If you look closely, it is hard to understand that F.P. Journe is still a young brand. Of course, François-Paul, as a watchmaker, has been active already for a few decades but F.P. Journe, as a brand, has not. It’s even clearer when you look at when the official boutiques were opened: only 10 years ago. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its boutiques, F.P. Journe offers a limited series, the Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire, in unique materials and color combinations. After Hong Kong and Tokyo, the Geneva F.P. Journe Boutique was the third to celebrate its anniversary, unveiling its Anniversary Edition in a limited series of 10 pieces.
Last year, F.P. Journe began to celebrate the 10th anniversary of some of its boutiques, starting with Hong Kong and Tokyo. In order to commemorate the occasion, a special watch was unveiled, the Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire – a watch that we did not cover here, on Monochrome. Thus, as it is now time for the Geneva boutique to celebrate its 10th anniversary, we thought it would be the right moment for us to take a second look at this unique piece of complex watchmaking.
Basically, the watch is the same, only the engraving on the case back of the watch and the specific number differ, followed by the name of the corresponding city. F.P. Journe has 11 boutiques around the world (the 11th one opened a few months ago in Kiev, Ukraine). In 2016, Hong Kong and Tokyo received their special edition of the Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire. This year, it will be Geneva and Boca Raton, followed in 2018 by Paris, Beijing, and New York, then Miami in 2019, Los Angeles in 2023, and finally, Beirut in 2024. For each of them, there will be a dedicated version of the Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire.
This watch is based on the standard version of the F.P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain – a watch that we explained thoroughly here, in its boutique edition. The Centigraphe is Journe’s vision of a chronograph, and as you know, the man doesn’t do things in an easy way. The idea is simple: three sub-dials compose the dial, in order to display elapsed time from a 100th of a second to 10 minutes. The first one, at 10 o’clock, is a one-second register, which displays on a 100th of a second scale. The second one, at 2 o’clock, is a 20-second counter. Finally, the third one at 6 o’clock, is a 10-minute register.
This impressive display is powered by a in-house movement, of course with bridges and plates manufactured in 18k rose gold. The chronograph mechanism, located on the dial side of the movement, is actuated by a patented rocker located at 2 in the case band and linked to a column-wheel. The movement has a frequency of 21,600vph or 3Hz, which of course immediately raises the question: how can a 3Hz movement be accurate to 100th of a second? Normally we should have a 50Hz / 360,000vph movement to do so. In a way, this is true. However, the F.P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain is a bit more complex, as the “ingenious feature of the 100th of a second is that it may be stopped anywhere along its one-second journey around its dial, even between two 100th-second divisions, enabling a fractional reading. This is achieved by vertically disengaging the pinion of the 100th of a second hand from that of the escapement, which presses on the pivot shank and acts as a brake.” This 100th of a second hand is more of a foudroyante hand that can be stopped anywhere. Yet, the display remains extremely impressive – for more details about the Centigraphe Souverain, read our review here.
Now, back to the Anniversaire edition of the F.P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain. While the movement is the same as the original version, the watch has undergone a massive facelift. Based on the classic 40mm case of the brand, it is now made in titanium, rather than gold or platinum. Yet, the control rocker and the crown are 18 red gold. The dial is also different, as first showing a Ruthenium color, but also opening its sub-dials in the center, with sapphire plates to see the chronograph mechanism in action. The sub-dials are encircled by a polished steel ring, screwed on the dial. As for the display of the time, the hands and the hour track are finished in golden tones. This unique and quite bold combination of colors and materials is complemented by a burgundy leather strap with 18k red gold folding clasp. Finally, the back is engraved with the unique number and the corresponding city (in this case, Geneva).
This F.P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire is a limited series of 10 watches per boutique, meaning that overall 100 pieces could be made – if Journe keeps things the same for the upcoming 10th anniversaries. The price of the Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire is CHF 62,600. More details on www.fpjourne.com.
Technical Specifications – F.P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire
- Case: 40mm diameter x 10.7mm height – grade 5 titanium with red gold rocker and crown – sapphire crystal on both sides
- Movement: Calibre 1506, in-house, 18k rose gold plates and bridges – manual winding – 3Hz frequency – 80h power reserve (24h when the chronograph is running) – hours, minutes, chronograph with one-second counter, 20-second counter, 10-minute counter
- Strap: Burgundy alligator leather strap with 18k red Gold clasp
- Price: CHF 62,600