The Chronomètre à Résonance movement in this example is comprised of two balance wheels, inspired by a natural phenomenon called resonance. The term 'resonance' was coined by Journe, likening the phenomenon to that of a stringed musical instrument, which resonates. He explains the principles behind this complication: “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.”
Journe had previously attempted to put this complication into a pocket watch in 1983, but he didn't succeed. 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.”
At 40mm, the watch is further distinguished by its ruthenium-coated dial. The charcoal grey surface is delicately textured, giving the dial a mixture of tones and added depth. The ruthenium plating reflects light differently, transitioning to a smokey, silver hue from different angles. Two separate silver guilloché dials show the hours and minutes, with the two opposing dials capable of displaying multiple time zones. The words ‘Invenit et Fecit’ are inscribed below the two subsidiary seconds (Latin for ‘Invented and Made’ or more literally 'Designed and built by F.P. Journe') in classic F.P. Journe style - a nod to signing conventions of a century ago. A power reserve is shown at 12 o'clock, and is reversed, beginning at 40 and moving toward 0. This was a deliberate choice on Journe's part, as he borrowed this idea from marine chronometer clocks, with the power reserve showing how many hours have passed since the watch was wound instead of how many hours are left.
This manual-winding, F.P. Journe caliber 1499 movement is ruthenium-coated brass, 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.
In 2004, Journe began manufacturing movements from 18-carat gold; however - interestingly - it is François-Paul Journe’s earliest brass-movement pieces that command more interest from collectors. It’s estimated that only 2,000 brass-movement examples were produced, across all lines, and were manufactured exclusively between 2001 and circa 2004. These earlier F. P Journe pieces are highly sought-after, owing to their placement within the brand’s history and rarity. The Ruthenium Series only enhances these qualities, using the light-absorbing dark metal to create a unique aesthetic.