F.P. Journe

F.P. Journe

Novelties

A Passion for Horological Science It is with an artist’s sensitivity that François-Paul Journe explores the measurement of time with a unique sense of creativity and innovation. As a demanding technician, he innovates by devising exclusive watch mechanisms. From his earliest years, watchmaking has been an integral part of his life. It was in his native city of Marseille that he began training at the watchmaker’s school at the age of fourteen. Little by little, he discovered the scope and wealth of horological science, which would prove capable of satisfying both his curiosity and his creative vitality. However, the full revelation of his vocation came in Paris where he completed his studies before training with his uncle. The workshop of this eminent antique watch and clock restorer was located at the heart of the craftsmen’s district in Saint-Germain-des- Prés and a first-rate clientele entrusted him with the finest collections. It was here that François-Paul Journe thrilled to the discovery of the most striking achievements in the history of watchmaking and retraced the intellectual and philosophical paths taken by those who had conceived and crafted them: scientists, inventors or master-watchmakers. He experienced the privilege of entering the mechanical heart of some exceptional creations that were to set his own heart beating for years to come! The youthful watchmaker explored what he still views as “the golden age of watchmaking”: the 18th century. Abraham-Louis Breguet, Antide Janvier and some other talented masters of time triggered his first deep-felt horological emotions. Fascinated by what these men were able to accomplish with the means at their disposal, he began the construction of his first tourbillon pocket-watch at the age of twenty. His need for independence led him to set up his craftsman’s workshop on the rue de Verneuil, where he received visits from a select circle of informed collectors who commissioned him with making some one-of-a-kind creations. He will know how to pay homage to the watchmaking history in pursuing the research, creating timekeepers from which authenticity and technical innovations are respecting the ethics of these great masters. The many watch awards from around the world he received encouraged him in his singlehanded task of research and development. Quite soon the great names in the world of luxury and watchmaking called upon his talents to develop and create innovative movements. He designed and crafted mysterious clocks, the “sympathique” clock, and subtle mechanisms for unique creations. Increasing demand emanating from Switzerland led him to develop a Manufacture dedicated to building movements for various brands. He thereby placed his historical and technical knowledge as a watchmaking design-engineer in the service of industry. Nonetheless, his secret desire remained to be able to offer contemporary timekeepers, based on a technical interpretation that could rightly claim to be both authentic and innovative, to a broader public. Each of the unique pieces François-Paul Journe was creating was the result of countless hours of research, that he saw disappearing when the commissioner took up his watch. He then began dreaming about a collection of watches offering the same qualities - comfort, innovations and performances - but for a wider public! A label of excellence symbolizing over 30 years of horological research In 1994, François-Paul Journe started designing his vision of contemporary watchmaking and presented in 1999, a collection of wristwatches signed F.P.Journe with the Latin wording – Invenit et Fecit –, meaning “invented and made”. It thereby certifies that each of the watches carrying his name results from an entirely original conception and rigorous craftsmanship. His creative, intellectual and inventive thought process remains identical that when he was a craftsman, only the shaping changes considerably, with more contributors. His integrity in the creation of innovative timepieces imposes him naturally as the link between the golden age of horological science and contemporary watchmaking. His creations have quickly imposed with the status of World Premiere, thanks to their unique conception, their originality and their technical performance. François-Paul Journe perpetuates the long history of watchmaking and pays tribute to the Age of Enlightenment, by pursuing and extending the most decisive research in the unique science and craft represented by the measurement of time. Movements in worldwide exclusivity Entirely invented and manufactured in house Chronometers by F.P.Journe -Invenit et Fecit- possess a powerful aesthetic identity. They reflect a new vision of contemporary watchmaking. Their designer, who is above all a master-watchmaker, wanted simple, companionable yet spectacular watches of round shape because they guarantee the best using of space. Excellence is the