Fantastic new watch from F.P. Journe, I am enthralled. I was not so involve with the first Vagabondage watch, but this Vagabondage II timepiece is a damn good little number. Careful before judging it. You really need to understand where this watch is coming form. Check out all the little details in the design, understand the concept behind the digital display for the hours and minutes, appreciate the “open” nature of the dial, and I think you’ll agree that it is a winner. I am not a fan of every timepiece from the brand, but again, this one really does it for me.
Two versions of the watch will be released soon in November. 69 pieces in platinum and 68 is 18k rose gold. Yes, the watch is very similar in theme to the also recently released A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk watch, but that is ok. I feel that the market is big enough for a few versions of this “digital mechanical” theme. While the Zeitwek is more a tuxedo friendly watch, thhe Vagabondage II is a true wrist borne machine in all its exposed glory. The best part? The watch is extremely easy to read. No more struggle to justify a cool looking watch that is too hard to understand when trying to tell the time.
The concept is simple really. The In-house, hand-made F.P. Journe Caliber 1509 manually wound movement has the time with digital hours, minutes, and analog seconds, also has a power reserve indicator. The hour and minutes are “jumping” and to support this features, the movement has a constant force escapement. The movement is beautifully decorated with a 40 hour power reserve. The movement is visible thought the sapphire caseback window and is made up of 223 parts.Various types of decoration including perlage polishing and Cotes de Geneve polishing. Most of the movement is done in 18k rose gold.
One the rose gold cased version, the window piece frames for the indicators are also in rose gold, while the window piece frames are in white gold on the platinum cased version. The case is 37mm wide at is widest point being a cushion shape (F.P. Journe calls the shape “flat tortue”), while it is 45mm tall. The hands are also in gold or blued. The make up of the dial is interesting. You’ll notice that the movement is visible through dial, but is darkened. This is due to the use of a smoked sapphire crustal, which also holds the function indicator window in place. A really neat use of smoked sapphire, and helps to emphasize the functional aspects of the dial, while still making the movement visible for appreciation. The case is actually very thin at just 8mm thick.
I really like the polishing and finishing on the case. It is a delicate and sophisticated look. While the Vagabondage II (great name!) watch is not the timepiece for every occasion, I can see how it could be a holy grail for some. For me it is my current favorite watch for the F.P. Journe watch brand, plus, they even hint to a third model in the Vagabondage line. Price? Well… a lot of course.
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