“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

‘The Art of F.P. Journe’

Christie’s presents the largest thematic auction of F.P. Journe Watches to date with 40 exceptional timepieces. The Art of F.P.Journe will be a live auction on May 12th at the Hotel des Bergues in Geneva. 

UPDATE – 12 May: The sale just closed, with a total of CHF 13,665,300. The Lot 2038 has the price realised CHF 1,376,000, the lot 2032 was sold for CHF 529,200. The top selling lot of the sale was a platinum Tourbillon Souverain “Souscription 2/20” wristwatch, made circa 1999, sold for CHF 2,707,000.

Earlier this year watch geeks had the chance to see emblematic creations by two of the most important independent watch brands of our time. The ‘Two Decades of F.P. Journe & De Bethune – A Retrospective Exhibition’ travelled to Zurich, Geneva, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai with rare timepieces. 

Now Christie’s offers  40 F.P. Journe masterpieces for sale from a collection curated by a single connoisseur over more than twenty years. 

François-Paul Journe is one of the finest contemporary watchmakers who has been passionately creating haute horlogerie pieces for more than 3 decades. He founded his namesake business in 1999. Due to the complexity and the outstanding finishes of the watches, he creates fewer than 1,000 watches each year. His pieces are a part of the collections of many high-profile watch aficionados (like Patrick Getreide, whose collection includes 600 ‘One of A Kind’ vintage and contemporary museum-quality watches, including F.P. Journe ones).

As Remi Guillemin, Head of Europe Watches, shared: ‘We couldn’t be more excited and honoured to present these forty F.P. Journe watches in a stand-alone thematic auction. The Art of F.P. Journe will be a historic sale, a must-attend event, and we look forward to bringing together collectors from around the globe to celebrate these iconic timepieces by a modern watchmaking genius.’

The line-up is truly diverse – Tourbillon à Remontoir d’Egalité, Chronomètre à Résonance or Centigraphe watches, and special editions made for the Singaporean retailer ‘Sincere Fine Watches’ or for the Dubai boutique. Christie’s set up a dedicated room in the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva to properly present the collection. We only selected two highlights of the many. 

F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance Platinum – Lot 2038

The brand celebrated 20 years of the Chronomètre à Résonance in 2020 with an exhibition at the manufacture and two anniversary pieces – please discover more about the history, the concept and those timepieces here

The Chronomètre à Résonance model was launched in 2000 starting with a series of twenty ‘Souscription’ watches numbered 1 to 20 engraved with the suffix 00R for the year 2000. The concept was to help finance the pieces – the first twenty pieces were pre-ordered on ‘souscription’, whereby the prospective buyer paid a sum upfront in order to provide enough funds for François-Paul Journe to create each watch. Before this numbered edition, two distinct earlier groups comprising approximately 30 watches have been identified as the ‘pre-production’ (with suffix 99R); and the ‘pre-souscription’ (with suffix 00R) such as the present watch.

This early ‘Pre-Souscription’ platinum, 38mm Chronomètre à Résonance has a pink gold dial and a rhodium plated brass movement, seen so rarely on the open market today (estimate CHF 500,000 – CHF 1,000,000). 

F.P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain F – Lot 2032

F.P. Journe created the Centigraphe Souverain between 2008 and 2018, as his innovative take on the chronograph complication. As François-Paul Journe shared, the man who inspired and contributed to the conception of the Centigraphe model was motor racing executive and collector Jean Todt. The aim was to create the ideal chronograph for the world of motor racing. 

This ingenious timepiece – powered by F.P. Journe’s cal. 1506 – indicates elapsed times from a 100th of a second to 10 minutes via the three subdials. The subdials are: a 100th of a second register at 10 o’clock, a 20-second register at 2 o’clock and a 10-minute register at 6 o’clock. The traditional chronograph pushers are replaced by a rocker at 2 o’clock that starts, stops and resets the registers that are all activated and stopped at the same time.

The present lot is a Centigraphe Souverain F – Formula edition 40mm platinum timepiece from 2010 with a brilliant red chrome dial, yellow hands and blackened gold registers (estimate: CHF 400,000 – CHF 600,000). 

Jean Todt’s uniquely personalised platinum Centigraphe Souverain with a red dial was sold by Christie’s Geneva, on 6th November 2022, for CHF 1,974,000. 

Photo credits: Christie’s. Loupiosity.com
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