The Chronomètre Souverain
initially debuted with a 40mm case, though was also made available in 38mm shortly after. The 38mm platinum example seen here, represents arguably the most recognisable version of the Souverain. Having seen a number of variations in design since, the attraction of the original Chronomètre Souverain
has not faded, as one of the longest running models produced by the brand. In fact, according to those closest to Journe, the watchmaker originally wanted to release his time only Chronomètre Souverain
first, in 1999.
Housed within a svelte platinum case and matched by highly-refined chronometer movement, it's understated and precise.
The silver dial features a hobnail, Clous de Paris
pattern in the centre, while the outer track holds the embossed decorative Arabic numerals. The signature F.P. Journe
style hands are blued, forming an excellent contrast against the silver tones of the dial. Between 7 and 8 o’clock, is a subsidiary seconds, with a power-reserve indicator at 3 o'clock, showing 56 hours. Overall, the dial layout is cleanly designed and highly-legible.
An interesting aspect of this timepiece lies in the power reserve
, as when winding, instead of the indicator heading from 0-56, it goes the other way towards 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 on this Chronomètre Souverain
is not meant to tell you how many hours there are left, but instead how many hours since you have wound the watch.
While this piece is undeniably attractive, it is the movement that F.P. Journe
is famed for. Part of the manual-winding Souverain collection
, it is certainly independent haute horlogerie at its finest, as the in-house, Calibre 1304
is made entirely of 18k rose gold seen through the sapphire caseback. The movement has two mainspring barrels in parallel, which work together, powering the movement.
Most impressively, is the chronometric balance fitted into the movement
, which helps to provide the accuracy that F.P. Journe
has based his watchmaking around. As M. Journe
"Chronometry was invented by the 18th century English and French watchmakers, when their respective governments organised a competition that would reward the first watchmaker capable of making a timekeeper that could be carried on board a ship."
The hand finishing is expertly conducted, mixing a combination of circular graining with sunburst and wave patterns. All screw heads are polished and all edges neatly chamfered with a Côte de Genève motif on the bridges.
In 2005, the Chronomètre Souverain won the ‘Favourite Men’s Watch’ award the GPHG (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève), the most prestigious award ceremony in the watch industry. From this time, the Chronomètre Souverain has seen a number of dial variations, though its attraction has not faded. Housed within a svelte platinum case and matched by highly-refined chronometer movement, it's understated and precise.
This watch comes on one of our Stockholm straps with curved-ends (measuring 20 x 19mm) and its original platinum tang buckle. The original F.P. Journe black alligator strap is also supplied. This Chronomètre Souverain is accompanied by its original box, guarantee card (stamped in Singapore) and service paperwork from 2018 by F. P. Journe's Hong Kong Boutique.