Flash News: F.P. Journe French-China 50 Commemorative Watches

By Thierry Ané on April 23, 2014

On January 27, 1964, General de Gaulle and President Mao Tse Tung opened the way for exchanges between China and France. During the Cold War, France thus became the first major European country to establish diplomatic relationships with Beijing. Both countries will organise a series of events to commemorate 50 years of collaboration with rich socio-cultural exchanges.

I clearly get the symbolic importance of this 50th anniversary and although I truly believe such milestone is worth commemorating with cultural events and all sorts of exchanges, I was bewildered to learn that it also needed an “official watchmaker”! But apparently watchmakers are ready to pick up the press coverage of any event they can associate their names with and F.P. Journe has been selected for this one.

I thought that F.P. Journe claimed a special bond with Japan where he opened its first boutique not China. A brand like Bovet with an historic connection to the Chinese market would have seemed more appropriate in my view but apparently the relevance of the choice did not matter… So, for the occasion, F.P. Journe unveils two unique pieces that will be presented during the different events of France-China 50 and hopefully bring more Chinese customers to the brand!

The men’s watch is a platinum version of the brand’s Octa Automatique Lune with a new blue dial featuring the France-China 50 logo that has been created for the occasion. It is complemented by a beautiful dark blue alligator strap. It houses F.P. Journe’s self-winding 1300-3 calibre crafted in rose gold. Beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph, this beautiful mechanical movement offers the time of the day by central hands, a small seconds counter between 4 and 5 o’clock, a large date between 11 and 12 o’clock, a sectorial power reserve indicator spanning from 8 to 10 o’clock and the phases of the moon in a window at 7 o’clock.

With a newly introduced women’s line, the brand was also able to present a ladies’ watch for this anniversary. The Elegante French-China 50 features the same 35 x 34 mm tonneau shape case as the rest of the Elegante collection introduced in January but this time crafted in platinum with a line of brilliant-cut diamonds on each side. It is mounted on a navy blue rubber strap secured by a pin buckle and, in reference to China, its dial is made of translucent Jade allowing to see the mechanical parts of the quartz (!) movement.

If you would like to see these watches, they will be on display during Asia Now, the first Asian Contemporary Art exhibition that will take place at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris from October 7th to 13th 2014.