Wearing an F.P. Journe creation on the wrist is always a pleasure, but to be armed with a Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire, that is truly an honour. This commemorative series was launched to mark the 10th Anniversary of each F.P. Journe flagship, with every piece individually numbered and stamped with the name of its corresponding city. Not just a pioneer in his industry, Journe is also a keen philanthropist and patron of the medical research carried out by the Institute of Brain and Spinal Cord in Paris. For each Centigraph Anniversaire sold, 30% of its original purchase price has been donated in support of finding a cure for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Apart from the Hong Kong edition, where 20 examples were delivered in 2016, a limited edition of 10 pieces only is allocated to each boutique, as per the present Geneva edition.
The F.P. Journe Geneva boutique opened its doors in April 2007. Celebrating its momentous 10th birthday, the brand followed the tradition set by the Hong Kong and Tokyo boutiques in releasing their very own 10-piece Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire in 2017. Dressed in a magnificent 40mm titanium armour, the cool-toned case is contrasted with pink gold accents that add warmth and highlight the crown and the ergonomic rocker at 2 o’clock, complete with a burgundy crocodile strap made for the Anniversaire editions. With a single touch, the wearer is able to start, stop, reset the chronograph with ease and set the finger in place to optimise precision when using the chronograph to keep time.
The ruthenium-coated grey dial is semi-skeletonised, exposing the gears and levers that power the mechanical chronograph. Each subdial, indicating the elapsed times from 100th of a second, 20 seconds to 10 minutes, is meticulously labelled with a “floating” sign, an illusion realised thanks to the thin layer of translucent sapphire that covers the openings. Marked “S” or “M” and “PR”, these acronyms are short for Seconds or Minutes Per Revolution. The three registers are further highlighted with white chapter rings, drawing the eyes to the red lacquered time scales and small matching titanium hands. Echoing the pink gold accents on the caseband, the hour numerals are displayed in a soft orange tone that juxtaposes the dark ruthenium-coated white gold dial.
The Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire is driven by the in-house manually-wound cal. 1506. Highly innovative, this movement is capable of counting down to 100th of a second. Once the chronograph function is triggered, the seconds hand at 10 o’clock will be released by the watch’s escapement and complete a full circle every second. When the chronograph is paused, this hand will stop instantaneously, allowing even a decimal 100th of a second reading.
With the discontinuation of the standard issue Centigraphe Souverain in 2018, the Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire is therefore the only variant that still holds a place in the current F.P. Journe catalogue, aside from the Linesport collection. Beautifully preserved with its original accessories, the opportunity to acquire this highly coveted, technically sound and aesthetically pleasing timepiece is not to be missed. In addition, the present example is also the first Geneva edition to be presented in PHILLIPS and in auction.