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François-Paul Journe - A Passion for Horological Science

It is with an artist's sensitivity that François-Paul Journe explores the measurement of time with a unique sense of creativity and innovation. As a demanding technician, he innovates by devising exclusive watch mechanisms. From his earliest years, watchmaking has been an integral part of his life.

It was in his native city of Marseille that he began training at the watchmaker's school at the age of fourteen. Little by little, he discovered the scope and wealth of horological science, ...

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Showing 1 - 5 of 5 items

François-Paul Journe - A Passion for Horological Science

It is with an artist's sensitivity that François-Paul Journe explores the measurement of time with a unique sense of creativity and innovation. As a demanding technician, he innovates by devising exclusive watch mechanisms. From his earliest years, watchmaking has been an integral part of his life.

It was in his native city of Marseille that he began training at the watchmaker's school at the age of fourteen. Little by little, he discovered the scope and wealth of horological science, which would prove capable of satisfying both his curiosity and his creative vitality. However, the full revelation of his vocation came in Paris where he completed his studies before training with his uncle. The workshop of this eminent antique watch and clock restorer was located at the heart of the craftsmen's district in Saint-Germain-des-Prés and a first-rate clientele entrusted him with the finest collections. It was here that François-Paul Journe thrilled to the discovery of the most striking achievements in the history of watchmaking and retraced the intellectual and philosophical paths taken by those who had conceived and crafted them: scientists, inventors or master-watchmakers. He experienced the privilege of entering the mechanical heart of some exceptional creations that were to set his own heart beating for years to come!

The youthful watchmaker explored what he still views as "the golden age of watchmaking": the 18th century. Abraham-Louis Breguet, Antide Janvier and some other talented masters of time triggered his first deep-felt horological emotions. Fascinated by what these men were able to accomplish with the means at their disposal, and wanting a tourbillon above all, he began the construction of his first tourbillon pocket-watch at the age of twenty, not having the money to purchase one. His need for independence led him to set up his craftsman's workshop on rue de Verneuil, where he received visits from a select circle of informed collectors who commissioned him with making some one-of-a-kind creations. He will know how to pay homage to the watchmaking history in pursuing the research, creating timekeepers from which authenticity and technical innovations are respecting the ethics of these great masters.

The many watch awards from around the world he received encouraged him in his single-handed task of research and development. Quite soon the great names in the world of luxury and watchmaking called upon his talents to develop and create innovative movements. He designed and crafted mysterious clocks, the "sympathique" clock, and subtle mechanisms for unique creations.

Increasing demand emanating from Switzerland led him to develop a Manufacture dedicated to building movements for various brands. He thereby placed his historical and technical knowledge as a watchmaking design-engineer in the service of industry. Nonetheless, his secret desire remained to be able to offer contemporary timekeepers, based on a technical interpretation that could rightly claim to be both authentic and innovative, to a broader public.

Each of the unique pieces François-Paul Journe was creating was the result of countless hours of research, that he saw disappearing when the commissioner took up his watch. He then began dreaming about a collection of watches offering the same qualities - comfort, innovations and performances - but for a wider public!

INVENIT ET FECIT - Invented and Made
A label of excellence symbolizing over 30 years of horological resear
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In 1994, François-Paul Journe started designing his vision of contemporary watchmaking and presented in 1999, a collection of wristwatches signed F.P.Journe with the Latin wording - Invenit et Fecit - meaning "invented and made". It thereby certifies that each of the watches carrying his name results from an entirely original conception and rigorous craftsmanship.

His creative, intellectual and inventive thought process remains identical that when he was a craftsman, only the shaping changes considerably, with more contributors. His integrity in the creation of innovative timepieces imposes him naturally as the link between the golden age of horological science and contemporary watchmaking. His creations have quickly imposed with the status of World Premiere, thanks to their unique conception, their originality and their technical performance.

François-Paul Journe perpetuates the long history of watchmaking and pays tribute to the Age of Enlightenment, by pursuing and extending the most decisive research in the unique science and craft represented by the measurement of time.

INVENIT ET FECIT - Movements in worldwide exclusivity Entirely invented and manufactured in house

Chronometers by F.P.Journe -Invenit et Fecit- possess a powerful aesthetic identity. They reflect a new vision of contemporary watch making. Their designer, who is above all a master-watchmaker, wanted simple, companionable yet spectacular watches of round shape because they guarantee the best using of space.

