François-Paul Journe is continually searching to invent and craft timepieces which are both innovative and practical. He has managed both with his first ultra-flat Minute Repeater. After the Grande Sonnerie, the minute repeater is the most complex and sophisticated of horological complication, one that demands the very utmost in both technical and artistic virtuosity.
To date, the oldest known watch with répétition minutes was produced around 1710 in Friedberg, Germany. This invention made it possible to tell the time during the night by actuating a pusher on the case. When activated by the pusher, the complication “tells” the time by causing two hammers to strike gongs which sound the hours, the quarters and the minutes. In presenting this new ultra-slim minute repeater, François-Paul Journe once again raises the bar for striking watches.
He has re-invented the minute repeater mechanism in a way which enables strong crystal clear tones to emanate from a seemingly impossibly svelte movement. A movement with a size of barely 4mm, more reminiscent of a simple hand wind calibre than a highly intricate and complex complication. This redevelopment has merited the application of two patents.
Its ultra flat movement in 18K gold with its case in steel provide an astonishing lightness to the watch for a weight of only 67 grams, strap included. It makes the Repetition Souveraine one of the weightless complications in the world. Unique patented Repetition Souveraine mechanism Two key technical developments have enabled François-Paul Journe to construct a sweet sounding ultra-slim repeater movement. The first is the flat gong, first seen on the F.P. Journe Grande Sonnerie, which produces a louder and clearer sound than traditional gongs. And because the gong is mounted under the dial, instead of around the movement, it allows more room for the movement.
The second is an innovative system of striking racks and strike selection mechanisms which take up much less space than conventional strike mechanisms.Unlike traditional minute repeaters, the hours and minutes of the Repetition Souveraine do share the same hammer; so a pause is automatically inserted between hour and minute chimes when there are no quarters. The quarters sound with classic double chimes. An inertia regulator controls the speed of the chimes, thus eliminating the background noise usually associated with traditional air regulators.
The incomparable style of François-Paul Journe has sometime been copied, but his highly inventive technique is far more difficult to duplicate. With that in mind, after completing his majestic Grande Sonnerie, a watch rating 10/10 on the scale of complications, François-Paul Journe decided to follow up with yet another incredibly complex timepiece, the first ultra-slim Minute Repeater wristwatch.
There is one metal that resonates sound above all others and that metal is steel. In his typical no-compromise style, François-Paul Journe places performance and function above all. So it is only natural that, as with the Sonnerie Souveraine, the dulcet tones of the Repetition Souveraine reverberate from a stainless steel case.
The manually wound movement, with base-plates and bridges in 18 carat rose gold, oscillates at 21,600v/h. Twin barrels work in parallel to deliver stable power for most of their 56-hour indicated reserve. The F.P. Journe free-sprung balance, with variable inertia adjustment on four opposing weights, is dynamically adjusted in six positions.
Many more components in very little extra space.
While the Repetition Souveraine calibre shares its technical heritage with the Chronomètre Souverain, the sheer complexity of the minute repeater demands nearly twice the number of components. Despite this, François-Paul Journe has managed to craft a movement with a height of just 4mm.
Model: Repetition Souveraine
Manually wound by 38 turns
Movement in 18 K rose gold
Dimensions of the Movement
Overall diameter : 32.20 mm
Casing-up diameter : 31.6 mm
Height : 4.04 mm
Overall height: 4.64 mm
Height of winding system: 2.38 mm
Diameter of stem thread : SO.90
Four inertia weights
Anachron free-sprung flat balance spring
Mobile stud holders
Laser soldered balance spring stud ??? Virolage soudé laser
Pinned GE stud
Frequency: 21,600 v/h (3Hz)
Inertia: 10.10 mg/cm2
Angle of lift: 52°
Amplitude: 0h dial up/fully wound >320° / 24h dial up > 280°
Minute repeater strikes on demand
Time adjustment via crown in position 2
Repeater activated by single slide
Linear escapement with 15 tooth escape wheel
Two position crown
Two mainspring barrels in parallel
Blue hands for Central hours and minutes
Sub-second at 7h30
Power reserve at 3h00
View to striking hammers
Circular grained baseplate
Straight waves on bridges
Screw heads polished and bevelled
Pegs with polished rounded ends
Steel components hand polished and decorated
Hob-nail pattern guilloché in the centre
Moiré finish in sub-seconds sub-dial and power-reserve sector
Satined chapter ring
Diameter: 40.00 mm
Height: 8.65 mm
Number of Pieces
Movement without dial: 320
Cased- up on leather strap: 364