F.P. JOURNE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND EARLY PLATINUM CHRONOMETER WRISTWATCH WITH RESONANCE-CONTROLLED TWIN INDEPENDENT GEAR-TRAIN BRASS MOVEMENT AND POWER RESERVE
F.P. JOURNE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND EARLY PLATINUM CHRONOMETER WRISTWATCH WITH RESONANCE-CONTROLLED TWIN INDEPENDENT GEAR-TRAIN BRASS MOVEMENT AND POWER RESERVE
F.P. JOURNE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND EARLY PLATINUM CHRONOMETER WRISTWATCH WITH RESONANCE-CONTROLLED TWIN INDEPENDENT GEAR-TRAIN BRASS MOVEMENT AND POWER RESERVE
F.P. JOURNE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND EARLY PLATINUM CHRONOMETER WRISTWATCH WITH RESONANCE-CONTROLLED TWIN INDEPENDENT GEAR-TRAIN BRASS MOVEMENT AND POWER RESERVE
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F.P. JOURNECHRONOMETRE A RESONANCE 'PRE-SOUSCRIPTION'THE PROPERTY OF THE ORIGINAL OWNER
F.P. JOURNE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND EARLY PLATINUM CHRONOMETER WRISTWATCH WITH RESONANCE-CONTROLLED TWIN INDEPENDENT GEAR-TRAIN BRASS MOVEMENT AND POWER RESERVE

SIGNED F.P. JOURNE, CHRONOMETRE A RESONANCE 'PRE-SOUSCRIPTION' MODEL, CASE NO. 031⁄00R, CIRCA 2000

Details
F.P. JOURNE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND EARLY PLATINUM CHRONOMETER WRISTWATCH WITH RESONANCE-CONTROLLED TWIN INDEPENDENT GEAR-TRAIN BRASS MOVEMENT AND POWER RESERVE
SIGNED F.P. JOURNE, CHRONOMETRE A RESONANCE 'PRE-SOUSCRIPTION' MODEL, CASE NO. 031⁄00R, CIRCA 2000
Movement: Manual
Dial: Grey
Case: 38 mm. diam.
With: Platinum F.P. Journe buckle, Certificate of Guarantee dated 2000, product literature, presentation box and outer packaging
Remark: Pre-souscription model, one of 21 pieces produced in 2000

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Rebecca Ross
Rebecca Ross VP, Head of Sale, Watches

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Lot Essay

Christie’s New York is honored to present this superb example of the extraordinarily rare and early ‘Pre-Souscription’ platinum Chronomètre à Résonance. As an epochal model of F.P. Journe’s production, the Chronomètre à Résonance is so closely associated with François-Paul Journe himself that it is always incredibly sought after. Naturally, the earliest and scarcest examples are at the highest level of desirability for collectors and are unquestionably considered to be of world-class importance.

François-Paul Journe’s early work has become highly appreciated as exceptional works of art, their incredible horological complexity harmonizes perfectly with the delicacy of hand-made details such as the gold dials and case engravings which have often softened and mellowed to a sublime patina that cannot be replicated and is only found on these early masterpieces.

The history of the development of the Chronomètre à Résonance is both fascinating and complex. Officially, the model was launched in 2000 starting with a series of twenty ‘Souscription’ watches numbered 1 to 20 engraved with the suffix 00R for the year 2000. These first twenty pieces were so-called because they were pre-ordered on ‘souscription’, whereby the prospective buyer paid a sum upfront in order to provide enough funds for François-Paul Journe to construct and deliver each watch, an idea inspired by Abraham-Louis Breguet who took orders for 'souscription' watches from his clients in order to re-establish his business after the French revolution. However, recent study has shown that the official ‘Souscription’ watches numbered 1 to 20 are not in fact the first Chronomètre à Résonance watches to have been created. Indeed, two distinct earlier groups comprising approximately 30 watches have been identified as predating the official ‘Souscription’ series; the ‘pre-production’ (with suffix 99R); and the ‘pre-souscription’ (with suffix 00R) such as the present watch. The suffixes refer to the year that the case was made and the watch completed and the letter ‘R’ for ‘Resonance’. In common with all early F.P. Journe watches, these ‘pre-Souscription’ watches are fitted with rhodium plated brass movements.

Identifying the ‘Pre-Souscription’ Chronomètre à Résonance
Unlike the ‘pre-production’ watches that bear the suffix ‘99R’ for 1999 and are therefore easily identifiable, the ‘pre-souscription’ watches such as the present example have the same suffix ‘00R’ as the official Souscription series watches that are numbered 1 to 20. However, for the ‘pre-souscription’ watches, the numbering is usually outside that range (the present watch numbered 031⁄00R) and the engraving on the edge of the case back is very distinctly done by hand and extremely shallow. In comparison, the engraving of the case inscriptions of the official ‘Souscription’ series is thicker, bolder and engraved much more deeply due to the employment of laser engraving.

The present watch gives collectors the extremely rare opportunity to obtain an important part of F.P. Journe history and a very special example of the early watches of the Chronomètre à Résonance with rhodium plated brass movement, seen so rarely on the open market today.

The Chronomètre à Résonance
Perhaps the watch that most clearly showcases the sheer genius contemporary watchmaker François-Paul Journe. It is the only wristwatch in the world with a movement based on ‘resonance’, a natural physical phenomenon said to have been first discovered by Christiaan Huygens in 1665. Huygens noticed that two pendulum clocks, when hung together on the same beam would beat together in perfect synchronicity. An idea that was further experimented with by the great French clockmaker Antide Janvier and the legendary watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, both of whose work F.P. Journe greatly admires. François-Paul Journe’s resonance watches notably feature two balances that are naturally synchronized and oscillate in ‘resonance’ with each other. The negative effects of wrist and body movements are hence considerably reduced. Breguet had experimented with the theory of resonance in watches in the early 19th century and indeed constructed three pocket watches using the two-balance system. With the development and production of the Chronomètre à Résonance, François-Paul Journe became the first watchmaker to make a wristwatch constructed on the principle of resonance, an incredible achievement of modern horology.

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