’s mastery is evident in the look, feel, and romance of his craftsmanship - inspired by his immediate works after graduation, restoring 18th and 19th century marine chronometers and pocket watches. The earliest works of François-Paul Journe
effortlessly blend traditional watchmaking with modern haute-horology, in perfect harmony.
The Tourbillon Souverain
is quintessentially an F.P Journe
, in both its design language and movement. The Tourbillon Souverain
was the very first production wristwatch from Montres Journe
, originally made between 1999 and 2003, with a Remontoir d’Egalité,
rather than a dead-seconds complication.
Housed in a classical 38 mm dress watch case, it is made distinctive by F.P. Journe
’s signature 'flat crown’ with a rope-like pattern. The white gold dial is delicately textured, and displays a separate silver guilloché dial for the hours and minutes. The words ‘Invenit et Fecit’ are inscribed below the tourbillon (Latin for 'Invented and Made') in classic F.P. Journe
style - a nod to signing conventions of a century ago. At 12 o’clock
, a power reserve indicator of 42 hours is displayed.
This example represents the third generation of the Journe Tourbillon
, produced between 1999 and 2001 (the year of production indicated by the ‘01T’ engraving on the caseback). The third generation Journe Tourbillons
were the first to display a flat remontoire cock, continued in the fourth generation pieces, whilst retaining the large dial screws of the second generation. Compared to the second generation examples, the power-reserve numerals are noticeably larger on the third generation, more closely aligned with the font size used for the minute markings on the sub-dial. Overall, the dial layout is clean and highly legible.
The one-second Rementoir d'egalité system
is displayed in one of two large apertures on the dial side, providing constant force to the escapement, acting as a transmission and balancing system for the transfer of power between the mainspring and the escapement.
This manual-winding, F.P. Journe
tourbillon movement is rhodium-plated brass, with fausses-côtes embellishments, constructed with 25 jewels and a shock-absorber mechanism. It further features a straight-line lever escapement, and monometallic 4-arm balance with 4 timing weights, adjusted to 5 positions. It includes a self-compensating free-sprung flat balance spring. The movement is engraved 'Chronometre A Tourbillon' and 'Remontoir d'egalité'.
In 2004, Journe
began manufacturing movements from 18-carat gold, having developed the brand sufficiently to further the manufacturing process. Interestingly, it is François-Paul Journe
's earliest brass-movement pieces which command more interest from collectors. It is estimated that only 2,000 brass-movement examples were ever produced
, across all lines, and were manufactured exclusively between 2001 and circa 2004. Early brass-movement F. P Journe
pieces are highly-sought after, owing to their unique place in the brand’s history, and their exceptional rarity, and they are being earmarked by discerning collectors as ‘the ones to buy’, with such effects beginning to impact auction results in measurable fashion.
The watch comes on one of our Valletta
light-tan nubuck straps (measuring 20 x 19mm), and as a full set, with box and papers from the manufacture.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.