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Auctions A Souscription F.P. Journe Chronomètre À Résonance And Tourbillon Souverain, Coming Up At Phillips Geneva Watch Auction 11

Auctions A Souscription F.P. Journe Chronomètre À Résonance And Tourbillon Souverain, Coming Up At Phillips Geneva Watch Auction 11

The watchmaking of F.P. Journe is, I think, in the somewhat unusual situation of having been so consistently intriguing and of a particularly serious level of greatness over such countless years, that it is easy to somewhat take it for granted. Notwithstanding, it merits recalling that while Journe’s watchmaking has for a long time been an established part of the horological landscape, it was not always in this way, and that watches like the Chronomètre à Résonance and Tourbillon Souverain came into reality because of F. P. Journe’s obstinate emphasis on doing watchmaking as he would prefer, and no one else’s. This is, after all, the man who said that he quit accomplishing contract work for different brands and struck out all alone because he was, “burnt out on tossing pearls before swine.”

Phillips has recently announced that at the Geneva Watch Auction: Eleven, it will offer two watches that are a part of history, yet which are history itself (to paraphrase a certain cinematic bad person ). The two watches being referred to are first arrangement examples of two of current watchmaking’s most groundbreaking wristwatches: the Chronomètre à Résonance and the Tourbillon Souverain. Both are possessed by early Journe patron and notable Parisian adornments architect Lorenz Bäumer. The sale of either watch is an unusual occasion (unusually, another Journe Souscription Tourbillon was sold at A Collected Man, simply last week ).

The Tourbillon Souverain was a watch that experienced a long gestation measure. The primary model was completed in 1991, and I figure many watchmakers would have halted there. In 1991, tourbillon wristwatches of any sort were still very strange, and fitting one with a remontoire d’égalité was unheard of. The tourbillon, as each watch enthusiast learns early on, was concocted by Abraham Louis Breguet and patented in 1801. It is a gadget expected to improve timekeeping by averaging out all the rate variations in the vertical places of a watch. These four positions are crown up, down, both ways, – a watch will typically run at marginally various rates in each position and at a somewhat extraordinary rate in the two horizontal situations as well. One of the great tasks in classic accuracy horology is to adjust a watch so that there is as little variation in rate between the situations as conceivable, and with a tourbillon, one should have the option to adjust the watch so the single average rate in the vertical positions matches that in the flat positions. Making a tourbillon by hand is an incredibly demanding task, as the going train has to drive the balance, yet the tourbillon carriage as well, which has on it the escape wheel, switch, and balance. 

F.P. Journe And The Art Of The Tourbillon

Interested in the long, rich history of tourbillons from F.P. Journe? Look at Ben Clymer’s Reference Points: The Complete History Of The F.P. Journe Tourbillon , with video narrated by Journe himself.

The remontoire d’égalité has a long and rich history as well. Basically, the gadget is planned to give an unvarying wellspring of energy to the balance. It is essentially a secondary mainspring, mounted on one of the going train wheels (frequently, the fourth wheel) which is ended up at regular intervals by the primary mainspring. This forestalls balance amplitude from falling as the mainspring gradually runs down. The spring remontoire was originally designed by John Harrison for his marine chronometers, and it is, regardless, significantly more rare and extraordinary than the tourbillon. In 1991, placing one out of a wristwatch would have appeared to be an activity in masochistic lunacy, especially in combination with a tourbillon, yet this is exactly what Journe did.

However, the watch didn’t become a commercial piece until several years later. To finance the creation of the watches, Journe acquired another idea from Breguet: the souscription system of purchasing a watch, in which supporters pay for watches in advance and get them as they are completed. The principal Tourbillon Souverain watches comprised of only twenty pieces, of which the one being offered at Phillips is the fourteenth. 

An intriguing detail: the Tourbillon Souverain has the version number on the dial; the Chronomètre à Résonance does not.

The first Chronomètre à Résonance watches were offered presently, and as a thank you to his early allies, F.P. Journe made them available on a membership basis also, to the individuals who had purchased the Tourbillon Souverain. The Chronomètre à Résonance was the first of its sort when Journe began delivering them in 2000 – by and by, Journe had taken inspiration from two of watchmaking’s greatest virtuosos, Antide Janvier and Abraham Breguet, both of whom had tried different things with the resonance phenomenon. 

The Chronomètre à Résonance watches have two balances, which are adjusted so that a mechanical resonance impact happens – any variations in rate in one balance will in general be canceled out by the other. Nobody had at any point created a resonance wristwatch previously (for that matter, not very many resonance watches of any sort existed at that point, and few exist today) and to say that the Chronomètre à Résonance energized tremendous interest among genuine specialists is to say nothing at all. This particular watch (like the Tourbillon Souverain, fourteenth in its arrangement) is, according to Phillips, “probably remarkable,” with a platinum case, and gold case center and hauls – certainly the most elevated two-tone watch I’ve ever seen.

It’s a rare event for an authority relegating bits of this rarity and importance to examine the parts freely – frequently, they like to remain out of sight and let the watches speak for themselves. In any case, Lorenz Bäumer sat down with Phillips’ Arthur Touchot to talk about his early love of F.P. Journe’s watchmaking and how he came to claim these two remarkable pieces.

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Estimates for these watches are, obviously, in the six figures at the top of the line – CHF 80,000-160,000 for the Chronomètre à Résonance, and for the Tourbillon Souverain, CHF 150,000-300,000. The auction will take place Saturday, June 27, at Hôtel La Réserve in Geneva.

The original, rhodium-plated brass development of the Chronomètre à Résonance; later, F.P. Journe would adopt the practice of making his developments in strong gold. 

The first form of the Chronomètre à Résonance is presently history, with the subsequent adaptation announced as of late . This example of the watch, in any case, as well as the Tourbillon Souverain, were available at, and part of, a pivotal second in present day horology and together made the image many of us currently have of the free watchmaker eagerly and resolutely seeking after an exceptionally particular vision. There’s no doubt as far as I can say that Journe’s early work, in addition to enchanting his customers, also motivated another generation of youthful autonomous watchmakers to have the courage of their feelings and make watches to their own exacting standards as well. Freedoms to actually possess watches of such significance come along very sometimes and by their very nature are out of the reach of the greater part of us. However, they’re as yet a fascinating suggestion to anyone with a second to spare to think about them, of when watchmaking was brimming with brave new universes waiting to be explored.

Visit F.P. Journe on the web at FPJourne.com . Images, Arthur Touchot for Phillips/HODINKEE. Catalog for the Geneva Watch Auction: ELEVEN will be available to see online on May 28th. See additional coverage of the Journe Souscription watches from Phillips, right here.

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