F.P. Journe - The New York Watch Auction: SIX New York Saturday, June 11, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: F.P. Journe
    Year: 1999
    Case No: No. 035 / 99T
    Model Name: Tourbillon Souverain
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 1498, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold and platinum F.P. Journe deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by F.P. Journe Certificate of Authenticity confirming no. 35/99T was delivered to Italy in 1999.
    Literature: F.P. Journe Invenit et Fecit by Jean-Pierre Grosz is dedicated to François-Paul Journe and his work.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Museum quality reference books, countless scholarly articles, and many auction footnotes have been written for the grand triumvirate of watchmaking: Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Audemars Piguet, along with such legends as Breguet and modern master George Daniels. Gaining increasing reverence, particularly in the past few years, is Montres Journe, the namesake manufacture of the inimitable François-Paul Journe, one of the most prominent living watchmakers of our time.

    Journe’s interpretation of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s masterful invention of the tourbillon has catapulted his creations into the most esteemed and venerable collections worldwide. He completed his first tourbillon wristwatch, Tourbillon No. 1, in 1991, to little if any fanfare from the industry. He revisited his tourbillon wristwatch in 1999 to fund the launch of his own eponymous brand, taking again after Breguet by offering a “Souscription” series: the client would pay a portion up front, without seeing the watch, and Journe would complete and deliver the watch at a later date. These wristwatches, of which there are only 20, bore brass movements and hand-finished dials that are rabidly sought after by collectors, and they immediately preceded the Tourbillon Souverain manufactured in series.

    An exceptional specimen even disregarding its mechanical ingenuity, this extremely early and rare example of Journe’s Tourbillon with remontoir d’egalité is numbered 035, dating from 1999, and is classified as a second-generation version of the Tourbillon due to its similarity to the Souscription series dials. The only difference is the addition of the “remontoir d’egalité” text on the dial for the second generation. Some scholarship suggests that the 16 or 17 watches after the 20 souscription watches were produced in parallel with the Souscription series. Another important note: Number 35 is the first known watch to bear the current numbering configuration of XX/YYT. The case back engraving style is Journe's earliest-extremely shallow and also extreme sought after.

    The minority of these early tourbillons were fitted with white gold dials, such as the present number 35, and some of them have been observed to be applied with a layer of clear lacquer. This allows the printed text to appear as though they were floating over the dial surface – a trait that is prominently featured in this example, where it can almost seem as though one is seeing double. Furthermore, it exhibits the remarkable reflectivity, sheen, and luster found in Journe’s’ earliest dials that is today so coveted by collectors. Such early Journe dials often display beautiful variations of patina as in this example which has never been restored or replaced in any way. It is stunning to behold, especially when viewed under different lighting conditions where it takes on colors ranging from light champagne to anthracite gray.

    Notably, Journe decided to launch his own namesake brand after years of lending his expertise and talents to other brands, saying that he was “fed up with giving pearls to swine.” Tourbillon Souverain No. 35 is indeed one of those pearls, a fresh-to-market, historically significant wristwatch integral to understanding the evolution of one of the most influential contemporary watchmakers.

  • 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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Σ116

A very early, historically important, and attractive platinum tourbillon wristwatch with remontoir d’egalité, and certificate of authenticity, numbered 035

1999
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

Estimate
$300,000 - 600,000 
CHF299,000-597,000
€288,000-575,000
HK$2,350,000-4,710,000
S$419,000-837,000

Sold for $1,361,000

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

[email protected]

 

Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285

[email protected]

The New York Watch Auction: SIX

New York Auction 11-12 June 2022