Based on their limited edition F.P. Journe Special 30th Anniversary Tourbillon that was released in October 2013, the 2014 F.P. Journe 10th Anniversary Tourbillon was produced to celebrate two landmark events in its short biography: the 10th anniversary of their first boutique in Tokyo, Japan and the opening of the tenth F.P. Journe boutique in Beirut, Lebanon. Predictably, the timekeeper’s total production was limited to just ten pieces, with only one of them going to each of their shops around the world.
To make an even stronger accent on the timepiece’s exclusivity (as if the extremely limited production run, as well as retail price of some €100,000, didn’t make this hand-wound masterpiece exclusive enough), F.P. Journe decided not to just offer it on the usual “first came, first served” basis, but rather held a special event with names potential buyers drown lottery-style.
I am not sure how many people actually applied for the drawing, but something tells me that there will be a statistically significant number of persons of Irish origin among the winners: you need a lot of luck to combine in the same person such rare qualities as extremely high wealth, remarkably good taste (at least when it comes to wristwatches), and the ability to win a lottery against persons of distinction.
As I have already noted, the limited edition watch is based on an earlier model. Compared to the original, it comes in a lot more expensive body crafted from precious Pt 950 platinum alloy, lacks the hunter-style solid case-back cover and features a more graphic dial with 8-shaped engraved silver plate that holds the off-centered hours and minutes and small seconds sub-dials placed over the grained silver background.
The watch is still animated by the same F.P. Journe caliber 1412 hand-wound movement.
Sporting a deliciously archaic layout with two spring barrels and just a bare minimum of decoration, the mechanism is crafted from solid 18-karat rose gold, which is accented with heat-blued and polished screws and finely executed bridges.
Although this watch is designed to spend most of its life in a safe or in a secure deposit box, and be worn on extremely rare occasions, I can’t but admit that the gadget is a perfect example of industrial design not only in terms of looks but also in ergonomics: measuring 40 millimeters in diameter (just a tad over current dress watch’s “golden standard” of 39 mm), the extremely expensive trinket looks convincing on a wrist of a normal person.
As usual for this kind of deceptively inconspicuous watches, the tourbillon escapement is only visible through the sapphire case back: you won’t be able to admire the complication until its owner takes the gadget off his wrist.
Compared to many contemporary luxury watches that, like a gold-plated supercar, were designed to show everybody that you have so much money, it actually hurts, this gorgeous device will only betray its owner’s financial status to a select few of people that can appreciate the timekeeper’s real value without all these over-exaggerated bangs and whistles that are often offered as something “revolutionary”, but are in fact nothing, but means of attracting attention to their owners.
Photos: F.P. Journe
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
F.P. Journe 10th Anniversary Tourbillon specification
Movement: Hand-wound, F.P. Journe caliber 1412, 18-karat rose gold, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 19
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 56 hours
Movement decoration: Grained plate and bridges, blued screws
Functions: Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds
Case: Platinum, Pt 950
Size: 40.00 mm
Height: 9.50 mm
Dial: Grained silver
Hour markers: White
Hands: Breguet, stainless steel
Strap: Black leather strap with platinum pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective