François-Paul Journe’s Centigraphe Souverain is a mechanical chronograph unlike any other that has ever been made before. Equipped with a hand-wound mechanical movement, the Centigraphe indicates elapsed times from a 100th of a second to 10 minutes, visible on 3 dials, each with a time scale in red and a tachometer scale in black. The tachometer scales convert time units for 1 kilometre into speeds ranging from 6 km/h to 36,000 km/h.
The 100th of a second hand revolves around the dial in one second on a scale marked in hundredths of a second. Theoretically it is possible to time an object moving at 36,000 km/h with the tachometer on the watch face, on which 36’000 is facing the 10 on the 100th of a second scale.
On the dial at 2 o’clock, the hand revolves once every 20 seconds on a time scale divided into seconds. The external tachometer scale indicates speeds.
The third dial, at 6 o’clock, graduated for 10 minutes, has a similar tachometer scale with speeds corresponding to 20-second markers. Thus, for example, a kilometre travelled in three minutes 40 seconds represents a speed of 16.4km/h (to within a decimal).
Patented ergonomic chronograph
The chronograph is started, stopped and zeroed by a rocker at 2 o’clock in the case band, instead of the usual buttons on either side of the crown. This ergonomic design, perfectly fitted to the wristwatch, is patented.
Patented chronograph mechanism
A second patent was granted for the mechanism’s ingenious configuration, which effectively isolates the chronograph from the timekeeping function. This means the balance amplitude is unaffected when the chronograph is running.
The hands of the 100th of a second counter, the 20 seconds, and the 10 minutes hand are driven by 2 different wheel trains, themselves driven by the centre of the mainspring (system patented for the Sonnerie Souveraine).
The 1-second counter and the 20-seconds counter are driven by two wheel trains on either side of a single intermediate wheel driven by the barrel arbor (patented for the Sonnerie Souveraine). Another separate train of wheels, also driven by the barrel arbor, drives the 10-minutes hand.
1/100th second recorder hand
The 100th of a seconds hand, released by the watch’s escapement, makes one revolution of the dial per second. A wheel mounted on the escape wheel (4th wheel of the going train) releases the arbor to which the hand is fitted. The seconds are driven by the going train from the barrel, and by the energy of the chronograph train, as transmitted by the barrel arbor.
One ingenious feature of the 100th of a second is that it may be stopped anywhere along its one-second journey around its dial, even between two 100th -second divisions, enabling a fractional reading. This is achieved by vertically disengaging the pinion of the 100th of a second hand from that of the escapement, which presses on the pivot shank and acts as a brake.
Return to zero
The 20-seconds hand and the 10-minutes hand arbors are zeroed by hammer levers acting on snail cams. The 100th of a second hand is stopped at zero by a beak protruding from its pinion, which presses on a lever and thus blocks the chronograph train.
Maintaining power and power reserve
The barrel features a maintaining power system in order to ensure that the driving force does not decrease during winding. The mainspring supplies at least 80 hours of power reserve without the chronograph, and 24 hours with the chronograph running.
Manual winding Movement in 18K rose gold
Rocker arm to start, stop and zero the chronograph
Three-position winding crown: Position 0 – disengaged; Position 1 – winding and Position 2 – time-setting
Dimensions of the Movement
Overall diameter: 34.40mm
Casing-up diameter: 34.00mm Number of Parts
Overall height: 5.60mm Movement without dial 284
Height of hands: 1.45mm Cased up with strap 324
Height of winding stem: 2.69mm
Diameter of stem thread: S1.20mm
Four adjustable inertia weights
Anachron balance spring
Mobile stud holders
Pinned GE stud
Spring pinned to the collet
Frequency: 21,600v/h (3Hz)
Inertia: 10.10 mg/cm2
Angle of lift: 52°
Amplitude: 0h dial up: > 320°; 24h dial up: > 280°
In-line lever escapement
15-tooth escape wheel
Central hours and minutes
One-second chronograph: hand at 10 o’clock
20-seconds chronograph: hand at 2 o’clock
10-minutes chronograph: hand at 6 o’clock
Separate chronograph train driven by directly from the mainspring
1/100th second readout
Over 80 hours with the chronograph stopped
24 hours with the chronograph running
Circular stripes on the bridges
Circular graining on the baseplate
Polished screw heads with chamfered slots
Pegs with polished rounded ends
Straight-grained steel work
Platinum or 18K red Gold
Total height: 10.70mm