semi-vibrations per hour (3 Hz). A hand-wound mechanism with twin barrels is capable to store enough energy to keep the watch ticking for at least 56 hours when fully wound. The movement is marked with the “Invenit et Fecit” motto, which means that the new watch like all F.P.Journe watches possess an exclusive calibre that is invented, produced, and assembled entirely in the Manufacture’s workshops in the heart of Geneva.
The Chronomètre Bleu Byblos Limited Edition timepiece comes with a tan buffalo strap with contrasting stitches. The retail price is still to be announced, but it is expected to be a little bit more than $20,000, which is the retail price of the regularly produced Chronomètre Bleu.