F.P. Journe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XI Geneva Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: F.P. Journe
    Year: 1999
    Case No: 14/20
    Model Name: Tourbillon Souverain "Souscription"
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 1498, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by undated Souscription contract detailing the purchase of the watch signed by F. P. Journe, two additional F.P. Journe leather straps, product leaflet, two technical printouts, polishing cloth, fitted wooden presentation box and outer packaging

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is interesting to see than in less than 20 years, François-Paul Journe has established himself as one of the most prominent living watchmakers, and his creations coveted by collectors the world over.

    Journe likes to joke that he might have been a butcher if his cousin were not the head of the watchmaking school of Marseilles. The truth is, after having been expelled from school, his parents placed him in the watchmaking program headed by his cousin. As a result of his aptitudes, Journe continued his studies in Paris joining his uncle’s restoration workshop following his graduation, where he got the opportunity to restore some of the most important timepieces in horological history. In 1985 he set up his own workshop creating bespoke pocket watches for top collectors.

    Fascinated by tourbillon watches, Journe decided to transpose Abraham-Louis Breguet’s invention into a wristwatch but also to improve it via the addition of a remontoire system - a constant force device used to provide an equal amount of energy disregarding the winding level of the mainspring, thus resulting in greater accuracy and amplitude. The first prototype was made in 1991 and to finance his project and create a version that would be commercially available (ultimately launched in 1999) Journe used a subscription system for his first twenty tourbillon wristwatches, each individually numbered on the dial and offered to his close friends and clients.

    The present tourbillon bears number 14/20, and not only is it offered in excellent condition, it furthermore comes with the original souscription contract as well as technical drawings, signed by Journe himself, thus providing an intriguing insight into the early days of what is today considered one of the foremost independent watchmakers.

    To own one of Journe’s subscription tourbillons equals to owning a piece of horological history. It is an opportunity that rarely presents itself as the present model is just one of a handful to ever grace the international auction market.

  • Artist Biography

    F.P. Journe

    Swiss • 1999

    Founded by watchmaker François-Paul Journe in 1999, the F.P. Journe brand is relatively young, but already is as highly regarded by collectors as many distinguished manufacturers with centuries-old heritage. In the minds of the world's savviest collectors, Journe is producing some of the finest wristwatches the market has ever seen. Mastering his craft from restoring historical timepieces, he was the first to create a wristwatch incorporating two escapements that benefit from the phenomenon of resonance — the Chronomètre à Résonance.

    Key models include the Résonance, tourbillon wristwatches incorporating a remontoir and the limited edition Vagabondage series. Especially sought-after are his earliest "souscription" watches, made in 1999.

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An extremely fine and rare platinum wristwatch with tourbillon, remontoire d'égalite, souscription contract and box, numbered 14 of a 20 pieces limited edition

38mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF150,000 - 300,000 

Sold for CHF1,400,000

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020