MasterHorologer

F.P.Journe

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

Manufacturing

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:

Other Prizes

Chronology

F.P.JOURNE BOUTIQUES

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.

Contact details
Montres Journe SA
17 Rue de l’Arquebuse
1204 Geneva
Official website: http://www.fpjourne.com

 

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