essence of an F.P.Journe watch, and so are authenticity and chronometry. That is why the cases of all F.P.Journe creations are made only in the most precious metals - platinum or 18K red gold. The essential is housed within the very heart of his exclusive movements realised exclusively in 18K rose gold. A first in the watch world. François-Paul Journe wanted his chronometers to provide the indispensable information at first glance. The “guilloche” silver hour and minute dials are screwed by means of a patented system to the right-hand side of the 18K gold watch face for discreet read-off. A limited production: To each watch its watchmaker The team of F.P.Journe watchmakers is driven by a shared motivation: a return to a fullfledged watchmaker's work. In an increasingly segmented industry, few watchmakers have the opportunity to create a watch from start to finish and even less are able to follow its destiny. In the workshops of François-Paul Journe, the watchmakers who have chosen to associate with him are all inspired by a common purpose: to pursue their training and hone their skills by working with new, exclusive and technically innovative calibres. All are keenly aware that more new introductions will be forthcoming and that technical challenges and learning experiences will be their daily lot. Each watchmaker is responsible for making a specific watch, according to his professional affinities and above all his technical sensitivity. His mission will be to perform all stages in assembling the watch: fitting the exclusive F.P.Journe movement, the often delicate rating process, casing-up and testing before submitting it to the "master" for an ultimate check. Much like a cardiologist, a watchmaker becomes acquainted with the slightest reactions and vagaries of the mechanism which are so inherent in mechanical watches. Somewhat like a "godfather", if one considers the design-engineer as the father, he becomes responsible for each watch for the guarantee period following purchase. Each stage is carefully recorded and enables a precise review of all the watchmaker's gestures. It is a real privilege for these passionately dedicated watchmakers to follow the career of the watches they make. Each of them carries with it the secret of the number of hours the watchmaker has spent with it and thus acquires a unique dimension. It is imbued with the sense of companionship of which only its "godfather" can bring back the memories when meeting it at a later date. If necessary, he will find the means to restore his “protégé” to its initial radiance and ensure that its heart is as young as when they first parted ! The manufacture Journe’s watch Manufacture is located in the centre of Geneva in the Plainpalais district which has become the hub of contemporary Art. In this historical building dating 1892, on a 2000m2 site, watchmakers, engineers, research and development designers, precision mechanics, polishers and bevellers, are producing 95% of the components of the F.P.Journe precision chronometers in the grand horological tradition. The F.P. Journe Manufacture prides itself in the return to a genuine watchmaker’s Art. Each watchmaker is responsible for making a specific watch, according to his technical sensitivity, and performing all production stages from beginning to end, including the delicate rating process, casing-up and testing. Professions exercised within the Manufacture: - Watchmakers – Engineers - Research and development designers - Precision Mechanics - Bevellers and polishers - Dial-makers - Case-makers For an annual production of about 900 watches, including all models François-Paul Journe is one of the rare professionals of the Swiss watch industry to conceive alone watches of an extreme complexity and manage in the same time their distribution around the world. He is the master watchmaker in his Manufacture, and that grants him a genuine legitimacy. The awards Since 2002, François-Paul Journe has received distinctions every year at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie of Geneva, except in 2007, since he was part of the Jury: 2002 Octa Calendrier Special Jury Prize 2003 Octa Lune Prize for Best Men’s Watch 2004 Tourbillon Souverain Golden Hand « Aiguille d’Or » 2005 Chronomètre Souverain Prize for Best Men’s Watch 2006 Sonnerie Souveraine Golden Hand « Aiguille d’Or » 2008 Centigraphe Souverain Golden Hand « Aiguille d’Or » The other Prizes : 1994 Prix Gaia Best Watchmaker – 2003 Chronomètre à Résonance, Watch of the Year in Japan - 2004 Tourbillon Souverain, Watch of the Year in Japan - 2006 Title : Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Minister of French Culture - 2006 Sonnerie Souveraine, Watch of the Year in Japan - 2008 Répétition Minute, Watch of the Year, Los Relojes del Ano (Tiempo de Relojes) – 2008 Minute Repeater, Best Technical Innovation in Champions of Time, China – 2009 Centigraphe, Watch of The Year on Timezone.com -