Each year, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie distinguishes two personalities whose style and expertise have made an imprint on watchmaking, « Hommage au Talent » and « Hommage à la Passion ». Without talent and without passion, Fine Watchmaking would doubtless be just another field of micromechanics with its own set of rules, evolving alongside developments in science and techniques. It is, of course, more than that. A timepiece will elicit the emotions only when produced with creativity, innovation and art, all of which thrive on talent and passion.
On March 30th 2017, at the Cité du Temps in Geneva, the « Hommage au Talent » prize was presented to François-Paul Journe, an expert in restoration who has mastered watchmaking’s many facets and established his Manufacture in Geneva in 1999. His first collection, signed with his name followed by the label “Invenit et Fecit”, an inscription borrowed from Jean-Antoine Lépine, immediately made its mark.
Presented as a contemporary tribute to the landmark developments in horological science, François-Paul Journe’s watches are also indicative of a creative mind, and it is this creativity that has established him as one of the precursors of watchmaking’s new guard.
In thirty years, François-Paul Journe has received an array of honours and awards. Recipient of the Prix Gaïa for best watchmaker, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and 6 awards at the grand Prix d’Horlogerie of Geneva, from which 3 Golden Hands, this award comes as renewed recognition of his exceptional talent by an independent jury, under the aegis of the FHH Cultural Council.
The second award “Hommage à la Passion” was presented to Ludwig Oechslin, erudite horological constructor and author of extraordinary astronomical watches. F.P.Journe owes him the magnificent restoration of the magisterial clock by C.L. Detouche that stands at the entrance of the Geneva Manufacture while he was Director of the International Museum in La Chaux De Fonds.
F.P.Journe’s unique horlogical vision combining mechanical innovation with respect of the haute Horlogerie and exclusive craftsmanship have earned the brand to be awarded by the most prestigious international awards.
Prizes awarded at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève:-
2002 Octa Calendrier Special Jury Prize
2003 Octa Lune Prize for Best Men’s Watch
2004 Tourbillon Souverain Golden Hand « Aiguille d’Or »
2005 Chronomètre Souverain Prize for Best Men’s Watch
2006 Sonnerie Souveraine Golden Hand « Aiguille d’Or »
2008 Centigraphe Souverain Golden Hand « Aiguille d’Or »
2010 Chronomètre à Résonance Grand Complication Prize
The other prizes:-
1987: Prize awarded by the Fondation de la Vocation Bleustein-Blanchet
1989: “Balancier d’Or” Prize awarded at the Watchmakers Convention in Madrid
1994: Prix Gaia of the “Best Watchmaker”
2003: Chronomètre à Résonance, Watch of the Year in Japan
2004: Tourbillon Souverain, Watch of the Year in Japan
2006 Title: Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres received from the Minister of French Culture
2006: Sonnerie Souveraine, Watch of the Year in Japan
2006: Sonnerie Souveraine, Watch of the Year, Los Relojes del Año (Tiempo de Relojes)
2008: Minute Repeater, Best Technical Innovation in Champions of Time, China
2008: Répétition Minute, Watch of the Year, Los Relojes del Año (Tiempo de Relojes)
2009: Centigraphe Souverain, Watch of The Year on Timezone.com
2009: The Répétition Souveraine received the Robb Report distinction “Best of The Best” Men’s Watch of the year
2010: Best Technical Innovation for the Vagabondage II at Champions of Times in China
2012: The Chronomètre Souverain awarded Watch of the Year at the European Watch Award in London
2013: “Best Independent Watchmaker 2013” by Spiral Magazine Hong Kong
2013: «Special Jury Prize » for his 30 years career, Chrono 24, Varsovie
2014: Prix de la « Ladies Watch of the Year 2014 » for the élégante, Montre de l’Année,
2014: “Best Independent Watchmaker 2014” by Spiral Magazine Hong Kong.
2015: The Historical Tourbillon received the Robb Report distinction “Best of The Best” Classic Design
2017: “Hommage au Talent “ Award by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie