Extracts from the biography of F.P. Journe by J.P. Grosz
“…But why on earth did François-Paul launch into such an adventure at barely 20 years of age ? ” His past explains this decision, which at first sight seemed completely out of reach. From an early age, François-Paul was already an unusual boy, confident and a little rebellious. He was not an easy child. No one could channel his energy. And his desire to understand everything was often perceived as impertinence. This attitude resulted in many discipline problems at the schools he attended in Marseille, his hometown.
Since the normal curriculum did not suit him at all, and on the advice of his uncle Michel Journe, himself a watchmaker based in Paris, François-Paul enrolled in the watchmaking school in Marseille. Michel Journe was one of only three specialists in the restoration of antique clocks and watches, often unique, from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His reputation stretched far beyond France.
His clients consisted of museums and high-flying collectors.
After graduation, François-Paul joined his uncle’s company full time. Being in contact with the beautiful pieces being restored in the workshop, and in a very short time, he progressed in leaps and bounds. François-Paul understood that all these geniuses such as Ferdinand Berthoud, Abraham-Louis Breguet, Antide Janvier, George Daniels, and others, were driven by a constant quest for perfection. This perfection which combines technical achievement and pure beauty with timeless aesthetics. We should also remember that these men were not only creative geniuses of watchmaking, but also mathematicians, physicians, astrologers, and often unusual personalities too…
François-Paul has always had one principle inherent in his personality, which he likes to express by the phrase, “ If they could do it, I can do it better ! ”
To make a clock with complications is already a great technical feat. However, when François-Paul found the works of George Daniels, such as The Art of Breguet, on the shelves of the workshop, another world opened up to him. It is thanks to the wonderful drawings in these books that he understood how a movement works in three dimensions, its kinematics and all the various ins and outs.
It did not take him long to realise that his deep desire was pushing him towards this crazy idea – to produce his own Tourbillon watch entirely by hand.
Obviously what he had learned in school had not at all prepared him for such a massive undertaking. However, this completely crazy project fulfilled his ambitions. Therefore, it was with all his energy, all his heart, all his passion, that he embarked on the adventure. He began to scribble sketches for His Watch, tore them up, started again and yet again. He never imagined that it would take so long and be so demanding, such a heavy burden to carry, but due to his determination, tenacity, talent and desire to prove what he was capable of, he went to the end of the ‘ pilgrimage ’ that lasted five years, until the blessed day when “ as if by magic the mechanism came alive on its own after a short winding of the springs. ” He was totally mesmerized watching its mechanism work. “ And I remember continuing to admire it for almost the entire night. ”
Today, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his first ‘ baby ’, François-Paul has decided to create a series of 99 copies greatly inspired by the 1983 Tourbillon, adding to it his experience, perspective and modern technical production capacities.
“ The excellence of F.P. Journe’s creations is a process of constant renewal, always in search of that happily elusive perfection… ”
François-Paul Journe receives his first watch Prizes for his innovative watch creations that comfort him in his researches.
From then, his reputation stretches rapidly, far beyond France. In 1999, he creates an independent high Horology Manufacture in the centre of Geneva. In no time, he manages to position his watch brand as a benchmark among the most prestigious watch companies.
To celebrate 30 years of exceptional watch creations and commemorate his first pocket watch, François-Paul Journe is presenting a new interpretation of the original in the form of a wristwatch. 99 pieces only of this watch will be produced.
This wristwatch, re-interpretation of the original masterpiece presents the same materials used 30 years ago : a case in guilloche silver enhanced by 2 gold bezels in rose gold 4N.
The transparent sapphire back reveals the tourbillon movement of classic construction made in grained and gilded brass, identical to the original of 1983. Two parallel barrels distribute energy to a wheels train, arranged in the axis of the watch, which runs the Tourbillon revolving in 1 minute. The lateral pallet escapement, which is more compatible with a wristwatch, replaces the detent escapement of the original, and the winding and time setting with a key have now been replaced by the 3 o’clock crown.
Made today in the workshops of the Manufacture, the movement features high quality components, with nowadays elaborate polishing, beveling and finishings that weren’t possible at the time. It encompasses a sobriety and a nobility of first generation tourbillon movements made by the great Masters.
The movement is protected by a splendid case back cover in silver guilloche. The dial in grained silver is engraved with filled roman numerals and a steel hour circle, identical to the original tourbillon of 1983. The hours are indicated by blued steel Abraham-Louis Breguet hands, identical to those of the original pocket watch.
The limited edition of this Historical Anniversary Tourbillon will allow 99 privileged clients to be part of a chapter of the F.P. Journe’s extraordinary watch journey and thus possess a part of its history. It was presented as a Premiere on October 18 in Tokyo, also celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the first F.P. Journe Boutique.
This Anniversary commemoration is the opportunity for François-Paul Journe to present for the first time, his first pocket watch with tourbillon.
- Calibre 1412
- Manual winding / 29 turns of crown
- Movement in brass, grained and golden 3N
- Overall diameter : 32.60 mm
- Cased-up diameter of mvt : 32.00 mm
- Overall height of mvt : 5.95 mm
- Height of winding stem : 2.50 mm
- Diameter of stem thread : S1.20 mm
- Escapement 15 teeth
- 90° Anchor fork
- Balance with 4 inertia weights
- Flat Anachron balance spring with Breguet overcoil
- Fixed stud holder
- Spring pinned to collet
- Pinned GE stud
- 2 barrels in parallel
- Frequency : 21’600 VPH, (3Hz)
- Inertia : 11.00 mgcm2
- Angle of lift : 52°
- Amplitude : 0h dial up : > 280°
- 24h dial up : > 260°
- Tourbillon chronometer, revolution in 60 seconds 2 positions winding crown
- Off centre hours and minutes at 12h
- Small second at 6h
- 2 positions winding crown
- Approximately 56 hours
- Engraved base plate, grained, golden 3N
- Grained bridges, golden 3N
- Screw heads polished and beveled, with chamfered slots
- Blued screws
- Pegs with polished rounded ends
- 18K gold 4N and silver guilloche
- Double back Sapphire crystal and cover in gold and silver guilloche
- Diameter : 40 mm
- Height : 10.00 mm
- Grained silver with numbers and hour circle engraved and filled
- Blued steel Abraham-Louis Breguet hands
Number of parts
- Jewels : 19
- Movement without dial : 178
- Cased on leather strap : 220