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The Best F.P. Journe Watches to Buy Now

In the last 20 years, independent watchmaking has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance. Arguably no maker has played a larger role in this revolution than the renowned F.P. Journe. Born in 1999, the F.P. Journe manufacture has accomplished more in its short existence than many brands ever achieve. Heavily influenced by the creations of classic watchmaking legends Abraham-Louis Breguet, George Daniels, and Antide Janvier, Journe established his own distinct design language while pushing the limits of horological innovation. F.P. Journe’s philosophy has been to further the accuracy of watches within the context of traditional techniques and approaches. This ideology has allowed the brand to blossom into one of the most respected names in the industry.

Since 1999, Journe has manufactured many references and limited editions, each with its own quirks and idiosyncrasies. Today, we will highlight 10 of his most unique and noteworthy creations that you should consider now (if you can get your hands on them). 

F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Regency in Platinum

F.P Journe Tourbillon Souverain Regency

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If there’s one piece that sums up the Journe design philosophy, it’s likely the Tourbillon Souverain with Regency Dial. Journe’s first model, the Tourbillon Souverain features a shrunken time display on the right side of the dial balanced by a tourbillon aperture on the left. The tourbillon is coupled with a constant force remontoire for heightened accuracy and consistent distribution of torque to the escapement as the power reserve winds down. 

The platinum variant with a Regency hand carved dial, was intended to be limited to two pieces, but tragically, the only engraver capable of creating the dials for these pieces passed away before completing the second one. Thus, this version became a 1/1 piece unique by necessity. A beautiful watch with an equally interesting story, the Tourbillon Souverain Regency in platinum is one of the most desirable pieces in Journe’s history.

F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine 

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The Journe Astronomic Souveraine is the most complicated wristwatch made by the brand to date. The piece features 18 complications, including sunrise/ sunset indication, moonphase, complete calendar, sidereal time, equation of time, tourbillon, minute repeater, constant force remontoire, and more. To make this piece even more impressive, all complications are controlled from a single crown, and the movement is housed within a case that is less than 14mm thick! An absolutely shocking feat of engineering, this watch was released casually by the brand as if it were a mere time only dress watch. In spite of its vast complication and sophisticated execution, the watch retains wearable dimensions, since every owner of a Journe will want to be sporting it on a daily basis. 

F.P. Journe Chronomètre Holland and Holland

F.P. Journe Chronomètre Holland & Holland

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Shifting from complication to simplicity, F.P. Journe’s Chronometre Holland and Holland is the result of a collaboration between the best makers in two distinct realms of craftsmanship. Holland and Holland has established a sterling reputation for creating the finest bespoke guns in London since the 1800s. The dial of Journe’s Chronometre Holland and Holland is constructed from the barrels of two guns produced by Holland and Holland from the late 1800s. The barrels were cut by Holland and Holland, sent to Journe to be made into dials, returned to Holland and Holland to be finished and browned, and then finally shipped back to Journe to be placed in the timepieces. The platinum case of the Chronometre Holland and Holland accentuates the subtleties of the Damascus steel dials, generating a truly unique appearance. This piece was limited by necessity to 66 pieces due to the yield of the barrels. 

F.P. Journe Quantième Perpétuel Boutique Edition

F.P. Journe Quantième Perpétuel Boutique Edition

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Journe’s Quantième Perpétuel represents a beautifully simplified perpetual calendar display. The piece exploits aperture displays for its day, month, and date indications without cluttering the dial with subsidiary dials and excess text. At the center of the handset, the leap year indication is flanked by a power reserve at 9 o’clock. Beyond these tasteful complications, the dial remains consistent with the aesthetics of the Chronometre Souverain, the brand’s simple time only model. The blue dial of the boutique edition complements the rose gold case and is tied together with a supple cappuccino-colored strap. This complication is coupled with an automatic winding caliber for convenience in everyday wear or compatibility with a winder when not in use. 

