Last year in 2013, Geneva-based F.P. Journe released a timepiece called the Anniversary Tourbillon which was a wristwatch version of a pocket watch he made in 1983. The “30th Anniversary Tourbillon” was really about celebrating how far he had come since the very first timepiece that he produced himself. aBlogtoWatch covered the Anniversary Tourbillon here hands on, and for 2014, F.P. Journe has released a slight revision called the 10 Year Anniversary Tourbillon.
While the first Anniversary Tourbillon was meant to celebrate Journe’s first timepiece creation, the second model is a celebration of the brand’s first boutique that opened in Tokyo in 2003. 2014 also marks the opening of the brand’s 10th boutique around the world. So even though 2003-2014 is 11 years, the piece was technically done at the end of 2013. 10 years and 10 boutiques is actually a lot for a small boutique brand like F.P. Journe. It is a fair question to ask how an independent watchmaker with a very limited production of under 1000 watches per year is able to stock so many retail locations.
The short answer is that one of F.P. Journe’s tactics has been to slowly remove third-party retailers from his global strategy. While there are still a few good retail partners, the brand is keeping more of their timepieces for their own stores. That makes for a few more timepieces to go around. While the first F.P. Journe boutique was in Tokyo, the most recent one in 2014 is in Beirut, Lebanon. It wasn’t actually until 2007 that the brand had a dedicated boutique in Geneva.
Getting back to the watch, the 10 Year Anniversary Tourbillon is different from the Anniversary Tourbillon in two main ways. First, the dial has different colors. While the Anniversary Tourbillon from last year was meant to be a close emulation of his original pocket watch, this new model extends the design a bit. Thus, the dial is now in two colors, being black and white, with the “upside down” figure eight of the time display rendered in black. It looks quite cool and the contrasting elements arguably make for a better looking wrist watch than the cream colored dial. This black and white tuxedo look is pretty handsome, actually.