Excellence is the essence of an F.P.Journe watch, and so are authenticity and chronometry. That is why the cases of all F.P.Journe creations are made only in the most precious metals - platinum or 18K red gold. Exception is made for striking watches for which the case is produced in steel, as it is the best metal transmitting beautiful strong and crystal clear sounds.

EXLUSIVE MOVEMENTS

The essential is housed within the very heart of F.P.Journe's exclusive movements realised entirely in 18K red gold; a first in the watch world and a unique feature of the brand.

For the Octa collection with automatic winding, the rotor is produced in 22K rose gold, and slightly off centre for an optimum winding.

Signed with the label -Invenit et Fecit-(invented and made), each F.P.Journe exclusive movement guarantees a manufacture calibre, entirely invented, constructed, and assembled in the Geneva workshops.

The inscription "Invenit et Fecit" was also present on watches made by the great French masters from the 18th Century for pieces that had been proclaimed as originals by the Royal Academy of Sciences.

THE DIALS

The dials and movements echo one another in perfect harmony. Realised in 18K red or white gold, and in guilloché silver, they reveal the most hidden secrets of the mysterious F.P.Journe mechanical gear-trains. Thanks to his own dial-makers' workshop, F.P.Journe rises above concessions which allows his imagination to roam freely. The dials are the authentic faces of his watches and their elegant features do far more than simply show the time. Instead, they reveal the heart of each watch for all to admire.

A TOTALLY NEW CONSTRUCTION

Watches with a long power reserve of classical construction suffer from the fact that their small balance is sensitive to shocks and disturbances. All chronometers in the Souveraine and Octa collections house an exclusive large-size four-arm balance, providing enhanced precision rating stability.

THE WATCH CREATIONS

F.P.Journe is the last independent watch manufacture managed by a master watchmaker. This gives him a genuine legitimacy and differentiates the brand from other watch companies. With a limited production of less than 900 timepieces per year, F.P.Journe has developed, outside of its own Boutiques, an extremely selective retailers' network, carefully chosen to meet the brand's technical requirements and criteria of excellence. The innovative and exclusive F.P.Journe chronometers are divided in two lines:

The Collection Souveraine is composed of high-precision wristwatches with manual winding. They feature exclusive and technically innovative complicated mechanisms.

The Tourbillon Souverain in 2004, the Sonnerie Souveraine in 2006 and the Centigraphe in 2008 have received the ultimate distinction, the "Golden Hand" at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. The Chronomètre Souverain received the Best Men's Watch prize in 2005.

The Collection Octa is a line of wristwatches with mechanical winding presenting a unique and innovative concept, with an exceptional power reserve of more than five days, over 120 hours, and a unique calibre for all models. Each presents the same thickness, whatever the complication offers.

The Octa Calendrier received the Special Prize of the Jury in 2002 at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, while the Octa Lune was named Men's Watch of the Year in 2003.

Limited series and special editions have been created exclusively for the F.P.Journe Boutiques such as the Black Label Collection, available to owners of an F.P.Journe watch only, or the Boutique Anniversary Editions celebrating the creation of the first Boutique in Tokyo.

A LIMTED PRODUCTION - To each watch its watchmaker

The team of F.P.Journe watchmakers is driven by a shared motivation: a return to a full-fledged watchmaker's work. In an increasingly segmented industry, few watchmakers have the opportunity to create a watch from start to finish and even less are able to follow its destiny.

In the workshops of François-Paul Journe, the watchmakers who have chosen to associate with him are all inspired by a common purpose: to pursue their training and hone their skills by working with new, exclusive and technically innovative calibres. All are keenly aware that more new introductions will be forthcoming and that technical challenges and learning experiences will be their daily lot. Each watchmaker is responsible for making a specific watch, according to his professional affinities and above all his technical sensitivity. His mission will be to perform all stages in assembling the watch: fitting the exclusive F.P.Journe movement, the often delicate rating process, casing-up and testing before submitting it to the 'master' for an ultimate check.

Much like a cardiologist, a watchmaker becomes acquainted with the slightest reactions and vagaries of the mechanism which are so inherent in mechanical watches. Somewhat like a 'godfather', if one considers the design-engineer as the father, he becomes responsible for each watch for the guarantee period following purchase. Each stage is carefully recorded and enables a precise review of all the watchmaker's gestures.

It is a real privilege for these passionately dedicated watchmakers to follow the career of the watches they make. Each of them carries with it the secret of the number of hours the watchmaker has spent with it and thus acquires a unique dimension.

