The Origin of the Vagabondage
The story of the Vagabondage starts in 1995, before Francois-Paul Journe established his own manufacture, when he was approached by a French watch collector, who asked him to create a wandering hours watch. Since this would require the development of a new movement, which was time-consuming and expensive, M. Journe asked the client if he would be open to doing the watch as a series, rather than a one-off pièce unique.
The client was agreeable, and a rather large brand, rumoured to be Cartier, was approached. Unfortunately, the brand in question pulled their interest from the project as soon as the first prototype was completed. Some years later, ahead of their 30th anniversary charity auction, Antiquorum approached M. Journe, asking him to create a special watch to be auctioned off at their anniversary sale. As M. Journe himself recounts,
"[...] it was then that I felt that this was the right time to bring my watch with the vagabond hours out from my drawer and give it to the world. Thus, was born the Vagabondage.”
Three tortue-shaped, jumping-time Vagabondage
watches were created for the auction, in red, white and yellow gold. Upon an enthusiastic public reception of the pieces, M. Journe decided to produce a small batch of sixty-nine Vagabondage I watches, first released in 2004.
The Vagabondage I
is a jumping hour watch, featuring an unusual display. A white window, printed on a transparent disk, highlights the correct hours on a black disk, which displays the hours in F.P. Journe’s
signature font. The Sincere Watch
logo is decoratively repeated in between the hour numerals.
Both disks travel around the dial, pointing the minute on a classical track on the periphery. The result is simple and legible, yet technically challenging. Prominent in the middle of the dial is the regulating organ, which oscillates at a rate of 21,600 A/h.
The Vagabondage I
is housed in a svelte, 42 x 34 mm ‘tortue’ case, made distinctive by its unconventional shape and elegant profile - measuring 7.2mm in thickness - and vertically-brushed, flat bezel.
The manual-winding, in-house Cal. 1504 is made entirely of 18-carat rose gold, visible through the sapphire display back. The movement is expertly hand-finished, combining circular graining with sunburst patterns. The screw heads are polished and neatly chamfered, with horizontal Côte de Genève motif on the bridges. The barrel bridge is engraved with the Sincere motif, celebrating the collaboration between manufacture and retailer.
This special edition, platinum Vagabondage I is accompanied by its original boxes and Certificate of Origin, which confirms the serial number though is undated.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.