F. P. Journe Chronomètre Souverain, Black Label, Platinum


Brand: F. P. Journe
Model: Chronomètre Souverain Black Label
Movement: manual-winding Cal. 1304
Case material: platinum
Case size: 40 mm
Crystal: sapphire
Bracelet/strap: black alligator strap from F. P. Journe with tang buckle
Functions: power reserve, hours, minutes, sub-seconds
Features: guilloche dial, display-back
This limited edition, platinum F.P. Journe Chronomètre Souverain Black Label is from 2009, in excellent condition and has perfect mechanical functionality. The Black Label series by the independent watchmaker F. P. Journe was exclusively available to existing F.P. Journe clients. 

This Chronomètre Souverain is quintessentially an F.P Journe in both its design language and movement. Housed in a classical 40mm dress watch case, it is made distinctive by F.P. Journe’s signature ‘flat crown’ with a rope-like pattern. The black dial is engine turned in the centre with a hobnail, Clous de Paris pattern, while the outer track holds the white, embossed decorative Arabic numerals. The signature F.P. Journe style hands form a nice contrast to the black dial. Between seven and eight o’clock is a subsidiary seconds and at three o’clock is a power reserve indicator of 56 hours. Overall, the dial layout is cleanly designed and excellently 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 have passed since you wounded the watch.

While this piece is undeniably attractive, it is the movement that F.P. Journe is famed for. 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. 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, this watch won the ‘Favourite Men’s Watch’ award the GPHG (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève), the most prestigious award ceremony in the watch industry. 

This watch comes with a black F.P. Journe alligator strap and tang buckle. It has almost no traces of wear, with the exception of minor scratch on the caseback (external to the display back above the word "chronomètre"). 

Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
Year: 2009
Lug/buckle width: 20/19mm
Condition: A+
Warranty: 12 months full
Box: original box
Paperwork: original papers
Availability: now
UK Delivery: free next day
Overseas delivery: 3-5 working days
Returns: 14 days
Price: £23,000