America’s largest luxury watch show is less than a week away! WatchTime New York takes place at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 23-24 (Click here for event details and to purchase tickets) and features more than 20 luxury watch brands. Among them is F.P. Journe, which will showcase its horological chef d’oeuvre, the Chronomètre Optimum.
Even though he has created many very complicated watches, the brand’s founder, French watchmaker Francois-Paul Journe, has always been interested in accuracy above all. The Chronomètre Optimum takes that quest for timekeeping precision to a new level. The watch, which Journe calls the “masterpiece” of his eponymous brand’s Souveraine collection, incorporates in its manufacture movement all of the technologies that Journe has developed — which have previously debuted in other Souveraine watches — to ensure ideal timekeeping precision and stability.
The Chronomètre Optimum includes a double barrel with two springs, in a parallel arrangement that helps to reduce friction by eliminating the lateral pressure on the wheel. It also incorporates Journe’s patented, constant-force remontoire device, here made of titanium for the first time, which balances the driving force applied to the escapement by means of an extra gear that is wound in short spurts by the mainspring. Another patented invention, Journe’s EBHP high-performance bi-axial escapement, uses two wheels and functions without lubricant in order to reduce friction. Journe says he based this invention on direct-impulse escapements created in the 18th century. The balance spring uses a Phillips curve, which is meant to ensure better equilibrium. Finally, Journe has incorporated the “natural” dead-beat seconds function that made its debut in the brand’s Tourbillon Souveraine watch, which debuted in 2004. Here, it is incorporated into the back of the movement, in a seconds circle screwed onto the bridges.
The watch is available in two sizes — either 40 mm or 42 mm in diameter — in either rose-gold case with rose-gold dial or platinum case with white gold dial. The movement, Caliber 1510, is manual-wound and, as in other Journe timepieces, made of 18k rose gold.
The dial of the Chronomètre Optimum features an off-center hours and minutes display, a small-seconds subdial at 9 o’clock, and a hand-type power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock. The movement holds a power reserve of 70 hours.
Journe says that the Chronomètre Optimum is not a limited edition per se, but production is, of course, limited to the number of pieces that his small, boutique company can make per year in its Geneva workshop. Journe takes great pride in the watch, which represents a pinnacle in his quest for ultimate timekeeping precision. “My watchmaking philosophy,” he says, “is to make watches that will still work in 200 years.”
To learn more about the fascinating micromechanics inside the F.P. Journe Chronomètre Optimum, and to find out how it looks and feels on your own wrist, click here to reserve your spot at WatchTime New York. Tickets are going fast!