It is imbued with the sense of companionship of which only its 'godfather' can bring back the memories when meeting it at a later date. If necessary, he will find the means to restore his "protégé" to its initial radiance and ensure that its heart is as young as when they first parted !

THE MANUFACTURE

Journe's watch Manufacture is located in the centre of Geneva in the private Banks district which has become the hub of contemporary Art. In this historical building dating 1892, on a 2000m2 site, watchmakers, engineers, research and development designers, precision mechanics, polishers and bevellers, are producing 95% of the components of the F.P.Journe precision chronometers in the grand horological tradition.

The F.P. Journe Manufacture prides itself in the return to a genuine watchmaker's Art. Each watchmaker is responsible for making a specific watch, according to his technical sensitivity, and performing all production stages from beginning to end, including the delicate rating process, casing-up and testing.

Professions exercised within the Manufacture for an annual production of less than 900 watches, including all models:

- Watchmakers
- Engineers
- Research and development designers
- Precision Mechanics
- Bevellers and polishers
- Dial-makers
- Case-makers

François-Paul Journe is one of the rare professionals of the Swiss watch industry to conceive alone watches of an extreme complexity and manage in the same time their distribution around the world. He is the master watchmaker in his Manufacture, and that grants him a genuine legitimacy.

THE BOUTIQUES LOUNGE

Producing watches that are exclusively invented and manufactured in house by F.P.Journe, the brand is determined to offer its clients a privileged environment and a service to match its philosophy and work ethics. That is one of the reasons that have motivated the creator to open his own network of Boutiques.

With a limited production of less than 900 watches per year, all featuring an exclusive movement in 18K rose gold, the F.P. Journe Boutiques also allow a controlled distribution worldwide. Instead of being present in a multitude of locations with a small quantity of watches, the F.P. Journe Boutiques display a complete collection introduced by experts in horology, including the Black Label line, Limited Series and Anniversary Editions, reserved exclusively for them.

Since 2003, six Boutiques have been opened in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Geneva, and Paris in December 2008 on 63 Faubourg St-Honoré, next to the Elysée Palace. Two new Boutiques F.P.Journe have opened in November 2009; New York on 721 Madison Avenue and Beijing in the Yintai Centre. Two more are planned in Singapore and London.

The identical decoration for each Boutique-lounge is realized by François-Paul Journe, with as much care as he takes to produce his watches. They allow the visitor to penetrate an exclusive watch universe in a refined, elegant and comfortable environment. They feature a relaxing sitting area with a library, in which collectors can find numerous books and magazines about watches, a bar where they can exchange about their shared passion, and show cases of aerial design presenting the elitist collection from this prodigious creator.

THE AWARDS

Since 2002, François-Paul Journe has received distinctions every year at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie of Geneva, except in 2007 and 2009, since he was part of the Jury:

2002 - Octa Calendrier Special Jury Prize
2003 - Octa Lune Prize for Best Men's Watch
2004 - Tourbillon Souverain Golden Hand 'Aiguille d'Or'
2005 - Chronomètre Souverain Prize for Best Men's Watch
2006 - Sonnerie Souveraine Golden Hand 'Aiguille d'Or'
2008 - Centigraphe Souverain Golden Hand 'Aiguille d'Or'
2010 - Chronomètre à Résonance Grand Complication Prize

The other Prizes :

1994 - Prix Gaia Best Watchmaker
2003 - Chronomètre à Résonance, Watch of the Year in Japan
2004 - Tourbillon Souverain, Watch of the Year in Japan
2006 - Title : Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Minister of French Culture
2006 - Sonnerie Souveraine, Watch of the Year in Japan
2008 - Répétition Minute, Watch of the Year, Los Relojes del Ano (Tiempo de Relojes)
2008 - Minute Repeater, Best Technical Innovation in Champions of Time, China
2009 - Centigraphe, Watch of The Year on Timezone.com
2009 - The Répétition Souveraine received the Robb Report distinction "Best of The Best" Men's Watch of the year
2010 - Best Technical Innovation for the Vagabondage II at Champions of Times in China.

