A COLLECTOR'S GUIDE TO THE EARLY FP JOURNE
Francois-Paul Journe can only be admired for the ingenuity and sophistication with which he designed his watches. Part of the reason his early pieces are so sought after by collectors is that they really allow you to observe the gradual evolution of the brand. The proximity to this man, and what he was trying to create, was tangible. It can be engraved on the caseback or can be seen from the finishing of the dial.replica F.P.Journe CLASSIQUE watches
Having previously covered the FP Journe story before establishing its own brand, in the context of our three-part collection, we now turn to our collector's guide for the first three watches FP Journe has ever produced. We break down Tourbillon Souverain, Chronomètre à Résonance and Octa Réserve de Marche, trying to highlight their main characteristics and evolution from one generation to the next. We also wanted to detail and quantify the different variations of each model through our own experience working with these pieces, as well as the insights provided by collectors and experts.
We chose to look at these three references not only because they are the brand's first launch, but because they embody specific goals that Francois-Paul wanted to achieve in his early years. It also felt appropriate to focus on brass movement models before Journe finally transitioned to gold. These are widely accepted as the first periods in watchmaking history that best represent, for some in the collecting world, the first brushstrokes of a watchmaker.
Our attempt to provide a guide to these early models is by no means exhaustive or complete. We want to keep it updated as new information becomes available so that it can serve as a useful reference point for budding and seasoned collectors alike. It's also worth noting that while the information presented is as accurate as possible, there are exceptions and anomalies that run counter to the indications listed below. Since FP Journe was still a manual operation in its early days, the consistency of production should not be expected to the level of larger manufacturers. In fact, from our point of view, this may not even be desirable.perfect replica watches
We would also like to point out that the information shared in this guide builds on the research and efforts of others who have carefully studied these works; we would like to thank them and will always trust their research. Specifically, we would like to thank Pierre Halimi, Gino Cukrowicz, Osama Sendi (The Journe Guy), Felipe Jordão, SJX, Shawn Mehta, Anthony Kingsley and Rexhep Rexhepi. All of these are essential to put together this article.
While the three watches were released in the above order, according to Pierre Halimi, Journe's friend of over 30 years and now the brand's North American general manager, Journe wanted to release his Chronomètre Souverain first in 1999. However, he was savvy enough , realizing that he needs to prove his worth as a watchmaker before he can work on such a project. He has to offer what no one else in the industry can offer. A prime example of his pragmatism. Executing a complex tourbillon and harnessing the power of resonance certainly makes this possible. In the case of FP Journe, it certainly cannot be assumed that the tagline "Invenit et Fecit" is just a dream of the marketing team.
Combined, the three models we focus on summarize much of Francois-Paul Journe's early vision. The Tourbillon Souverain is a tribute to Breguet and Daniels, a sublimation of the pantheon of great watchmakers of the past. Chronomètre à Resonance was the watchmaker's first major attempt to conquer new frontiers. The Octa Réserve de Marche wasn't as popular with collectors as the first two for a while, but it's worth noting that it set the stage for a series of intricate models that followed.replica Jacob and Co. Oil Pump Watches
TOURBILLION SOUVERAIN It is no coincidence that Journe chose the tourbillon for his first pocket watch and wristwatch, a complication designed by Abraham-Louis Breguet to counteract the effects of gravity on the regularity of watch movements.
In this section, we will break down the models into four generations identified by collectors and scholars: Souscription, with 20 examples produced in 1999; the second, with 16 or 17 watches produced in 1999; About 60 pieces were completed between 1999 and 2001; finally the fourth generation, an estimated 220 to 320 watches were produced between 2001 and 2003. In addition to this, one should also know about the ruthenium models produced between 2001 and 2003, which were limited to 99 pieces.
According to FP Journe expert Osama Sendi (also known as The Journe Guy), who has been studying the brand's heritage for the past few years, Souscription and the second series were actually made in parallel rather than sequentially. Some Souscription tourbillons were actually delivered in 2000, later than some early second-generation best swiss replica watches.
The changes we can observe over these four generations are interesting as they mark the evolution from a watchmaker who made his own pieces individually to a more established company that can consistently repeat the same qualities. The quirks and unusual details of the earlier pieces – from the shimmer of the dial to the depth of the engraving on the case back – help tell the story. In the following sections, we would like to especially thank Felipe Jordão and Jiaxian Su, also known as SJX, for their fundamental research in the field of these early tourbillon watches, which we aim to build upon.
The early dials of FP Journe watches have always been an area of particular fascination for collectors due to their different inscriptions, colors and sparkles. The Souscription tourbillons that we have had the opportunity to deal with privately or view publicly show many of the classic gold dials associated with this model. It is understood that they all adopt this design and present their own distinctive features.
As we moved into the second generation, we started seeing white gold dials, and then in the third generation, roses were introduced into the collection. In all configurations, gold is known to be the most common dial material, followed by white gold. Rare, rose gold is the rarest variant. FP Journe also produces ruthenium-plated dials, and as part of the Ruthenium collection, it is also the only model to feature a 40mm case instead of the more classic 38mm case.RICHARD MILLE RM 67-02 Extra Flat Fernando Alonso
The earliest dials were hand-finished and had some very faint parallel scratches on the surface that were barely visible from a certain angle. Many believe that hand-finishing seems to have stopped at some point in the third generation. Quite strikingly, the early dials were also coated with a varnish to give them a shinier finish, giving the impression that the words on the dial were almost floating on top. This feature is also gone in the third generation, replaced by an overall more matte finish. As a rule of thumb, the dial gradually loses its luster and intensity and becomes more matte and soft over time.
Checking the font on the dial, you can also see the continuity between Souscription and the second generation, retaining many of the same features. In fact, a smaller font is used for the power reserve, and a smaller dot is used for the seconds hand around the tourbillon aperture.
However, in contrast to the Souscription, the second generation features a "Remontoir d'Egalité" indication at 12 o'clock. This inscription remained until the end of the series. It's worth noting that a curved apostrophe was used early on, a feature that was consistently present in the second generation, and appears to have disappeared at some point in the third.
Taking it a step further, with the third generation, the font size of the power reserve is enlarged again, almost identical to the minute track in the silver sub-dial. After that, the letters and numbers on the dial remain the same until the row stops.replica Franck Muller Vanguard watches
As we move into the third generation we also start to see some structural changes, the remontoir cock is now flush with the dial, it was round before. In fact, when looking at the Souscription or the second generation, the balance cock is usually the first thing most people think of as a distinguishing feature.
Then, as we move into the fourth generation, the size of the screws that hold the dial down shrinks. It is worth noting that the screws on the bottom cover have also changed from ordinary flat head screws to socket head screws with three grooves on the top. These screws were also retrofitted to earlier models when the factory was put into service, which is why they also appeared on earlier parts.
While fairly uniform overall, there are some subtle changes in the style of the subdials. Some have a two-tone finish with a silver bezel, while others are a more uniform white. This appears to be a continuum, with two-tone examples being more consistently characterized in earlier models, although exceptions do exist. We'll expand on this theme in the Chronomètre à Resonance section, as many of the same variants appear there.
The movement that drives these tourbillon watches is Journe's own calibre 1498. Made entirely of rhodium-plated brass, these might seem inconsistent with what manufacturers are known for today, but as a young company it was important to keep costs down as brass was more affordable than the gold he eventually transitioned to.replica Audemars Piguet
However, while the metal may not be precious, the quality of the finish is still high. While all early models were equipped with a display back, most of the movement was invisible, as the mechanism was covered by a large baseplate, finished in the classic Côtes de Genève style.
This covering of the movement may have been the result of George Daniels' influence, as watchmakers were more concerned with the functionality of the timepiece than showing its aesthetic properties. Having said that, the complexity of the movement can still be seen through the holes in the dial, with the tourbillon and remontoir on full display.
The movement has 25 jewels and a damper mechanism, as well as a linear lever escapement, and a monometallic four-arm balance wheel with four chrono weights, adjusted to five positions. The self-compensating free-spring flat hairspring is visible inside the tourbillon cage.
If you look closely at the Souscription and the second generation, you may also notice a small hole on the edge of the frame, which helps ensure that the tourbillon cage is properly balanced. Displayed through an aperture at 6 o’clock, the constant-force remontoir mechanism ensures that the energy from the mainspring does not fluctuate during winding.cheap replica watches