The ref. RT marked the 10th anniversary of the Chronomètre à Résonance, reintroducing the model with a newly designed dial layout. Using the Résonance’s independent time-setting capability, the ref. RT incorporates a 24-hour disc alongside the traditional time display, to show multiple time zones. Having been nicknamed the "parking meter" amongst collectors, the result is perhaps F.P. Journe’s most visually distinctive Résonance wristwatch, alongside the newly released ref. RQ. The ref. RT was the first of the Résonance family to win an award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie (GPHG) when it won the Best Complication Watch Prize in 2010. The reason no others before took home this award was because the GPHG was only founded in 2001, a couple of years after the first generation Résonance was released.
CHRONOMÈTRE À RÉSONANCE
The Chronomètre à Résonance RT 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 40mm rose gold case, the Chronomètre à Résonance RT represents a modern take on Journe's original, inspired design. The white-gold dial is delicately textured, and displays two separate silver dials for the hours and minutes (the two opposing dials capable of displaying multiple time zones). On the left side, a 24-hour display shows the second time zone, highlighting the hours and minutes in contrasting colours, on separate discs.
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 1499.3 movement is 18-carat rose-gold, with Côtes de Genève, 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.
This F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance RT comes with an original F.P Journe alligator strap, a bespoke Geneva nubuck leather strap with curved ends (measuring 20 x 19mm) and corresponding rose gold buckle. It's also accompanied the original inner and outer boxes, and stamped guarantee card from F.P. Journe.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.