Thirty-eight of the sets were made to commemorate the end of the 38mm case size, (very much the choice of the original purist) and this was the first time that any Journe dress watch (excluding a grande or petite sonnerie chiming watch), was made available in steel. Four of the five piecesin the collection, including the Chronomètre à Résonance
, have been discontinued. Moreover, the original version of the Tourbillon Souverain
had never been made with a gold movement.
This example, the F. P. Journe ‘Chronomètre à Résonance’, is in mint condition and has perfect mechanical functionality. First introduced in 1999, the Chronomètre à Résonance was the second serial production watch by François-Paul Journe.
The Chronomètre à Résonance movement is comprised of two balance wheels, inspired by a natural phenomenon called resonance. The complication is explained by François-Paul thusly, “In a watch, never mind which, there is energy which dissipates. When you listen to a watch, the tic-tac of the balance is dissipating energy. In a resonance chronometer, there are two balance wheels which are placed sufficiently close to one another, and the dissipated energy of each is caught by the other, leading to a unique type of frequency regulation.”
The discovery is said to have been made in 1665, by Dutch mathematician Christiaan Hygens, who reported that two pendulum clocks, hanging from the same mounting beam, would beat in such perfect duplicity, that the sound of the escapements were indistinguishable from one another. The concept was later researched and developed by Antide Janvier, to be refined by Abraham-Louis Breguet. Early sceptics suggested that air-resistance played a role, however, extensive testing by Breguet (the first to test a dual-train resonance watch with a double-balance system, placing rings around the balance wheels, to negate the effects of air), and more recently by François-Paul, proved this to be untrue. Whilst the concept was long established, the term ‘resonance’ was in fact coined by Monsieur Journe himself, likening the phenomenon to that of a stringed musical instrument, which resonates.
The Chronomètre à Résonance is quintessentially an F.P Journe, in both its design language and movement. Housed in a classical 38 mm dress watch case, it is made distinctive by F.P. Journe’s signature ‘flat crown’ with a rope-like pattern. The silver and yellow dial is delicately textured, and displays two separate silver guilloché dials for the hours and minutes (the two opposing dials capable of displaying multiple time zones). The words ‘Invenit et Fecit’ are inscribed below the two subsidiary seconds (Latin for “Invented and Made”) in classic F.P Journe style - a nod to signing conventions of a century ago. At 12 o’clock is a power reserve indicator of 40 hours. Overall, the dial layout is clean and highly legible.
This manual-winding, F.P. Journe caliber 1499 movement is 18-carat rose gold, with fausses-côtes embellishments, constructed with 36 jewels. It features a resonance-controlled, twin independent gear-train, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic 4-arm balance with 4 timing weights, self-compensating free-sprung flat balance spring, oscillating at a rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Further to this, a winding crown at 12 o’clock adjusts both time-zones, with a crown at 4 o’clock to synchronize the seconds’ hands..
A Collected Man is delighted to be able to offer a rare opportunity to acquire a truly iconic, collectors’ piece. We leave the final word to F.P. Journe, who on their website state “it is extremely rare for luxury watches to be cased in steel. There are very few such watches, and they reach much higher prices at auction than the same models in precious metals. This set is intended for true collectors, those who know what is rare. The combination of 18K rose-gold movements with 38 mm steel cases makes this set the rarest of all F.P. Journe’s collections.”
Other watches from the set, including the Octa Automatique
, the Octa Calendrier
, the Tourbillon Souverain
and the Chronomètre Souverain
are available in our collection of F. P. Journe watches
Viewings are available at our office in central London, by appointment only.