In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Chronomètre à Resonance, François-Paul Journe improved his already-brilliant mechanical marvel with the latest 2020 version by adding the Remontoire d’Egalité, another ingenious signature of his.
This mechanism was first introduced in the watchmaker’s inaugural Tourbillon Souverain. Acting as a constant force devise, it optimises the precision and amplitude of the escapement by delivering a steady amount of energy, regardless of the mainspring's winding level. Although the remontoire system was invented centuries ago, by John Harrison in 1738, this mechanism could only be incorporated into chronometer clocks, then later pocket watches, due to its stout composition. To boldly go where no man has gone before, Journe did the impossible and presented the world’s premier remontoire wristwatch in 1999, which ultimately put his name on the map indefinitely.
The 2020 edition of the Chronomètre à Résonance is driven by a brand-new in-house cal. 1520, equipped with a single barrel spring that generates power for two movements. According to Journe, the differential placed on the first wheel, visible via the skeletonised aperture on the dial, transfers energy from the barrel spring over to the two secondary gear trains. Both secondary gear trains are engineered with a one-second Remontoire d’Egalité. Therefore, this ensures the energy remains linear and fully synchronised, with maximum accuracy upon reception by the escapements.
Along with the replacement of its beating heart, the present Résonance is framed in a redesigned case where the winding and setting crown sits at 2 o’clock. Unlike its predecessor with the cal. 1499.3, the crown is no longer hidden between the lugs at 12 o’clock, which allows the wearer to wind and set the watch at ease. Two configurations are delivered, with the first being a platinum watch with a white gold dial and the second being a pink gold watch with a matching dial. The two options of 40mm or 42mm cases are offered to cater to collectors with varying tastes.
For a seamless transition between the old and the new, Journe borrows the dual-time and small seconds layout from the 2019 version and incorporated it into the 20th Anniversary edition. Featuring two whiten silver guilloche subdials, the 24-hour analogue display is flanked on the left, while the 12-hour analogue indication is positioned on the right. This deceivingly clean and harmonious dial modestly masquerades the remarkable, complex horological machine hidden within, much a secret shared between the watchmaker and its wearer only.
At Geneva Watch Auction: Fifteen, in May 2022, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo sold a 42mm platinum case Chronomètre à Résonance from 2021 for CHF 415,800, a figure that’s nearly four times the reference's current MSRP.
Extremely rare, the present timepiece is a platinum 20th Anniversary Résonance, boasting a pink gold “Salmon” dial. The contrast of colours between the case and its dial creates the most delicious configuration. Fusing its rarity, barely worn condition and complete set of accessories, this cements its status as an exotic trophy watch, destined to grace the wrist of the discerning collector.