Miami’s most ultra-luxe shopping destination played host to a lively gathering of avid watch collectors, and a rare U.S. appearance by a watch-industry rock star, on June 8, as WatchTime and F.P. Journe co-hosted an exclusive cocktail and dinner event at the brand’s boutique in the Bal Harbour Shops.
More than a dozen watch aficionados and fans of the F.P. Journe brand were in attendance, along with myself and WatchTime’s event manager, Minda Larsen; the manager and staff of the F.P. Journe boutique; Montres Journe U.S. brand director, Pierre Halimi; and of course, the guest of honor and main attraction, company founder and namesake Francois-Paul Journe. The French independent watchmaker, who created his first watch in 1983 and founded his eponymous brand in 1999, posed for photos with guests, showed and discussed his latest watch releases (including the F.P. Journe Elegante, the brand’s first dedicated ladies’ watch collection, which made its official U.S. debut at the event), and autographed copies of F.P. Journe: The First 30 Years by Kiran Shikar, a 214-page hardcover reference book tracing his life and career.
Guests enjoyed wine, Champagne, and a deliciously decadent assortment of sushi and sashimi during the cocktail hour, while hobnobbing with fellow collectors, trying on watches, and snapping selfies with Journe and each other. Afterward, because a night of haute horlogerie demands haute cuisine, the small crowd migrated downstairs to Makato, a high-end Japanese restaurant in the Bal Harbour Shops, where guests dined on a multi-course, family-style meal while sipping Chablis and Chateauneuf-du-Pâpe. Scroll down for photos from the evening’s festivities, and keep watching WatchTime.com for my Q&A with Journe, in which we discuss how the Elegante collection came about and what sets it apart from all other ladies’ watches from luxury brands.