When it comes to tourbillon, François-Paul’s name always comes to mind. As a young watchmaker he had an affinity for tourbillon and when he wanted to have one, he was surprised by how much they actually cost.
His fascination obviously started at his uncle’s restoration workshop where he admired how the mechanism worked. It was also at this point that he vowed to build one since owning one was out of his reach at that time. He then spent the next few years, 5 or more, trying to build a tourbillon pocket watch. When he succeeded, it eventually started F.P. Journe company and of course, the brand’s first production watch was a tourbillon.
So for this article, we have the now revered Tourbillon Souverain. This is the pillar of F.P. Journe and to celebrate it, the brand introduces a newer Tourbillon Souverain Régence Circulaire. My initial impression is – just wow.
The new watch also celebrates beyond tourbillon since Journe also fancied the 18th century as the golden era of watchmaking. So to pay tribute to this era, the new Tourbillon Souverain features a Régence Circulaire dial featuring a manually engraved dial with 18th century inspired motifs. The final product is of course a stunning imagery as seen on the press.
White gold is used for the dial and each dial is sent to Geneva to be engraved by skilled artists based there. The Régence Circulaire motif is first etched on the raw white gold dial then the artist starts incising the pattern into the metal using various burins to complete the process which takes 2 days for a single dial.
The power reserve indicator is located at 12 o’clock and it looks almost hidden at first glance. At 3 o’clock is the sub-dial for the time and at 6 o’clock is the sub-dial for the running seconds which is basically deadbeat seconds because the seconds hand ticks like a quartz watch. The tourbillon in all its glory is located at 9 o’clock.
Moreover, the Tourbillon Souverain Régence Circulaire watch is made of a 18k red gold case that measures 40mm by 9.9mm. The watch also wears on a nice and matching red alligator strap.
Turning the watch over, we see the beautiful hand-wound movement visible through the exhibition caseback. The Tourbillon Souverain Régence Circulaire’s movement is made of red gold just like most modern F.P. Journe pieces. What I like about this movement is the interesting mechanism called the Remontoire or constant force mechanism that allows for constant power delivery to the escapement. Because of this, Journe put a dead beat seconds complication into the watch.
The intricately hand-engraved dial makes the Tourbillon Souverain truly appealing but where it truly shines is the story that it embodies. It is a product of pure passion and this makes it very special for collectors.
Finally, each of the 20 piece F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Régence Circulaire watch is priced at 171,000 CHF. Visit F.P. Journe here.