François-Paul Journe has been “inventing” and “making” watches since over 3 decades. He draws on his historical knowledge and expertise to face the most daring horological challenges, demonstrating a timeless consistency in research and innovation with a single goal : make each mechanical timepiece as accurate as possible.
Excellence and precision are the essence of an F.P.Journe watch, as well as authenticity and chronometry. F.P.Journe produces all its movements in 18K rose Gold, a first in the watch world and a unique feature of the brand. Signed with the label -Invenit et Fecit- (invented and made), each F.P.Journe exclusive movement guarantees a manufacture calibre, entirely invented, constructed, and assembled in the Geneva workshops.
In the 18th century this inscription used to be engraved on watches manufactured by prestigious French master-watchmakers upon their acceptance by the Royal Academy of Sciences.
At the crossroad between Arts and Haute Horology, the independent F.P.Journe Manufacture is a world in itself, embodying excellence, know-how and innovation, in the respect of the haute horology tradition from which F.P.Journe is the proud guardian. It was founded with one principle in mind: innovate and uphold, if not outrival the high standards of Haute Horology. Every effort was made to verticalise the production in order to produce inside its walls, almost all the components necessary for the making of F.P.Journe watches. It includes the creation and production of all its dial and watch cases which echo with the movement in perfect harmony.
The modernity of machines and instruments is essential to reach the expected level of perfection, but it is also paramount to maintain craft tradition, since many operations are still done manually, with an infinite precision, tirelessly repeated until flawlessness.
In his Manufacture, François-Paul Journe is the master watchmaker and that differentiates the brand from other watch companies. With its unmatched technical and watchmaker skills, he makes a point of honour to design and manufacture its mechanical watches one by one and in small series.
With a limited production of less than 900 timepieces per year, the sanctuary of the F.P.Journe Manufacture honours artisanal work. It prides itself in maintaining a genuine watchmaker’s Art. Each certified watchmaker is reacquainting with the state of the Art of haute horology, making a specific watch according to his technical sensitivity, and performing all production stages from beginning to end without anyone interfering in the process, including the delicate rating, casing-up and testing.
The exceptional F.P.Journe high horology creations have spanned over decades showcasing an exceptional watch pedigree from the astounding Grande Sonnerie, the ultra slim Répétition Souveraine, the emblematic Chronomètre à Résonance, the Chronomètre Optimum, to the amazing Octa automatic caliber with a 5 days power reserve.
These exceptional watch creations have granted F.P.Journe the awarding of the most important international watch Prizes throughout the world – 7 distinctions at the GPGH in Geneva, from which 3 times the ultimate distinctions the “Golden Hand”, and numerous times “Watch of the Year” in Japan, China, Switzerland or Mexico. F.P.Journe was also decorated with the title of “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Minister of Culture.
Biography – François-Paul Journe
A label of excellence symbolising over thirty years of horological research it is with an artist’s sensitivity that François-Paul Journe explores the measurement of time to satisfy his overriding need for creativity and innovation; and as a demanding technician, he innovates by devising exclusive watch mechanisms. From his earliest years, watchmaking has been an integral part of his life.
|Francois Paul Journe|
It was in his native city of Marseille that he began training at the watchmaker’s school at the age of fourteen. Little by little, he discovered the scope and wealth of horological science, which would prove capable of satisfying both his curiosity and his creative vitality. However, the full revelation of his vocation came in Paris where he completed his studies before training with his uncle.
