Shedding Light on the Mastery of F.P. Journe
F.P Journe may not have the long spanning history of widespread name recognition of a brand like Rolex. However, the young watchmaker never ceases to bring a fresh perspective to the industry. Since they established in 1999, the team at F.P. Journe has focused on autonomy from engineering to design. As a result, they only manufacture a relatively small number of watches each year compared to big brands. However, the few watches they produce are unlike any other on the market. One such model is the F.P. Journe Chronometre Soverain.
History Behind the Chronometre Soverain
In 2005, the Chronometre Soverain won the award for Best Men’s Watch at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie in Geneva. Since then, F.P. Journe has continued to advance and expand the collection with some stunning upgrades. However, the roots of the Chronometre Soverain line have remained steadfast. Centuries ago in the early 1700s, the world faced the “Longitude Problem.” Those most affected were sailors. Once they lost sight of land, it was very difficult for them to keep track of their position at sea. As a result, many ships were lost or thrown off course. Eventually, a solution came in the form of the first-ever marine chronometer. This formed the basis for chronometry as we know it today. The F.P. Journe Chronometre Soverain pays homage to the history of the chronometer and these indispensable marine clocks.
A One-of-a-Kind Design
One of the most notable variations of the Chronometre Soverain came in 2014. F.P. Journe is known for their movements comprised of solid 18-karat gold. For this iteration of the Chronometre Soverain, the brand extends this impressive construction to the dial. As part of F.P. Journe’s mission to craft their watches in their entirety, they own their own dial factory just outside Geneva. Here is where they produce these magnificent solid gold dials. The process entails sanding the gold down, applying a layer of silver, embossing the numerals directly onto the dial, and polishing it with a diamond tool. The result is a mirror-like appearance. Last but not least, they use a special printing technique to apply the logo and minute track.
In addition to its remarkably unique design, the F.P. Journe Chronometre Soverain is technically adept. Recalling back to its marine chronometer inspiration where accuracy was of the utmost importance, the Chronometre Soverain also makes this a priority. F.P. Journe has built a reputation of developing incredibly accurate timepieces, and this model carries on the tradition. Inside, you’ll find the brand’s in-house mechanical caliber rendered in 18-karat gold. You can see in all its glory through the sapphire exhibition caseback.
Though the chronometer is not officially COSC certified, it performs within the COSC chronometer standards. Still, one of the most interesting functions of the movement is the power reserve indicator. It appears to move backward. Instead of counting down to zero hours, it does the exact opposite. This is yet another nod to marine chronometers past. They indicated the number of hours since the movement was wound not how many hours of power remains.
In a relatively short span of time, the Chronometre Soverain has become one of F.P. Journe’s most popular and iconic models. It epitomizes the brand’s mission and approach to watchmaking with attention to detail around the distinctive styling of every element. Though it’s not the F.P Journe’s most affordable option, it still serves as a sort of entry-level piece into the brand. It’s a practical, timeless watch with a handsome and thoughtful design. If you’re looking to add a model from F.P. Journe to your collection, the Chronometre Soverain is a staple. You can’t go wrong.