One-On-One With François-Paul Journe

Today we’re bringing you a sneak peek at the next issue of Haute Time magazine. In our ongoing one-on-one series with our industry’s leading figures, we sat down with François-Paul Journe, founder and CEO of the eponymous F.P. Journe.

We’re going to be bringing you that full interview in the new year, but until the third issue of Haute Time hits the newsstand, here’s your preview!

François-Paul Journe photographed at the F.P. Journe boutique in New York City

On the new F.P. Journe Historical Anniversary Tourbillon:

It’s really more of a pretext. A pretext because, when I started making watches it was not advertised, as that was during a time when there was no longer an haute horlogerie industry. I was making pocket watches on order, finishing one or two a year. Then, in the 1980s, there was a renewal within the industry, and the watch industry slowly became stylish again. You can pinpoint that period because it’s when the first magazines dedicated to watchmaking began. It was a time of change, but at that time, my clients were not informed enough about my watchmaking, the complications…the watches they were buying were very simple. So I waited a while longer, and it was only later that demand from my clients opened the door to my releasing collections more publicly, starting in the 1990s. So people imagine that my company was born starting from the moment when my collections became more public. To the majority of people, my company is 15 years old. But in reality it’s 30 years old. So this anniversary is more to explain my history than just to create a watch. The watch is a pretext.

F.P. Journe Historical Anniversary Tourbillon

On the industry today:
It’s been some time since we integrated everything vertically, so that we can make nearly everything ourselves – the case, the dial, the movement, almost all the pieces of the movement. But I believe that today the luxury conglomerates have their grip on the structures of independent watchmakers. If I had to start again today where I was 20 year ago, when I had suppliers making this or that piece, I think it would be very, very difficult. To get a case today is very difficult, to get a dial is very difficult.

F.P. Journe Historical Anniversary Tourbillon

Stay tuned for the full interview in the next issue of Haute Time magazine!

Photo credit: Donnelly Marks Photography.

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