His uncle, Michel Journe was one of only three specialists in the restoration of antique clocks and watches, often unique, from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His reputation stretched far beyond France. His clients consisted of museums and high-flying collectors. After graduation, François-Paul joined his uncle’s company full time. Being in contact with the beautiful pieces being restored in the workshop, and in a very short time, he progressed in leaps and bounds.
|François-Paul, in his young age|
The workshop of this eminent antique watch and clock restorer was located at the heart of the craftsmen’s district in Saint Germain-des-Près and a first-rate clientele entrusted him with the finest collections. It was here that François-Paul Journe thrilled to the discovery of the most striking achievements in the history of watchmaking and retraced the intellectual and philosophical paths taken by those who had conceived and crafted them: scientists, inventors or master-watchmakers. He experienced the privilege of entering the mechanical heart of some exceptional creations that were to set his own heart beating for years to come.
|Francois Paul Journe’s first pocket watch with tourbillon (1983), entirely made by hand|
The youthful watchmaker explored what he still views as “the golden age of watchmaking”: the 18th century. Abraham-Louis Breguet, Antide Janvier and some other talented masters of time triggered his first deep-felt horological emotions. Fascinated by what these men were able to accomplish with the means at their disposal, he began the construction of his first tourbillon pocket-watch at the age of twenty. His need for independence led him to set up his craftsman’s workshop on the rue de Verneuil, where he received visits from a select circle of informed collectors who commissioned him with making some one-of-a-kind creations. He will know how to pay homage to the watchmaking history in pursuing the research, creating timekeepers from which authenticity and technical innovations are respecting the ethics of these great masters.
The many watch awards he received encouraged him in his single-handed task of research and development. Quite soon the great names in the world of luxury and watchmaking called upon his talents to develop and create innovative movements. He designed and crafted mysterious clocks, the “sympathique” clock, and subtle mechanisms for unique creations.Increasing demand emanating from Switzerland led him to develop a Manufacture dedicated to building movements for various brands. He thereby placed his historical and technical knowledge as a watchmaking design engineer in the service of industry. Nonetheless, his secret desire remained to be able to offer contemporary timekeepers, based on a technical interpretation that could rightly claim to be both authentic and innovative, to a broader public.
Each of the unique pieces François-Paul Journe was creating was the result of countless hours of research, that he saw disappearing when the commissioner took up his watch. He then began dreaming about a collection of watches offering the same qualities – comfort, innovations and performances – but for a wider public!In 1994, François-Paul Journe started designing his vision of contemporary watchmaking and presented in 1999, a collection of wristwatches signed F.P.Journe with the Latin wording – Invenit et Fecit –, meaning “invented and made”, thereby certifying that each of the watches carrying his name results from an entirely original conception and rigorous craftsmanship.
His creative, intellectual and inventive thought process remains identical that when he was a craftsman, only the shaping changes considerably, with more contributors. His integrity in the creation of innovative timepieces, imposes him naturally as the link between the golden age of horological science and contemporary watchmaking. His creations have quickly imposed with the status of World Premiere, thanks to their unique conception, their originality and their technical performance.
François-Paul Journe perpetuates the long history of watchmaking and pays tribute to the Age of Enlightenment, by pursuing and extending the most decisive research in the unique science and craft represented by the measurement of time. He has become a subtle link between the watchmaking of yesterday and that of tomorrow.His creations were soon to establish themselves as world firsts, thanks to their technical originality and degree of performance.
The F.P.Journe Watch Collections
- The Collection Souveraine: Comprising high-precision mechanical wristwatches with manual winding. They feature exclusive and technically innovative complicated exclusive F.P.Journe mechanisms.
- The Collection Octa: A line of mechanical wristwatches with automatic winding presenting a unique and innovative concept; an exceptional power reserve of more than five days, over 120 hours, and a unique calibre for all models. Each presents the same thickness, whatever the complication may be.
- The lineSport: A collection of ultra light watches specially conceived for a sportive activity, featuring a movement in aluminium, a case in Titanium and a bracelet in rubber or in Titanium.
- The élégante: The first collection for Ladies introducing a revolutionary horological concept offering a very long autonomy of 8 to 10 years in daily use and up to 18 years in standby mode.
- Limited series and special editions have been created exclusively for the F.P.Journe Boutiques such as the Black Label Collection, available solely to owners of an F.P.Journe watch, or the Boutique Anniversary Editions celebrating the creation of the first Boutique in Tokyo.
