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: 2001
    Reference No: T
    Case No: 61/99-01
    Model Name: Ruthenium Tourbillon Souverain
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 1498, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum F.P. Journe deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, strap, and clasp signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by F.P. Journe Certificate and Warranty numbered 61/99 and dated April 2003, signed by François-Paul Journe, additional platinum tang buckle, instruction booklet, fitted presentation box, and outer packaging.

  • 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. Following the Souscription series, the Tourbillon Souverain was produced in series with brass movements, comprising four different generations.

    Between 2001 and 2003, Journe created the Ruthenium collection to bookend the brass movement production and move to 18K pink gold movements now in use throughout Journe’s watches. The Ruthenium collection comprises five models: the Octa Jour/Nuit (Night/Day), the Octa Calandrier, the Octa Chronographe, the Chronomètre à Résonance, and the Tourbillon Souveraine (the present watch). Each model was released in only 99 examples and are some of the most highly coveted, early Journe timepieces. Stylistically, the Ruthenium collection, with their larger, 40 mm case diameter, close the door on the early brass movement pieces, and ushered in the more modern iterations that have drawn admirers of Journe’s craft year after year. This Ruthenium Tourbillon Souverain is powered by the brass movement caliber 1498, but it is coated in light-absorbing ruthenium. Similarly, the white gold dial is specially coated with the same ruthenium, yet the remarkable sheen and luster found in Journe’s earliest dials is preserved. Such Journe dials often display beautiful variations of patina, and in this case, the tarnish-free darkness of ruthenium further enhances the glimmer of the underlying gold dial. It is stunning to behold, especially when viewed under different lighting conditions. First identified and isolated in 1844, Ruthenium is a heavy, platinum group metal named after the antiquated Latin word for Russia, Ruthenia.

    Exceptionally rare, fresh-to-the-market, and consigned by the original owner, this superb example was hardly worn and remains in pristine condition.


  • 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 elegant and extraordinary platinum tourbillon wristwatch with power reserve display, remontoir d’egalité, ruthenium dial, and ruthenium-coated movement

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

$120,000 - 240,000 

Sold for $567,000

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