F.P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain Boutique Edition

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The Journe Centigraphe Souverain Boutique Edition takes a very scarce Journe model and elevates its rarity to new heights through the combination of a rose gold case and black dial— a boutique edition. The idea for the Centigraphe model line began when Jean Todt, the executive director of Scuderia Ferrari, challenged Journe with creating a mechanical chronograph capable of timing events to the level of precision required by motor-sports. Journe took the challenge head-on and created the Centigraphe Souverain, capable of precision timekeeping down to 100ths of a second. This special boutique edition was only produced between 2010 and 2016 and was created in highly limited numbers. 

F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance

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No Journe conversation is complete without at least one Resonance. Based on clocks made by Antide Janvier, Journe set his sights on creating a timepiece that exploits the phenomenon of resonance. The principle suggests that if two balance wheels were placed in close proximity to one another, the frequencies would counteract one another to ensure higher accuracy of the two escapements. The Chronometre a Resonance is the result of Journe’s efforts to extend the principle to wrist watches in pursuit of ever heightened levels of accuracy and chronometry. This particular variant is quite special, with a rose gold dial and “parking meter” display at 9 o’clock. The movement of the resonance is a sight to behold, with two separate gear trains and a dizzying array of rose gold bridges that add heft and stability to the watch’s architecture. 

F.P. Journe Octa Chronographe Ruthenium Limited Edition

F.P. Journe Octa Chronographe Ruthenium

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A distinctly Journe creation, the Octa Chronographe is no longer produced today. When it was first introduced, it was Journe’s earliest chronograph in the collection, with automatic winding and a brass movement. The Octa Chronographe features a flyback mechanism and large date, and delivers over 120 hours of power reserve. To make the reference even more wearable, Journe kept the thickness to roughly 10mm, which is quite impressive for any chronograph, all the more so, one that affords a flyback mechanism and automatic winding. This piece is further elevated by the fact that it is part of Journe’s limited edition Ruthenium models. The Journe Ruthenium program was a series of limited edition references limited to 99 pieces each with ruthenium coated gold dial plates and ruthenium coated calibers. 

F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine 

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Within the world of high complications, the minute repeater is regarded as one of, if not the most difficult and fragile to execute well. Journe’s Répétition Souveraine is the brand’s innovative take on this legendary challenge. The primary objective of the piece is to create an incredibly thin and robust minute repeater movement to preserve wearability and utility in the day to day. To achieve this, Journe registered two patents, one for a modified gong and the other for a highly sophisticated striker mechanism. These two innovations made the Repetition Souveraine the thinnest minute repeater ever produced at the time of its release. The caliber 1408 was an astounding 4mm thick in spite of the complication, allowing the cased dimensions to remain below 9mm in thickness. With this watch, Journe’s commitment to innovation and the pursuit of perfection shine through. In completing this piece, Francois-Paul challenged the long established limitations of the minute repeater, proving that a piece of this caliber could simultaneously be thin, resonant, and durable. 

F.P. Journe Elegante 

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The F.P. Journe Elegante repudiated the notion that a quartz watch couldn’t be hot or innovative. Within the industry, there’s no doubt that quartz watches receive much less attention; nonetheless, if any quartz timepiece is deserving of your patronage, it’s the Elegante. Developed originally as a solution for female collectors, the Elegante’s sophisticated movement goes to sleep after 35 minutes of inactivity. When the piece is picked back up, it remembers how long ago it went to sleep, and will reset to the current time on demand! This dramatically reduces the energy required from the movement, and extends the expected battery life to no less than a whopping 18 years. Additionally, the entirety of the dial is a block of loom, providing supreme legibility in dark environments. 

F.P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune “Havana” Dial

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We would be remiss to discuss notable Journe pieces without including at least one Havana dial. The creamy chocolate brown dial, coupled with a chestnut colored strap and rose gold case, conveys a warmth and glow that is unrivaled. This particular Havana reference includes a date aperture display, moonphase, power reserve, and subsidiary seconds. This piece preserves the classic Journe design refinements such as the engraved dial, Calatrava style case, and twisted crown detailing, but also uses off-colored bone hands to soften the aesthetics. The Havana dial tone is achieved by mixing gold and ruthenium, and required months of development in-house by F.P. Journe to gauge the optimal combination of elements in its composition.