Movements in worldwide exclusivity: Chronometers by F.P.Journe -Invenit et Fecit- possess a powerful aesthetic identity. They reflect a new vision of contemporary watchmaking. Their designer, who is above all a master-watchmaker, wanted simple, companionable and yet spectacular watches of round shape because they guarantee the best using of space; and the essential is housed within the very heart of his exclusive movements.
François-Paul Journe wanted his chronometers to provide the indispensable information at first glance. The guilloché silver hour and minute dials are screwed by means of a patented system to the right-hand side of the 18-carat gold watch face for discreet read-off.
Limited Edition: It is hardly surprising to learn that the team of watchmakers are driven by a shared motivation: a return to a full-fledged watchmaker’s work. In an increasingly segmented industry, few watchmakers have the opportunity to create a watch from start to finish and even less are able to follow its destiny.In the workshops of François-Paul Journe, the watchmakers who have chosen to associate with him are all inspired by a common purpose: to pursue their training and hone their skills by working with new, exclusive and technically innovative calibres. All are keenly aware that more new introductions will be forthcoming and that technical challenges and learning experiences will be their daily lot. Each watchmaker is responsible for making a specific watch, according to his professional affinities and above all his technical sensitivity. His mission will be to perform all stages in assembling the watch: fitting the exclusive F.P.Journe movement, the often delicate rating process, casing-up and testing before submitting it to the “master” for an ultimate check.
Much like a cardiologist, a watchmaker becomes acquainted with the slightest reactions and vagaries of the mechanism which are so inherent in mechanical watches. Somewhat like a “godfather”, if one considers the design-engineer as the father, he becomes responsible for each watch for the guarantee period following purchase. Each stage is carefully recorded and enables a precise review of all the watchmaker’s gestures.It is a real privilege for these passionately dedicated watchmakers to follow the career of the watches they make. Each of them carries with it the secret of the number of hours the watchmaker has spent with it and thus acquires a unique dimension. It is imbued with the sense of companionship of which only its “godfather” can bring back the memories when meeting it at a later date. If necessary, he will find the means to restore his protégé to its initial radiance and ensure that its heart is as young as when they first parted !
Totally Innovative Construction: Watches with a long power reserve of classical construction suffer from the fact that their small balance is sensitive to chocks and disturbances. All chronometers in the Souveraine and Octa collections houses an exclusive large-size four-arm balance, providing enhanced precision rating stability.
The Dials: In 18 ct red, white or yellow gold and in guilloché silver. In the collection by F.P.Journe-Invenit et Fecit- the dial reveals the most hidden secrets of the mysterious mechanical gear-trains. Thanks to his own dial-makers’ workshop, François-Paul Journe need make no concessions and can allow his imagination to roam freely. His dials are the authentic faces of his watches and their elegant features do far more than simply showing the time. Instead, they reveal the heart of each watch for all to admire.
Awards and Prizes
The many watch awards from around the world he received encouraged him in his task of research and development. Since 2002, François-Paul Journe has received distinctions every year at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie of Geneva, except in 2007 and 2009, since he was part of the Jury:
- 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.
- 1987: Prize of the Fondation de la Vocation Bleustein-Blanchet.
- 1994: Prix Gaia, 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 by the Minister of French Culture.
- 2006: Sonnerie Souveraine, Watch of the Year in Japan.
- 2008: Répétition Minute, Watch of the Year, Los Relojes del Ano (Tiempo de Relojes).
- 2008: Minute Repeater, Best Technical Innovation in Champions of Time, China.
- 2009: Centigraphe, 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 is acclaimed Best Men’s Watch of the Year at the European Watch Award in London.
- 2013: Best Independent Watchmaker 2013 by Spiral Magazine Hong Kong.
- 2014: « Ladies Watch of the Year 2014 » for the élégante, Montre de l’Année in Geneva.
- 2014: Best Independent Watchmaker 2014 by Spiral Magazine Hong Kong.
- 2015: The Historical Tourbillon receives the Robb Report distinction “Best of The Best” for Classic Design.