CHRONOLOGY

1957
Birth of François-Paul Journe in Marseille (France)

1976
Graduates from the Ecole d'horlogerie de Paris

Join his uncle in his antique watch restoration workshop in Paris

1978
Builds his first tourbillon pocket-watch

1982
Realisation of a tourbillon pocket-watch with constant force device

1985
Sets up his first workshop on the rue de Verneuil in Paris

1986
Creation of an automatic chronometer pocket-watch

1987
Prize awarded by the Fondation de la Vocation Bleustein-Blanchet

Creates a planetary pocket-watch

1988
Creates the "sympatique" clock for Asprey's of London

1989
"Balancier d'Or" Prize awarded at the Watchmakers Convention in Madrid

Establishes a movement Manufacture in Switzerland

1991
The first Tourbillon wristwatch with constant force device

1994
Gaia Watchmaker of the Year award from the Musée de l'Homme et du Temps

Creates TIM SA in Geneva, devoted to developing exclusive calibres in the service various brands

1999
Launches a collection of chronometers signed F.P.Journe -Invenit et Fecit-
World Premiere : Presents the first Tourbillon Souverain (collection Souveraine)

2000
Presents the 'Sonnerie Souveraine' in homage to the new Century

World Premiere : Invents the first resonance wristwatch "Chronomètre à Résonance"

Establishes the workshops of the brand in the centre of Geneva. rue de l'Arquebuse/rue de la Synagogue

2001
Introduces the first F.P.Journe automatic movement (Octa collection): the first in the world to ensure precision timekeeping performances for full five days when not worn

Associates with the American company Harry Winston in creating eighteen exceptional one-of-a-kind creations constituting the Opus One collection of 18 pieces

2002
Acquires the first item in the collection of Montres Journe SA: the resonance regulator made around 1780 by the famous French watchmaker Antide Janvier

Acquisition of the building rue de l'Arquebuse/rue de la Synagogue in the centre of Geneva - 90% of the components are manufactured there

First private exhibition in his headquarters in Geneva

Win the special prize of the jury of the "Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève" for the Octa calendrier model

2003
Opening of Montres Journes Japon KK with the creation of a F.P.Journe Boutique

Opening of the first salon of Montres Journe in Tokyo

Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, "Men watch" award for the model Octa Lune

Watch of the Year award in Japan The Chronomètre à Résonance receives the Jury Prize "Watch of the Year"

2004
Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève Receives the ultimate "Gold Hand" Award 2004 for the model Tourbillon Souverain

Watch of the Year award in Japan The Tourbillon Souverain receives the Grand Prize Watch of the Year

2005
Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix 2005 F.P. Journe receives the 'best men's watch' award for the Chronomètre Souverain

2006
Annual exhibition 4th to 8th April in Geneva

François-Paul Journe honoured with the title of 'Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres» by the French Minister of Culture

Creation of Montres Journe Hong-Kong with the opening of a F.P.Journe Boutique in Prince's Building

Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2006 Receives for the second time the ultimate "Gold Hand" Award for the model Sonnerie Souveraine

In Japan, F.P.Journe receives the "Watch of the Year Award" 2006 for the Sonnerie Souveraine

2007
April: Inauguration of the new Exhibition Space in the Manufacture Montres Journe Genève featuring an exceptional astronomical clock by C.L Detouche, (1855), restored during 3 years by the Musée d'Horlogerie of la Chaux de Fonds

April : Inauguration of the first Boutique F.P.Journe in Europe at 13 place Longemalle in the historical centre of Geneva

Fall: Exhibition Steel Time in the Exhibition of the Manufacture

December : Inauguration of the first franchised Boutique F.P.Journe in the United States, on Mizner Park at Boca Raton, Florida

2008
April : Presentation of the new ultra slim Répétition Minute Souveraine Annual watch salon in the exhibition room of the Manufacture

François-Paul Journe receives the prize Watch of the Year in LOS RELOJES DEL AÑO 2008 for the Minute Repeater in the category Grand Complication

Grand Prix d'Horlogerie of Geneva F.P.Journe receives for the 3rd time the ultimate "Gold Hand" Award 2008 for the Centigraphe Souverain

Champions of Time in China (Time Square Magazine) awards F.P.Journe with "Best Technique Innovation Watch" 2008 for the Minute Repeater

2009
January: Exhibition "Masterpieces of French Horology" featuring 12 Historic Clocks made by the great French Masters in the 18 and 19 Centuries.

March: The Centigraphe Souverain is awarded "Watch of the Year" 2008 on Timezone.com.

June: The ultra slim Minute Repeater is awarded "Best of the Best" Watch of the Year by Robb Report in the USA.