F. P. Journe
Vagabondage III | rose gold
Limited to 68 pieces, this rose gold Vagabondage III is one of the more unusual limited edition pieces created by François-Paul Journe. It combines jumping hours and seconds, which creates a visually dynamic appearance, integrated within a distinctive tortue-shaped case.
The Story of the Vagabondage
The story of the Vagabondage starts in 1995, before Francois-Paul Journe established his own manufacture, when he was approached by a French watch collector, who asked him to create a wandering hours watch. Since this would require the development of a new movement, which was time-consuming and expensive, Journe asked the client if he would be open to doing the watch as a series, rather than a one-off pièce unique.
The client was agreeable, and a rather large brand, rumoured to be Cartier, was approached. Unfortunately, the brand in question pulled their interest from the project as soon as the first prototype was completed. Some years later, ahead of their 30th-anniversary charity auction, Antiquorum approached M. Journe, asking him to create a special watch to be auctioned off at their anniversary sale. As M. Journe himself recounts,
“It was then that I felt that this was the right time to bring my watch with the vagabond hours out from my drawer and give it to the world. Thus, was born the Vagabondage.”
Three tortue-shaped, wandering-time Vagabondage watches were created for the auction, in red, white and yellow gold. Upon an enthusiastic public reception of the pieces, M. Journe decided to produce a small batch of sixty-nine Vagabondage I watches, first released in 2004. The Vagabondage II and III were then subsequently released, in 2010 and 2016.
The Vagabondage III
Released in 2016, the Vagabondage III is the third and last in Journe’s series of Vagabondage watches. When it was released, it was the first ever wristwatch in the world to feature a jumping digital seconds indication. It was limited to 69 pieces in platinum, 68 pieces in rose gold and 10 pieces in a diamond-set platinum case. François-Paul Journe decided to design and produce an entirely new movement for these 147 pieces, which hasn't been used in any other of his watches, speaking to the watchmaker's dedicated approach to limited editions.
The Vagabondage III is the most mechanically and visually complex piece in the series of three pieces, integrating jumping seconds for the very first time. The smoked sapphire crystal dial exposes the dynamic workings of the movement, whilst helping with legibility. At six o'clock, the jumping seconds are the focal point of the design, appearing to be in almost constant motion. The disk on the right, which jumps every second, drives the disk on the left, which moves every ten seconds. This design integrates a one-minute remontoire d'égalité system in the movement gear train, which manages the energy needed to rotate the disks.
The hour window appears at 10 'clock, with the minutes indicated thanks to a traditional hand which rotates around the dial. A power reserve indicator also discretely sits in the top right corner. The complex sapphire display is framed by an outer section with Journe's signature exposed screws on display. Rather curiously, none of the pieces from the Vagabondage series feature the watchmaker’s name on the dial, setting these further apart from his other watches.
The Vagabondage III is housed in a svelte tortue-shaped case, which is made distinctive by its unconventional shape and vertically-brushed, flat bezel. It is believed that this shape was directly inspired from vintage Cartier pieces, as the brand is rumoured to have commissioned the original Vagabondage project. The case measures 42mm by 34mm, which is complemented by a thin 7.84mm profile. The unique serial number is engraved on the back in the "XX/68-VIII" format.
The manual-winding, in-house Caliber 1514 is made entirely of 18-carat rose-gold, visible through the sapphire case-back. The movement has a flat balance spring and anchor escapement, beating at 21,600 A/h. The hand-finishing is expertly conducted, combining circular graining with sunburst patterns. The screw heads are polished and neatly chamfered, with horizontal Côte de Genève motif on the bridges. The movement is engraved “Vagabondage III”.
This F.P. Journe Vagabondage III comes with an original F.P. Journe alligator strap, one of our Stockholm grained leather straps, and corresponding rose gold F.P. Journe buckle. It's also accompanied the original inner and outer boxes, and Certificate from F.P. Journe, signed by the watchmaker himself.
|Brand:||F. P. Journe|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding Caliber 1514|
|Functions:||jumping hours, jumping seconds, power reserve|
45.2 x 37.6 x 7.84mm rose gold tortue case
|Crystal:||sapphire front and back|
|Strap:||Stockholm grained leather strap, F.P. Journe alligator strap, rose gold buckle|
|Box & papers:||inner and outer boxes, F.P. Journe Certificate|
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