January 25, 2013
by Ariel Adams
I am just a few miles right now from the F.P. Journe manufacture here in Geneva. Earlier tonight, I saw Francois-Paul and said hello. He doesn’t speak much English, but that doesn’t stop me from understanding his watches completely. With under 1000 watches made each year, F.P. Journe is not only a boutique watch brand, but a watch brand’s watch brand. What I mean by this is that his timepieces are coveted by normal customers as well as watchmakers alike. He has a pretty good thing going right now. If you like watches then you probably like his watches.
Seemingly more popular now than ever, are perpetual calendar watches. That makes sense because while complicated, the perpetual calendar is an inherently useful complication. Unlike say a tourbillon or minute repeater, you can rely on accurate calendar data and enjoy not having to correct it. F.P. Journe is no stranger to the “quantieme perpetuel” (perpetual calendar), but this new model might be his most beautiful perpetual calendar watch yet.
Simply named the “Quantieme Perpetuel,” this model replaces the Octa Calandrier model as the basic perpetual calender watch. It is effortlessly elegant and wastes no space on the dial. Nevertheless, it is simple, uncluttered, and a fully useful calendar in the style of many traditional calendar watches. While many FP Journe watches are all about dials and hands, this is about discs and windows. The day, date, and month are all shown on discs. The result is a beautifully symmetrical and quite legible high-complication timepiece. The dial also has a power reserve indicator, but it does lack a subsidiary seconds hand.
All this is thanks to the FP Journe produced and designed caliber FPJ 1300.3 (1300-3) automatic movement. It uses the same base mechanism as a few other of their timepieces but as this wonderfully laid out perpetual calendar as well. Not that similar to the H. Moser & Cie Perpetual One watch, the leap year indicator is a very small central hand that points to one of four positions. I further like that on this model the main time uses the entire dial versus a smaller one.
F.P. Journe watches are still done in 18k gold, and I am referring to the movements not just the cases. Few brands have mechanical movements with golden bridges like this. The movement is an automatic with 120 hours of power reserve. Love that decorated gold rotor… The rotor is also designed in a way that the slightest movement of the hand will wind the movement. That makes it quite sensitive. A power reserve indicator on the dial is a characteristic Journe touch.
Similar to other offerings, F.P. Journe will offer the Quantieme Perpetual in two sizes and two materials. The watch will come in either a 42mm or 40mm wide case in either platinum or 18k rose gold. It is legible, classic, original, and smoothly complicated. Just a great piece that should be a hit. Also setting the perpetual calendar is more simple with everything being done through the crown as well as the option of quick adjustors for the month on the case. I look forward to getting some hands-on time with an F.P Journe Quantieme Perpetuel soon. fpjourne.com
Technical Specifications – QUANTIÈME PERPÉTUEL
Movement: Automatic Calibre FPJ 1300-3 in 18K rose Gold (4N)
Off-centre 22K Gold guilloché winding rotor
Unidirectional automatic winding
Dimensions of the movement: Overall diameter: 33.00 mm
Casing-up diameter: 30.40 mm
Overall height: 5.20 mm
Height of winding stem: 1.80 mm
Diameter of stem thread: S0.90mm
Balance: Linear escapement 15 tooth
Chronometric balance with inertia weight
Anachron free-sprung flat balance spring
Mobile stud holder
Nivatronic laser soldered balance spring
Pinned GE stud
Three-position winding stem
Barrel with slipping spring
Frequency: 21,600 Alt/h, 3 Hz
Inertia 10.10 mgcm2
Angle of lift: 52°
Amplitude: 0 hr dial up: > 300°
24 hr dial up: > 220°
Autonomy: 160+/- 12 hours
Indications: Central hours and minutes / indication of leap year with centred small hand, 1, 2, 3, in black; 4 for the leap year in red / day and month at 12 o’clock in 2 apertures / large date at 6 o’clock in double aperture / power reserve at 9 o’clock.
Decoration: Circular graining on 18K Gold baseplate
Circular Côtes de Genève on 18K Gold bridges
Polished screw heads with chamfered slots
Pegs with polished rounded ends
Steel components hand polished and chamfered
Main characteristics: Perpetual calendar with instantaneous jump. Unidirectional automatic winding. Simultaneous correction of the date and day in one direction, rotation of the day only in the other direction in position 2 of the winding stem. Discreet and secure corrector in the lug of the watchcase for correction of the month and leap year.
Dial: Red or white Gold
Silver chapter ring
Steel mounting fixing the centre of the dial
Case: Platinum or 18K red Gold
Diameter 40 or 42 mm.
Height 10.8 mm
Number of parts: Movement without dial 348
Cased up with strap xxx
Winding speed: 274 anti-clockwise rotations per 24 hours
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