FP Journe Chronometre Optimum Watch: Timekeeping At Its Most Optimal

FP Journe Chronometre Optimum Watch: Timekeeping At Its Most Optimal

FP Journe Chronometre Optimum Watch: Timekeeping At Its Most Optimal Hands-On

One thing that has always turned me off about haute horology pieces is the sheer uselessness of the complications watchmakers devise for their flagship timepieces.  Any number of these complications are really just exercises in devising the most complex and obscure ways of measuring the passage time – or some correlated component therein.  And while they are interesting experimental design studies often worthy of praise, they are just unnecessary – plain and simple. While many of these incredible timepieces represent the pinnacle of design and manufacture in the watchmaking industry, they are often so over-complicated and difficult to service that regular trips back to their homeland are required to keep them ticking.  Much as a modern F1 car can’t operate without a computerized brain plugged into it and electric blankets to keep the tires warm, modern haute complications are so –er- complicated that they don’t make sense for real life use.

FP Journe Chronometre Optimum Watch: Timekeeping At Its Most Optimal Hands-On

As a lover of the simplicity of straightforward non-complicated timepieces, I was intrigued when I was invited to check out the new FP Journe Souverain Chronometre’ Optimum last week at their boutique on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  Here I was promised a glimpse at a true Haute timepiece simply dedicated to the most precise measurement of time.  Previous to my visit, I only had the basics of information regarding Journe.  I was certainly aware of the company’s unique identity as Switzerland’s only manufacturer in which its namesake was holding positions as owner, founder and (of course) watchmaker.  I was also aware of the story of the man behind it all – having famously decided to build a tourbillon in his first attempt at watchmaking, simply because he couldn’t afford to buy one for himself.  But I wasn’t prepared to be introduced to a timepiece – and a man – so engrained in the realm of haute horology mystique, that it actually made sense to me on such a basic level.

FP Journe S.A. has only formally existed since 1999, but Francois-Paul has been making watches in the same vein for roughly thirty years and his design style and signature are visible across the line.  I was also aware of the growing appreciation of the brand amongst the collector crowd, and have watched with interest as auction values have climbed steadily in the past several years.  And of course Journe’s annual production is very small.  Their facility in Switzerland houses only about 25 watchmakers, and they produce less than a thousand watches a year.  Yet in the past decade they have opened eight brand boutiques in Europe, Asia, and the United States.  Furthermore, they have complete vertical integration, owning both their die maker and case maker.  Pretty astounding success for a small brand any way you look at it.

FP Journe Chronometre Optimum Watch: Timekeeping At Its Most Optimal Hands-On

What do you think?
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  • deltaslim

    Rather than telling us about your masturbatory fantasy you could have explained how accurate this watch is.

    • FP Journe has yet to get back to us on the specifics. We feel ya.

    • nateb123

      deltaslim Way to stay classy deltaslim.  The point of this watch is to reduce long term wear allowing it to maintain good timekeeping over the long term.  It’s not about quartz-like accuracy.

    • DG Cayse

      deltaslim – While I would not use your exact verbiage, I also think it a bit more appropriate if a review of the watch sis include some of the more basic attributes of said mechanism.
      Honestly, I was fully expecting to write this piece off as just another sycophant fluff piece from a cocktail partyfull of  the fashionable insiders with their noses pressed deeply into the posterior of whoever is/was the flavor of the day.
      However I do find this write-up interesting. If a bit thin on actual facts about the watch.

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  • Ulysses31

    I love their timepieces.  So quirky and beautiful.  The movements look so good, and I like that unusual dial layout on the first watch – looks a little bit like a Mandelbrot pattern.

  • Kris C

    Love FPJ. Also love useless, complex complications.

  • analogshift

    deltaslim I actually laughed when I read this – way to throw my own verbiage back at me! 
    Indeed, nateb123 ‘s response is correct – the important attribute of this watch is about its long term reliability, efficiency, and ability to maintain accuracy without loss of amplitude for 50+ hours.  In regards to accuracy, there is no formal release.  
    DG Cayse a link to the official FP Journe video explanation should have been included in the post, I apologize.  It goes further in depth to explaining the functions of the constant force remointor and bi-axial escapement in a visual way difficult to understand in a written format.  Every time I wrote it out, I confused myself, so I wanted to spare readers the same frustrations!  The link to the official FP Journe page and video is here:
    Thank you all for your comments!

  • nateb123

    I’ve always thought that FPJ was the best litmus test for discovering who really knows their watches.  This watch is the epitome of that.  Just like cars, most guys interested in watches think that performance is as simple as a few figures: power reserve or horsepower, accuracy or torque, water resistance or 0-60.  It’s sadly simplistic.
    FPJ watches are just too technical for casual observers to be impressed by.  And while I hate how “Holier than Thou” that sounds, it bothers me far more than most “watch guys” haven’t got a damn clue why this is so impressive.  And this is George Daniels and Breguet levels of impressive.

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