A prominent family of landowners and collectors from Geneva, the Barbier-Muellers are most famous for their eponymous museum of tribal and primitive art, which gathers a world class collection of over 7,000 pieces. Stéphane Barbier-Mueller himself has a longstanding relationship with François-Paul Journe, both as a collector and also as one of the company’s directors, hence the inception of this collaboration.
The Mosaïque was originally conceived as a limited series of ten pieces, with several of these having been set aside for members of the Barbier-Mueller family, and the remaining pieces made available to a select number of clients through F.P. Journe boutiques. Built on the foundation of the Calibre 1304 from the Chronomètre Souverain, the Mosaïque gets its name from the cloisonné motif found throughout the case and dial, which evokes the ancient art of mosaics. It is believed that Barbier-Mueller and Journe took inspiration from a similarly decorated 19th century pocket watch, once seen in an auction catalogue.
The prototype of the Barbier-Mueller Mosaïque was sold at the Only Watch in 2017, raising funds for charity, with this example being one of the ten pieces from the series. It is believed to be the only timepiece created by François-Paul Journe, since the inception of his brand, which bears someone else's name, speaking to the strength of the bond between himself and the Barbier-Mueller family.
The case and dial of this Barbier-Mueller Mosaïque are inlaid with over one hundred individual pieces of jasper, in red, black, white and green. The rose gold case was carefully engraved in order to create hollow spaces to fit these stones, which mesh together to create a flowing, colourful pattern. Whilst the rose gold case appears more restrained when viewed from the top, the sides and back of the case display the intricate collection of stones, with a black jasper even being placed on the top of the crown.
The design is extended onto the dial, with the chapter ring being made out of contrasting mother of pearl, which stands out against the minute track composed of black jasper squares. The “Barbier Mueller” signature sits discretely at 12 o’clock, whilst the “Genève” signature at 6 o’clock acts a reminder of the origins of the Barbier-Mueller family and the home of the F.P. Journe manufacture.
Concealed behind an officer’s style caseback, the F.P. Journe Calibre 1304 is fully revealed behind sapphire glass. Made out of 18-carat rose-gold, 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 Côte de Genève, circular graining and barleycorn guilloché. All screw heads are polished and all edges neatly chamfered. The inner portion of the caseback displays the Barbier Mueller Mosaïque name, as well as the numbering of this specific piece in the “0X/10” format.
This Barbier-Mueller Mosaïque is accompanied by its wooden box, also realised in Geneva by Joel Bouchet. The lid is made of Poirier wood, amboine loupe and various tones of speckled maple, recreating the motif found on the dial of the watch. The Certificate of Authenticity & Warranty is signed by Stéphane Barbier-Mueller himself, and also bears the stamp of the F.P. Journe boutique in Geneva, where it was sold in 2019.
The watch is accompanied by one of our taupe grained leather Zürich straps, as well as one of our light tan nubuck Carcassonne straps. It is also accompanied by two alligator straps, as well as rose gold deployante buckle.