F. P. Journe
Chronomètre à Résonance | Gold Movement | Platinum
This 38mm, platinum Chronomètre à Résonance RN (or Résonance Nouveau) is one of the second series of Resonance watches produced by F. P. Journe. First introduced in 1999, the Chronomètre à Résonance was only the second serial production watch by François-Paul Journe. It has since become synonymous with the watchmaker, as one of his most ingenious and recognised inventions.
This particular example is housed in a 38mm case, despite being part of the second series of Resonance watches (typically only found in a larger size). It was originally delivered in a 40mm platinum case, with F.P. Journe later swapping the case to a 38mm one, at the request of the client. This is confirmed by F.P. Journe paperwork accompanying the watch, which details the replacement of the case and case number (which differs from that on the original guarantee card). It is also powered by a 1499.2 rose gold movement, which was made during a transitional period between 2005 to 2006.
CHRONOMÈTRE À RÉSONANCE
The Chronomètre à Résonance RN movement in this example 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. Initially, unsuccessfully attempted in a pocket watch in 1983, Journe was able to hone the phenomenon of acoustic resonance in a wristwatch some fifteen years later, with the prototypes displayed at his first Basel Fair in 1999. Ever since, the model has gained a cult status among collectors. As Rexhep Rexhepi, an independent watchmaker who previously worked for Journe, put it, “When I think of Francois-Paul Journe, I think of the Resonance.”
The Chronomètre à Résonance is quintessentially an F.P Journe, in both its design language and movement. Housed in a 38mm platinum case, the Chronomètre à Résonance RN represents a modern take on Journe's original, inspired design. The white-gold 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. The signature hands form a distinct contrast to the silver and grey dial. At 12 o’clock is a power reserve indicator of 40 hours. Overall, the dial layout is clean and highly legible.
Interestingly, the power reserve indicator of this Chronomètre à Résonance is reversed from the norm, beginning at 40 and progressing to 0. This was deliberate by F.P. Journe, who borrowed this from marine chronometer clocks. The reasoning behind this lies in the idea that the power reserve indicator of the Chronomètre à Résonance is not meant to display how many hours are left, but instead how many hours have passed since the watch was wound.
This manual-winding, F.P. Journe caliber 1499.2 movement is 18k 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 synchronise the seconds’ hands.
THE TRANSITIONAL 1499.2
With the introduction of the “Gold Era” in late 2004, F.P. Journe introduced a slightly updated version of Chronomètre à Résonance known as the RN (Resonance Nouveau), or 'New Resonance'. With this introduction, all existing movement calibers were issued with new caliber codes. In the case of the Chronomètre à Résonance RN, this was referred to as the calibre 1499.2; indicating the second version of the movement.
The ref. RN used two movements; caliber 1499.2 (seen in this example), representing the change to rose-gold and later the 1499.3, to indicate a newly updated power-reserve. It's understood that few of the 1499.2 movements were made during a transitional period between 2005 to 2006 - consequently, occurring in smaller numbers than first-generation, brass-movement pieces. You can read more about this in The Journe Guy’s in-depth study.
This F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance RN comes with an original F.P Journe, black alligator strap, a blue La Rochelle grained leather strap with curved ends (measuring 20 x 19mm) and corresponding platinum tang buckle. It's also accompanied the original inner and outer boxes, stamped guarantee card and paperwork detailing the case replacement by F.P. Journe.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Brand:||F. P. Journe|
|Model:||Chronomètre à Résonance Second Series RN|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding Cal. 1499.2|
|Functions:||date, duel hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Features:||twin independent movement, guilloché hours/mins, display-back, power-reserve display|
|Crystal:||sapphire front, back|
|Strap:||La Rochelle grained leather strap; F. P Journe alligator strap with platinum buckle|
|Box & papers:||inner and outer boxes, original guarantee card, paperwork detailing the case replacement|
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