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20th Anniversary
F.P.Journe - François-Paul Journe

F.P.Journe François-Paul Journe

Founder**

François-Paul Journe is clearly one of the greatest icons in independent watchmaking. Indeed, he symbolises its rise to the prominence it enjoys today.

Journe’s style is unique and instantly recognisable, as can be seen with the Tourbillon Souverain watch, unveiled in 1999 – the first wristwatch to incorporate a constant-force mechanism, marking the start of a whole series of exceptional timepieces.

A year later came the Resonance Chronometer, a timepiece which, with the passing years, has become one of the most emblematic and representative of his talent and expertise, later followed by the Sonnerie Souveraine. That same year, Journe installed his workshops in a magnificent building in the centre of Geneva and, in 2001, unveiled the Octa, his first automatic calibre – a movement designed to allow a large number of future complications to be added. 2003 marked the beginnings of international exposure, with the opening of a store in Tokyo, followed by Hong Kong in 2006. At the same time, François-Paul Journe received a considerable number of distinctions – including the GPHG’s “Aiguille d’Or” award in 2004, 2006, and 2008.

François-Paul Journe

François-Paul Journe © F.P.Journe

His respect for tradition has not held him back from using innovative materials: tantalum, seen for the first time in 2010 with the presentation of the Chronomètre Bleu, as well as titanium and aluminium, introduced in 2011 for his new lineSport collection. 2012 saw the presentation of the Chronomètre Optimum, a timepiece featuring a movement incorporating a constant-force mechanism and minimising the effects of friction.

In 2013, the Octa Quantième Perpétuel was unveiled; in 2014, the first ladies’ collection was introduced, starring the Élégante, a watch which surprised everybody with its highly innovative electromechanical movement. This mechanism made it extremely user-friendly, while perfectly reflecting the resolutely independent mindset of the man who created it. Many see this success story as an example to be followed.

*Written by Marc-André Deschoux

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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