F. P. Journe
Byblos | Tantalum
Limited to 99
Limited to 99 pieces, this F.P. Journe Byblos features the unusual combination of a tantalum case and openwork dial, exposing the elegantly finished rose gold movement, with all the pieces being individually numbered on the caseback.
The Origin Story
Produced in 2014, the F.P. Journe Byblos was made as a limited series, numbered from 1 to 99. With its distinctive tantalum case and openwork dial, it was released to commemorate the opening of the brand’s tenth boutique worldwide, located in Beirut. The brand chose the Byblos name as an hommage to a city a few kilometres north of Beirut, which is the world’s oldest Phoenician port, which acted as an important cultural and commercial hub for many centuries.
The most striking feature of the Byblos is the openwork dial, something rarely ever seen on F.P. Journe watches, which usually have a more parred back design. Using the Chronomètre Bleu's tantalum case and deep blue dial as a starting point, the Byblos integrates a range of interesting and noteworthy details throughout.
The Striking Openwork Dial
The openwork dial of the Byblos demonstrates François-Paul Journe’s intention to create a limited edition displaying more than just a tweak to an existing design, which can often be the case with these types of commemorative pieces. For the very first time, the rose gold movement is exposed on the dial side, with guilloché decoration adding texture to the warm metal. A perlage pattern is also found on some of the surfaces around the seconds sub-dial, offering a welcome contrast. Some exposed jewels and mechanical components also visually reinforce the richness of the overall design.
On the periphery, the Byblos adopts the familiar blue hour circle, with Arabic numerals, found on the Chronomètre Bleu. According to the manufacture, the design is meant to represent the radiant sun standing out against a Mediterranean blue sky. Another noteworthy detail is the unusual F.P. Journe signature, which is engraved directly onto the movement. The “J” is inscribed in the Phoenician alphabet, with the letter “Yodh”, which also means hand. It also happens to the the tenth letter of the Phoenician alphabet, which is a direct reference to the Byblos being created to celebrate the brand’s tenth boutique. The “Byblos” word is also engraved directly onto the movement, below the brand’s own name.
The Unusual Tantalum Case
Housed in a 39mm case, the Byblos is one of very few watches to be produced in the rare, dark-grey metal, tantalum. With its distinctive colour and tone, tantalum is highly resistant to both corrosion and wear. It is rarely ever used in watchmaking, due to its difficulty to work with and how expensive it has become. Traditionally used in the medical and aerospace fields, the equipment needed to work tantalum needs replacing more frequently, often making the watches which integrate this unusual material all the more burdensome to produce.
Even with F.P. Journe’s own watches, tantalum is rarely used, only appearing in the Chronomètre Bleu, a small handful of unique pieces and the Byblos limited edition of 99 pieces. At just 8.6mm thick, the Byblos comfortably fits beneath a cuff, and is made distinctive by the watchmaker’s signature flat crown. The watch’s unique serial number is engraved on the caseback, in the “XX/99-BYBLOS” format.
The movement is certainly independent haute horlogerie at its finest. The in-house Calibre 1304 is made entirely of 18-carat rose-gold, and 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.
This F.P. Journe Byblos is accompanied by its original F.P. Journe inner box, outer box and Certificate of Origin. This watch comes on a Paris strap with curved-ends (measuring 20 x 19mm) and its original tantalum buckle. The original F.P. Journe beige alligator strap is also supplied.
|Brand:||F. P. Journe|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding Cal.1304|
|Functions:||time-only: hours, minutes, subsidiary-seconds|
|Features:||openwork dial, display-back, limited to 99 pieces|
39 mm tantalum
|Crystal:||sapphire front and back|
F.P. Journe beige alligator strap, tantalum buckle
|Box & papers:||inner box, outer box, Certificate of Origin|
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