- 1957: Birth of François-Paul Journe in Marseille (France)
- 1976: Graduates from the Ecole d’horlogerie de Paris, Joins his uncle in his antique watch restoration workshop in Paris.
- 1977: He starts working in his uncle Michel’s workshop and decided to construct his first chronometer with tourbillon. It will take him 5 years to complete it and he crafted each component himself as well as the case in Gold and Sliver.
- 1979: Conception of a planetarium at the age of 22 for the House of Asprey in London. The Zodiac signs represent the 12 months of the year, and an additional arm supporting a gear train is animating the different planets gravitating around the sun.
- 1983: Realisation of his first pocket watch with tourbillon entirely made by hand.
- 1985: Sets up his first workshop on the rue de Verneuil in Paris.
- 1986: Creation of its fifth timepiece, an automatic chronometer pocket-watch with fusée and chain housing a five-second remontoire and a detent escapement. The rock crystal dial reveals the retrograde perpetual calendar mechanism with the equation of time. This creation is inspired by the famous watch ordered from Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) for Marie-Antoinette.
- 1987: Realisation of a unique piece : An astronomic planetary pocket-watch, especially commissioned by a collector of scientific objects. François-Paul Journe receives the Prize awarded by the Fondation de la Vocation Bleustein Blanchet. “ Becoming a laureate of the ‘ Fondation de la Vocation ’, of which only thirty per year are chosen from among thousands of candidates.
- 1988: Creates the “Sympatique” clock for Asprey’s of London
- 1989: “Balancier d’Or” Prize awarded at the Watchmakers Convention in Madrid, Establishes a movement Manufacture in Switzerland.
- 1991: Creation of the first wristwatch with tourbillon including for the first time, the remontoire (constant force device) François-Paul Journe created in 1982 during the making of his second pocket watch. This watch was the prototype of the Tourbillon Souverain. He has manufactured the movement in 18K Gold.
- 1994: Gaia Watchmaker of the Year award from the Musée de l’Homme et du Temps
- 1996: Creates TIM SA in Geneva, devoted to developing exclusive calibres in the service various brands
- 1999: Launches a collection of chronometers signed F.P.Journe Invenit et Fecit. World Premiere : Presents the first Tourbillon Souverain (collection Souveraine)
- 2000: Presents the “Sonnerie Souveraine” in homage to the new Century. World Premiere : Invents the first resonance wristwatch “Chronomètre à Résonance”. Establishes the workshops of the brand in the centre of Geneva. rue de l’Arquebuse/rue de la Synagogue
- 2001: Birth of Maxime,Introduces the first F.P.Journe automatic movement (Octa clollection): the first in the world to ensure precision timekeeping performances for full five days when not worn. Associates with the American company Harry Winston in creating eighteen exceptional one-of-a-kind creations constituting the Opus One collection of 18 pieces
- 2002: Acquires the first item in the collection of Montres Journe SA: the resonance regulator made around 1780 by the famous French watchmaker Antide Janvier. Acquisition of the building rue de l’Arquebuse/rue de la Synagogue in the centre of Geneva – 90% of the components are manufactured there. First private exhibition in his headquarters in Geneva.
- 2002: Won the special prize of the jury of the “Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève” for the Octa calendrier model
- 2003: Opening of Montres Journes Japon KK with the creation of a F.P.Journe Boutique. Opening of the first salon of Montres Journe in Tokyo. Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, “Men watch” award for the model Octa Lune,Watch of the Year award in Japan. The Chronomètre à Résonance receives the Jury Prize “Watch of the Year”
- 2004: Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Receives the ultimate ”Gold Hand” Award 2004 for the model Tourbillon Souverain, Watch of the Year award in Japan,The Tourbillon Souverain receives the Grand Prize Watch of the Year
- 2005: Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix 2005 F.P. Journe receives the “best men’s watch” award for the Chronomètre Souverain
- 2006: Annual exhibition 4th to 8th April in Geneva, François-Paul Journe honoured with the title of «Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres» by the French Minister of Culture. Creation of Montres Journe Hong-Kong with the opening of a F.P.Journe Boutique in Prince’s Building. Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2006 Receives for the second time the ultimate ”Gold Hand” Award for the model Sonnerie Souveraine. In Japan, F.P.Journe receives the “Watch of the Year Award” 2006 for the Sonnerie Souveraine.
