F.P. Journe, the world renowned manufacturer of high end and exclusive wrist watches, now joins hands with British bespoke gun specialist Holland & Holland to create a special series of mechanical timepieces.
Just like traditional and artisanal watch making, the manufacturing of bespoke guns requires expertise of highly specialized craftsmen like professional polishers, decorators and engravers, fine wood and precious metal specialists, lacquerers and precision mechanics. The conception of an F.P. Journe watch can take a minimum of three years; the making of a bespoke Holland & Holland gun can take up to two years, during which time the client can choose each part of his new gun.
The meeting between Holland & Holland with F.P. Journe could only result in a common project in partnership. It immediately sparked the desire to produce something unique for a special occasion. Over time, the project has evolved, notably thanks to the discovery of two antique and rare Damascus steel Holland & Holland guns. Each one is over one hundred years old, and the knowhow that went into making them has been since forgotten.
Always in the search for something exceptional, unique and innovative, F.P. Journe immediately saw the possibility of including these barrels in a unique watch series with a powerful reference to ancient traditions dating back to 1850. For their part, Holland & Holland was attracted by the idea of allowing two of their museum barrels of over hundred years old to be used to make magnificent haute horology F.P. Journe timepieces. The two barrels were registered by hand in the company’s books. Barrel No. 1382, dating to 1868, yielded 38 dials, while barrel No. 7183, dating to 1882, produced 28 dials.
In order to produce the dials, the gun barrels were first cut along their entire length at the Holland & Holland factory and rolled out to form flat strips. These were cut to into smaller strips, which could then be cleaned, polished and reduced to the required thickness.
The material was then sent to F.P. Journe’s own dial makers, “Les Cadraniers de Genève” where the dials were cut out. They were sent back to Holland & Holland and “browned”, a traditional gun-making technique that helps protect the steel and highlights the wonderful patterns created during the original manufacture of Damascus barrels. The process is the same today as it was when the guns were made in the late 1800s. Each dial thus has a unique pattern making each watch unique.
Given the Holland & Holland steel dial, F.P. Journe’s most suitable option was to make a steel case as well. The 39-millimeter diameter easily adapts to most wrists. The sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating enhances the special wave pattern of the dial.
The two antique Holland & Holland barrels, bearing the serial numbers 1382 (38 dials) and 7183 (28 dials), only allowed for the making of dials that will never exist in any other watch. The Chronomètre Holland & Holland is accessible to F.P. Journe and Holland & Holland collectors through an application process.
Exclusive F.P. Journe calibre 1304
Manually wound by 38 turns
Movement in 18 K rose Gold with Holland & Holland engraving
Dimensions of the movement
Diameter: 30.40 mm
Casing-up diameter: 29.60 mm
Height: 3.75 mm
Height of winding system: 2.30 mm
Diameter of stem thread: S 0.90 mm
Four inertia weights
Flat Anachron microflamed spring
Mobile stud holders
Nivatronic laser-welded to collet
Pinned GE stud
Frequency: 21,600 v / h, (3Hz)
Inertia: 10.10 mg*cm2
Angle of lift: 52°
Amplitude: 0h dial up : > 320°
24h dial up: > 280°
Two mainspring barrels in parallel
Time adjustment via crown in position 2
Pallet escapement with 15 tooth escape wheel
Two position crown
Central hours and minutes
56 hours ± 2h
Partly circular grained baseplate, sunburst finishing,
Polished screw heads, chamfered slots,
Pegs with polished rounded ends
Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 8.60 mm
Damascus pattern from two antique Holland & Holland gun barrels
Number of pieces
Movement without dial: 164
Cased-up on leather strap: 198
Damascus Holland & Holland barrel:
No. 1382 dating to 1868 – 38 watches numbered XX/38
No. 7183 dating to 1882 – 28 watches numbered XX/28