F.P. Journe - Racing Pulse New York Saturday, December 12, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: F.P. Journe
    Year: 2001
    Reference No: T
    Case No: 174/01T
    Model Name: Tourbillon Souverain
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 1498, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, strap, and buckle signed F.P. Journe

  • 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 interpretations of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s masterful inventions, the tourbillon and the resonance (though, technically speaking, Breguet would actually create a double pendulum / double escapement watch based on the invention of Janvier Antide), have catapulted his watches 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 in order 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 very early and rare example of Journe’s Tourbillon with remontoir d’egalité is numbered 174, dating from 2001, and is classified as a fourth generation version of the Tourbillon due to its flat remontoir balance cock, deeper engravings, smaller dial screws, and numbering system. These fourth generation Tourbillons with brass movements were produced between 1999 and 2003, with an estimated run of 350 pieces total. The Tourbillon Souverain was available only in platinum or pink gold cases measuring 38 mm in diameter, and offered with yellow, white, or pink gold dials.

    Remarkably, only 39, or approximately 11% of the total production, were made with a pink gold case. Furthermore, only 24 pink gold Tourbillon Souverain watches were made with a grey, white gold dial, making the present example exceptionally rare.

    The grey dial itself is a luxury to behold under the lens of a loupe, as the subtle powdery texture gives it a shimmering metallic sheen much like newly fallen snow. The warmth of the pink gold case makes a striking combination with the coolness of the dove grey dial. Fresh-to-the-market and offered in exceptional condition from the collection of a prominent collector, this eminently rare timepiece is sure to excite Journe collectors the world over.

  • 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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Ref. T
An extremely rare, beautiful, and important pink gold tourbillon wristwatch with remontoir d’egalité, brass movement, and white gold dial

38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, strap, and buckle signed F.P. Journe

$120,000 - 240,000 

Sold for $378,000

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Racing Pulse

New York Auction 12 December 2020