- 2007: Inauguration of the new Exhibition Space in the Manufacture Montres Journe Genève featuring an exceptional astronomical clock by C.L Detouche, (1855), restored during 3 years by the Musée d’Horlogerie of la Chaux de Fonds. Inauguration of the first Boutique F.P.Journe in Europe at 13 place Longemalle in the historical centre of Geneva. Inauguration of the first franchised Boutique F.P.Journe in the United States, on Mizner Park at Boca Raton, Florida. Creation of the Centigraphe, exponential chronograph measuring the 100th of a second.
- 2008 : Creation of the ultra slim Répétition Souveraine. A re-invention of the minute repeater mechanism was necessary to realise this ultra slim movement of only 4.00 mm thick. More reminiscent of a simple hand wind calibre than a highly intricate and complex grand complication watch.
- 2011: Creation of the Octa UTC. Creation of the lineSport, first sports wristwatch collection entirely in high technology aluminium alloy.
- 2012: Creation of the Chronomètre Optimum. It symbolises the essence of precision for a wristwatch and encompasses the finest components in the history of watch making, reunited for the first time in one watch ; the double barrel – the 1 second remontoire – the new EBHP High-Performance Bi-axial Escapement – the balance with a spiral with Phillips curve – and the natural dead beat second on the back.
- 2013: Creation of the Quantième Perpétuel with instantaneous jump, offering perfect readability through an uncluttered dial with large apertures, and a great easiness of use. Creation of the historic Anniversary Tourbillon celebrating 30 years of exceptional watch creations
Because the exceptional F.P.Journe timepieces of watchmaking art deserve to be brought out to their true dimension, the brand opened a network of 9 Flagship Boutiques in Geneva, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Miami, Los Angeles, Beirut and Kiev. The first one was opened in 2004 in Tokyo, followed by Hong Kong, Boca Raton and Geneva.
These F.P.JOURNE BOUTIQUES enable to control an exclusive and international distribution with carefully trained collaborators. There the visitor may discover the pieces of the “Souveraine”, “Octa”, “lineSport” and “élégante” collections in the brand’s exclusive universe, as well as special editions that are reserved solely for them such as the Black Label collection, the Boutique Edition or the Boutique Anniversary Timepiece.
The identical decoration for each Boutique-lounge is realised by François-Paul Journe, with as much care as he is taking to produce his watches. They allow the visitor to penetrate an exclusive watch universe in a refined, elegant and comfortable environment. They feature a relaxing sitting area, a library in which collectors can find numerous books and magazines about watches, a bar in which they can exchange about their shared passion, and show cases of aerial design presenting the elitist collection from this prodigious creator.
- TOKYO : Collezione 6 -1- 3, Minami-Aoyama, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 107- 0062, Japan.
- HONG KONG : Shop G35, G/F., Landmark Prince’s, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, China.
- GENEVA: 13, Place Longemalle, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland.
- BOCA RATON : 310 North Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432, USA.
- PARIS: 63, Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France.
- BEIJING : Zone 3, China World Mall,1 Jianguomenwai Ave, Chaoyang District, 100004, Beijing, China.
- NEW YORK : 721 Madison Avenue, 64th. Street, New York, NY 10065, USA.
- MIAMI: Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, FL 33154, USA.
- LOS ANGELES : 8608 W. Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069-2302, USA.
- BEIRUT: Sofil Centre, Charles Malek Avenue, Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon.
- KIEV : 12/3 Gorodetskogo Street, 01001 KIEV – Ukraine
Montres Journe SA
17 Rue de l’Arquebuse
Official website: http://www.fpjourne.com