In order to mark three decades from the creation of his very first watch, Francois-Paul Journe and his brand are releasing a new special timepiece called Historical Anniversary Tourbillon. The archetype model which saw the light of the day thirty years ago was an entirely hand-made pocket watch with a tourbillon complication which was much more of a rarity at that point than it is the case today. A new limited edition timepiece is a wristwatch that is heavily based on that model. There are only slight differences among two special timekeepers which are caused by the development of new technologies and the fact that they are different kinds of timekeepers. New F.P. Journe Historical Anniversary Tourbillon is by all means a watch of classical beauty, timeless aesthetics and concealed complexity, since its intricate movement lays hidden behind a hinged case-back. The newcomer is launched in a restricted edition of 99 pieces and possesses the price tag of $99,000.
The First Watch Made from Scratch by Hand
Francois-Paul Journe studied horology in a watchmaking school in Marseilles and began his career in the industry by working for his uncle Michel Journe who owned a studio specialized in servicing of antique clocks and watches. These were extremely complicated timepieces made by very influential horologists which were trusted to Journe’s uncle due to his impeccable reputation as one of the leading experts in the field. During the stint at his uncle’s workshop, Journe got familiar with the works of the greatest figures of watchmaking, such as Abraham-Louis Breguet and George Daniels. Rapidly fascinated with the creation and functioning of Haute Horlogerie products, Journe decided to make his own timepiece. Moreover, Journe (who was just 20 years old at that time) decided to construct all of the components for his first creation, including every single gear used in the mechanism. After working on weekends and in his spare time for no less than six years, Journe finally finished his pocket watch with a tourbillon complication.
Homage Piece with Almost the Same Traits
The creation of the amazing timepiece from three decades ago is marked with a new wristwatch named Historical Anniversary Tourbillon which shares almost all of its traits. This watch is produced by F.P. Journe firm which he founded in 1999 and which has established itself as one of the most prestigious brands in the world of watchmaking in the meantime (among its most notable models there are Chronometre Souverain, Chronometre a Resonance and Chronometre Optimum. As it has been said, Historical Anniversary Tourbillon features many shared traits as its role model. For starters, it includes a round case made of sterling silver which is decorated with a lovely guilloche pattern on the sides and the case-back and which is supplemented and accented with a bezel made of 4N rose gold. The diameter of the case is 40 mm, while its thin profile measures to 10 mm. Just like it was thirty years ago, a white simple-looking grained silver dial of the watch includes two overlapping off-centered dials encircled with railroad tracks and coupled with Breguet-styled hands. While the larger one at the upper section shows hours and minutes and includes Roman numerals, the lower one is for small seconds and features Arabic numerals. When the dial which is protected with a sapphire crystal is concerned, the only difference is that it includes the “Invenit et fecit” inscription (Latin for “He invented and made it” which is the official motto of the F.P. Journe brand) instead of “A Paris” (meaning “made in Paris”) as it was on the pocket watch.
Understated Charm and Concealed Complexity
In a true high-end manner, the watch’s complexity is not flaunted, but in fact quite concealed. The lovely decorated rear side, pretty as it may be, is actually a hunter-type case back which opens to reveal the best feature of the watch – its highly complex tourbillon movement made in grained and gilded brass (with 3N gold) that can be observed through its sapphire exhibition section. The movement features two spring barrels placed in parallel order which distribute energy necessary to power its tourbillon complication with the revolution period of one minute. The tourbillon carriage lies at the bottom, at the same position as the small seconds counter featured on the dial. Caliber 1412, as it is the name of the movement, operates at the frequency of 21,600 vph and provides a power reserve of 56 hours once it is fully wound by 29 turns of its two-position winding crown. This flat crown, recognizable F.P Journe trait, is one of novel characteristics unseen in the archetype model, since the original pocket watch utilized a winding and setting key.
The mechanical hand-wound caliber is made of 187 components and integrates 19 jewels. It has the diameter of 32 mm, as well as the thickness of 5.95 mm. Furthermore, it includes a lateral pallet escapement which is chosen as a more appropriate solution for a wristwatch and which replaces a detent escapement featured in the original. Among other technical traits of the movement with lovely blued screws there are the use of a balance with 4 inertia weights and flat anachron balance spring with Breguet overcoil.
As expected, caliber 1412 is opulently finished. However, these embellishments are also among those traits that differentiate the new anniversary watch from the one from three decades ago, since these techniques were simply not available at the time. Its decorations include engraved and grained main-plate, polished and beveled screw head with chamfered slots, the mentioned blued screws, as well as pegs with polished rounded ends. Finally, the newcomer by F.P. Journe includes a brown leather strap which naturally was not used in the pocket watch. F.P. Journe Historcial Anniversary Tourbillon is issued in a limited series of 99 watches which are all individually numbered and available at the price of $99,000.