Flash News: F.P. Journe New Models with Gold Dials
By Thierry Ané on July 15, 2014
Gold has always been an important part of François-Paul Journe’s approach to watchmaking. In addition to platinum, the talented watchmaker also offers red gold versions of almost all his creations. But his love affair with this precious metal does not stop there: F.P. Journe is indeed famous for being the only manufacture to produce all its movements in 18-karat rose gold. The exclusivity of a gold movement seems like the perfect way to enhance the mechanical beauty of the brand’s Haute Horology creations.
For this summer, the French watchmaker based in Geneva has decided to go one step further in this direction by introducing Boutique Editions of three of his most famous models also adorned with gold dials. The Chronomètre Souverain, the Octa Automatique Réserve and the Octa Lune have thus got rid of their yet beautiful brass dials to put on exquisite red gold faces. And since some watch collectors swear only by platinum, the Chronomètre Souverain, the Octa Automatique Réserve and the Octa Lune are also available in this metal paired with white gold dials.
These new dials definitely live up to François-Paul Journe’s reputation for outstanding craftsmanship and showcase the extraordinary expertise of this small manufacture. The round pieces of massive 18-karat gold that will make up the dials are first embossed with Arabic numerals before receiving a refined sanding for the base to be perfect. A thin silver layer is then applied and the Arabic numerals are then surfaced with a diamond tool making them appear like mirrors on the dial. Lastly, the F.P. Journe and the time indications are added by transfer. To achieve the lovely bombé shape, no less than five successive transfer layers are applied.
The « Chronomètre Souverain » is the first model selected by the master for this relooking. In red gold mounted on brown alligator strap or in platinum fitted with black alligator, this 40.00 x 8.60 mm watch houses the brand’s exclusive 1304 calibre. This manually-wound movement offers central hours and minutes indications, a small-seconds counter at 7:30, and a sectorial power reserve at the 3 o’clock position. This outstanding example of Fine Watchmaking won the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève in 2005 and looks more elegant than ever with this new face.
Octa Automatique Réserve
François-Paul Journe then selected the « Octa Automatique Réserve » and the « Octa Lune » as the other two models to receive the new dials. Both timepieces are powered by the exclusive 1300.3 calibre. This unidirectional self-winding movement is crafted in rose gold like the rest of the brand’s offer and deliver 120 hours of power reserve when fully wound. Its functions include central hours and minutes, a small seconds counter, a sectorial power reserve indicator, and a very useful large date display. In the « Octa Lune » variant, it also features a moon phase display. These two watches measure 40.00 mm just like the « Chronomètre Souverain » and they are slightly thicker at 10.60 mm.
I really liked the previous brass dials with the silver coating and guilloché centre but I must admit that I am definitely not indifferent to these new dials. Apart from the obvious preciousness of gold, I truly like the graining effect on the silver and the new embossed numerals create a sensational depth on the dial. Personally, I would go for a platinum model as the harmony of hues between the dial and case is truly exceptional. Whatever the model and case material, though, these are magnificent watches as impressive aesthetically as they are technically. For more information please visit the F.P. Journe web site.