With Chronomètre à Resonance timepiece, master watch maker François-Paul Journe pays tribute to the research conducted on resonance by the great 18th century watchmakers.
In 1983, François-Paul Journe took up the challenge with a first creation in the form of a pocket-watch, which did not yet perform according to his expectations. It would take fifteen more years of work for the watchmaker to gain the maturity and the experience to enable him to present an exclusive world première, the first resonance wristwatch.
He devised, developed and built this movement to meet the demands of actual wear on the wrist and thereby provide chronometric performance driven to extremes. Each of the two balances alternately serves as exciter and resonator. When the two balances are in motion, they enter into sympathy due to the effect of the resonance and begin naturally beating in opposition. The two balances thus rest against each other, giving more inertia to their movement.
Nonetheless, this harmony is possible only if the difference in frequency between them does not exceed five seconds per day of accumulated difference in six situations. Adjusting them is an extremely delicate task. Whereas an external disturbing movement affects the running of a traditional mechanical watch, this same disturbance, in the case of a resonance watches, produces an effect that accelerates one of the balances as much as it slows the other down. Little by little, the two balances come back towards each other to find their point of harmony, thus eliminating the disturbance. This innovative chronometer offers a level of precision that is unequalled in the field of the mechanical watch. First unveiled in the year 2000, this watch represents one of the wildest challenges ever in the field of the mechanical watch .
The first applications of the resonance phenomenon in horological science dates back to the 18th century, with watchmakers such as Antide Janvier (†1840) and Abraham-Louis Breguet (†1823). They observed the negative effects of these waves on clocks and then conducted in their own way, research into ways of using this phenomenon in the operating of regulators.
Since 2005, this exceptional watch comes in two versions: one with a platinum case and white gold dial and the other all red gold. The case has been enlarged to 40 mm and highlights the watch face which indicates the hours, minutes and seconds in guilloché silver sub dials secured by polished steel rings. The two time indications may also be used as two independent time-zones.
The subtle mechanism, now crafted in 18-carat gold, is revealed through a sapphire crystal case-back revealing the two perfectly synchronised beating mechanical hearts. Although it is widely recognised as the most precise mechanical watch on the market, this model is above all imbued with a profoundly poetic depth and serves as eloquent testimony that one can always innovate in the field of wristwatches.
Calibre F.P.Journe 1499-2
Mobile escapement-holder/ 2 barrels and 2 independent gear-trains
32mm in diameter and 4.80mm thick
Straight-line lever escapement
Dedicated 4-arm balance with inertial adjustment
Escapement frequency of 21,600 vph
267 components excluding the exterior
36 jewels – plates and bridges in 18-carat pink gold
40-hour power reserve