Among the 62 watches that have just been unveiled for charity auction Only Watch 2023 are some pretty interesting new models, to say the least. As always, François-Paul Journe is participating and, as always, he has decided to come up with something that will draw a lot of attention. If you know the man, then you’ll know that Only Watch is of great importance to him – something he explained in our recent interview. And looking at the past, you also know that the unique models presented at Only Watch often tease the future of the brand… And for 2023, it takes the shape of a new, sleek time-only sports watch with an integrated design, fully crafted in tantalum and equipped with a newly developed movement. This is the F.P. Journe Chronomètre Furtif Bleu.
A quick look at the past unique watches made by F.P. Journe for the Only Watch charity auction reveal a common pattern… In 2017, Journe offered the unique Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante, and its new movement ended up in the case of the LineSport Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante. In 2019, F.P. Journe created an ultra-complex new model, the Astronomic Blue (tourbillon, repeater, calendar, dead second, with astronomical indications…) And later that year, it became the Astronomic Souveraine, part of the permanent collection. In 2021, François-Paul Journe teamed up with Francis Ford Coppola to create a watch named the FFC, indicating the time with an articulated hand. This highly polarizing, totally unique model became a reality earlier this year when the brand released the F.P. Journe FFC.
Now, not that I can be fully certain about what I’m about to say… But if the past indicates what to expect for the future, the watch we’re looking at today might well be a teaser for the next model in F.P. Journe’s collection. And it is a rather stunning sport-ish watch with a sleek design, an integrated bracelet and a case made entirely in tantalum and equipped with a new movement. Basically, we’re talking about the time-only watch in the LineSport collection, which now comprises the Automatique Réserve, the Centigraphe and the Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante. Following the trend for sleek, 3-hand luxury sports watches, it seems that François-Paul is about to bring his own vision to the market. Maybe… I hope…
What we’re looking at with the unique F.P. Journe Chronomètre Furtif Bleu For Only Watch 2023 is a watch that is built around the LineSport concept, with a 42mm case and bracelet entirely made of sand-blasted and polished tantalum – a classic for the brand. The thin 9.5mm case, with its dark blue-grey colour, is home to a new blue dial, which might at first look like that of the Chronomètre Bleu, but actually is made using a different technique. Here, explaining the Furtif name, the dial is a Grand Feu enamel with the distinctive feature of being stealth (or furtif in French). The watch takes its name from the difficulty of reading the time if the watch is not facing you, as the blue enamel dial reveals the frosted numerals only in the reflection of light – the numerals are matte laser-engraved on the enamel surface. Time is indicated by matching blue hour and minute hands, with only the seconds hand contrasting in a bright orange tone – again, another classic design element of Journe.
The back of this F.P. Journe Chronomètre Furtif Bleu is far less furtif. It reveals the newly developed calibre 1522, with some additional complications that are reserved for the owner of the watch – namely, a power reserve indicator and a moon phase. This movement, with plates and bridges done in 18k rose gold, features the classic two-barrel architecture of the Chronomètre Souverain; however, the right side shows a new construction for the regulating organ. First, the balance is held under a more stable transversal bridge while it is connected to a direct central seconds. This new movement boasts a comfortable power reserve of 56h.
Offered as a unique piece for Only Watch 2023, the F.P. Journe Chronomètre Furtif Bleu carries an estimate of CHF 200,000 – 400,000. For more details, please visit www.fpjourne.com and www.onlywatch.com.