Each caliber (Calibre) 1210 movement begins with an 18k rose gold movement plate. F.P. Journe mostly uses 18k rose gold versus brass for his movement plates and bridges, and there is no exception here. All of the movement parts save for the electronics are produced in-house in Geneva. The electronics are totally custom and even offer an elegant design. On the movement there is a small heart which is placed right over the location of the controlling microprocessor. Aside from the quartz module and related components, the pieces are very traditional in F.P. Journe design. The indications of the watch include only the time with subsidiary seconds – but the movement does have some very impressive features.
The dial of the watch is pure F.P. Journe design with his distinctive hands and hour markers. At 4 o’clock on the dial there is a small window that appears to contain a tiny automatic rotor. This in fact is a motion sensor. If the rotor does not move for about 30-40 minutes then the watch goes into a sleeping, power saving mode. This is designed to maximize battery life and once the watch is picked up once again the hands choose the shortest path to return in order to indicate the time. How does that affect battery life?
According to F.P. Journe the Elegante’s battery is rated to last for 8-10 years with “daily use.” Having said that, on “standby” mode without having the hands move, a single battery can last up to 18 years. That is very impressive and much more than some of the Japanese watches from Seiko and Citizen that have similar features. Having said that, while it is true that this power savings mode feature is not an F.P. Journe invention, he is the first one to incorporate it into a high-end quartz watch, in addition to improving upon it.
The caliber 1210 is what you would very easily call a “high-end” quartz movement. It is hand-made using a large assortment of parts individually produced by the same people who bring you some of the most impressive mechanical watches in the world. It reminds me a bit of early quartz watches from the 1970s when the Swiss wanted to get into the quartz game and produced very beautiful but expensive movements that were later over-shadowed by Asians. In this case F.P. Journe isn’t trying to price compete. Rather, he is introducing what he feels is the prefect execution of his values into a watch for women that actually adapts to their first attempt to alter it.
It is true that women don’t seem to enjoy the process of winding a collection of perhaps many watches each day – and most men don’t either for that matter. F.P. Journe wanted to produce a watch that he felt would be embraced by the larger luxury consuming female demographic. So rather than try to swoon women with a mechanical timepiece that would be of questionable utility, F.P. Journe produced a reliable and accurate (not to mention beautiful) watch that fit into the existing life of a woman rather than vice versa.
The Elegante case is 34mm wide by 35mm tall and while it wears substantially, it has a marvelously elegant look. Personally I am enamored with the movement as it combines tech and the work of someone like Francois-Paul not to mention that I think it looks killer on women. It even makes a great daily wear – note that the entire dial is actually luminous for easy night viewing. It is an easy choice for women who want to enter the high-end watch world and get something very wearable from an extremely respected brand. Price for the F.P. Journe Elegante watch begins at 10,000 Swiss Francs in titanium without diamonds and 14,000 Swiss Francs in titanium with diamonds… and goes up to just over 100,000 Swiss Francs. fpjourne.com