F.P. Journe - The 2021 New York Watch Auction New York Saturday, December 11, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: F.P. Journe
    Year: 2014
    Reference No: T30
    Case No: 97/99
    Model Name: Tourbillon Anniversaire Historique
    Material: Silver and 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 1412, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold and silver F.P. Journe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, strap, and buckle signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by original certificate indicating the sale of this piece on 26th April 2014 at Montres Journe New York, a signed letter from F.P. Journe to the owner, informational booklet, polishing cloth, three additional straps, fitted presentation box, and outer box.

  • 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.

    In 1977, after finishing his studies at watchmaking school, a young François-Paul Journe apprenticed to his uncle Michel assisting with the repair and restoration of antique clocks. During this time he was exposed to some of the greatest horological inventions: tourbillons, minute repeaters, and the grand and petite Sonnerie . It’s not easy to imagine now that they are so ubiquitous, but at the time, no modern watchmaker was building tourbillons other than the great George Daniels (a mentor and later friend of François-Paul Journe). Inspired by these ancient masters of horology, Journe began the painstaking and difficult task of building his own tourbillon pocket watch, using his uncle’s workshop and tools during the weekend, and he finally completed it at the beginning of 1983.

    To celebrate thirty years since this remarkable feat, Journe decided to produce ninety-nine examples of a wristwatch wholly inspired by his first tourbillon pocket watch. This Tourbillon Anniversaire Historique, numbered 97 of 99, is one of the final pieces to be completed. The layout of the dial is almost exactly the same as the original pocket watch, only shrunk to fit a 40mm case. To recreate the pocket watch dial, Journe employed the technique of engraving the dial and then filling the engravings with lacquer, something usually associated with the finest vintage wristwatches and pocket watches. The unorthodox combination of 18K rose gold and silver – with the former used for the pieces of the watch that would receive more wear, such as the bezel, caseback band, and crown, and the latter used for the majority of the case including the lugs and the guilloche hunter caseback. A brilliant, radiating guilloche pattern encircles the number of the watch on the outside of the hunter caseback.

    An unusual metal for use in a wristwatch, silver is rarely used in the present day as it tarnishes easily. In this instance, the silver used in the case was not plated in any way to protect against the elements, and so each example of the T30 has developed its own unique patina. The elegant tourbillon movement, rendered in gilt brass, is more highly finished than typical Journe watches, with hand finishing used on elements of the tourbillon cage, and elegant blue steel slotted screws. The entire watch evokes a bygone era of watchmaking, of the most historically significant timepieces created by Breguet.

    This example of the Tourbillon Anniversaire Historique is the first ever to be offered by Phillips, and we are honored to be entrusted with its sale. It has been consigned by the original owner, the recipient of a touching personal note written by Mr. Journe himself. Journe writes, “This watch refers to the period during which I was working alone without knowing that one day I would have the pleasure of sharing with you my passion.” And indeed, Mr. Journe’s passion is now celebrated the world over. Number 97 of the T30 is further accompanied by its original certificate, informational booklet, an additional three straps, and both inner and outer boxes. A stunning and well-engineered watch, historically important for both the brand and horology itself, the present lot is sure to enchant the most astute of collectors.


  • 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. T30
An extraordinarily rare, inventive, and historically important silver and pink gold limited edition tourbillon wristwatch with hinged caseback, certificate, and presentation box

40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, strap, and buckle signed.

$100,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $529,200

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293



The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021