An unusual watch with an unusual time display made by an unusual watchmaker in a, for him, unusual case is coming up for auction at Christie’s upcoming New York auction on June 15th. This is the F.P.Journe Vagabondage I.
With the stunning F.P. Journe Vagabondage II you would almost forget that there also was a Vagabondage I. This model was introduced in 2004 for the 30th birthday of auction house Antiquorum. Journe produced 3 Piece Unique’s, in white, yellow and rose gold, and all with a brass (!) movement, that Antiquorum auctioned in favor of ICM, a Paris based research facility specializes in the fight against brain and spinal cord diseases.
After these three watches Journe created 2 Limited Editions that where made between 2005 and 2006. A 10 piece limited edition created from platinum and set with baguette diamonds, and a 69 piece limited edition of the same watch but then without diamonds. Both feature movements in 18 karat gold, something Francois Paul Journe is known for. From the platinum only edition Christie’s auctions number 22 of 69.
Main attraction with this watch is the unusual display of time. Prominent in the middle of the dial is the balance and escapement, that oscillates at a rate of 21.600 beats per hour. This is a regular escapement without a tourbillion carriage fitted, so it should not be confused with certain Omega’s or Haldimann’s central tourbillion. The time display is what Journe calls “wandering”; the number that is highlighted by the window indicates the hour and together they circle the dial, indicating the minute. This time display was also the inspiration for the name Vagabondage, which can be translated as “A journey taken for the sake of travelling with no set destination”.
The Vagabondage I was not only unique in the way it displays time, but it was also a break from Journe’s usual case designs. The case is referred to by Journe as “Tortue Plate” and offers an interesting display of matted and polished surfaces. Also the F.P. Journe name was absent of the dial, creating an even more intriguing time piece, although the back and movement are signed.
Christies estimates that the price of this Vagabondage will be between $ 35.000,- an $ 55.000,-. Most likely it will be closer to the latter since Antiquorum sold No. 61 of 69 in September of 2009 for $ 60.000,- including buyers premium.
This Journe is lot 390 in Christies New York auction held at Rockefeller Plaza on June 15th.
For more information about the entire collection, have a look at FP Journe’s website.