Haute Time received an exclusive invitation to see the new gold dials in the F.P.Journe boutique in Paris, the French watchmaker’s hometown. The gold dials are available on the Chronomètre Souverain (below), the Octa Réserve and the Octa Lune:
It was always François-Paul Journe’s dream was to manufacture gold timepieces. Entirely gold timepieces of course. The dream started taking shape ten years ago, in 2004, when F.P.Journe introduced 18K rose gold movements for the first time. One decade later, it’s still the only watch brand to produce all movements in that manner. And the manufacture has taken one more step in its quest towards golden timepieces, by introducing three emblematic 18K gold dials, with embossed mirror numbers integrated in the dial. The dials are carefully prepared, with a finely sanded base, on top of which a proprietary F.P.Journe silver layer is then applied, before the numbers are surfaced with a diamond tool for a mirror effect. The last operation is the print transfer for the time indications and the F.P.Journe logo, which requires up to 5 successive layers for a perfect bombé shape. Pictured below, the previous iteration of the Chronomètre Souverain, with blued steel hands.
F.P.Journe is introducing the new gold dial to the Chronomètre Souverain, the Octa Réserve and the Octa Lune. All three are in keeping with tradition, featuring F.P.Journe’s distinctive engraved label, Invenit et Fecit, meaning “invented and made,” as well as the iconic F.P.Journe drop shaped hands.
The new Chronomètre Souverain (above) is a beautiful addition to the brand’s entry-level model. In terms of size, it’s a very classic, 40mm, watch with a thin, 8.6mm profile. The face is, once more, very easy to read, but it contains all of the personality one can expect from an F.P.Journe timepiece.
The watch is well balanced, with a power reserve indicator on the dial at 15h00 and a subsidiary seconds dial at 19h30. It’s a unique watch, as the 56-hour reserve counts up the hours used, rather than moving down to the “0” like a gas tank. Inside, the new Chronomètre Souverain houses the calibre 1304, a proprietary 18K rose gold calibre, invented, manufactured and assembled entirely in the workshops of the Geneva Manufacture. This beautiful calibre features gold bridges, a very rare element in the industry, which might be why it’s put in focus thanks to the sapphire crystal at the back of the watch.
The new gold dials will also be available for two models in the Octa line, the Réserve and the Lune (above). The Octa line was introduced in 2001, as a collection of mechanical chronometers offering a 120-hour power reserve. With this line, François-Paul Journe’s affirmed his brand philosophy, featuring a comprehensive collection in which all watches respect the same case dimensions, whatever the complication inside. In particular, the dials of the Octa Réserve and the Octa Lune are directly inspired by the design of the Chronomètre Souverain. Both introduced a new calibre, the Octa 1300.3, and according to François-Paul Journe, those would help clients who had difficulty reading the time on the classical Octa dial. Both watches are once again very well balanced.
The Octa Réserve (pictured above) features a small seconds dial at 16:30, a large date function at 11h30, and power-reserve indicator at 21h00. The Octa Lune (pictured below) has similar features, although the small seconds is placed at 17h00 to give more space to the Moon phase indicator at 19h00. Both are also a little larger (10.6mm) than the Chronomètre Souverain, because they house the new Octa 1300.3 calibre.
The proprietary 18K rose gold calibre was developed specifically for clients who work in offices and who don’t move their wrists enough to automatically rewind the watch. So François-Paul Journe developed a new rotor that winds in only one direction with a ball bearing system,which uses the slightest movement to automatically wind the watch.
This is the kind of attention to detail that makes F.P.Journe stand out, and earned him comparisons to the late George Daniels. For more, please visit F.P.Joune.