This Is Already the Most Anticipated Watch of the Fall
Originally published by Benjamin Clymer on Hodinkee.
And just like that, Only Watch returns. You know the sale, right? It's that charity auction where half the brands change a dial color and call the watch "Piece Unique" and then wonder why one lot makes up for more than half of the sale's proceeds. It's all for a good cause, though, because 100 percent of the money from Only Watch goes to research into better treatments (and hopefully a cure) for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (an inherited disease in which muscles gradually but irreversibly waste away).
This year, amidst the existing watches in new metals and those with fresh dial colors, we have something genuinely new—like, something not seen before from the brand that is making it. And it happens to be from fan favorite F.P. Journe. And it also happens to be awesome. Like, really, really awesome.
You are looking at an F.P. Journe monopusher split-seconds chronograph in a 44mm tantalum case! Yes, you're reading that correctly. This is a tantalum case with a blue dial (a la the Chronometre Bleu and last go around's successful unique Tourbillon Souverain) and it's 44mm in diameter! The button at two o'clock is start/stop/reset while the button at four o'clock is the rattrapanteactivator. The movement is a completely new 15 ligne caliber made completely of rose gold with steel accents. It has a power reserve of 80 hours and each lever and spring is mirror polished. That's 80 hours with the chronograph running, Journe is quick to point out. The whole watch, though 44mm in diameter, is quite thin at just 11.5mm top to bottom.
The dial features running seconds at nine o'clock and a 30-minute counter at three o'clock. The hands are blued steel and cream, and the blue chrome dial features orange tachymeter and yellow telemeter scales. Now, you might be wondering, where on earth would F.P. Journe get the inspiration to make a unique split-seconds chronograph at 44mm? Let's just say he's got a very good friend that often wears a Journe tourbillon (or Grande Sonnerie) on one wrist and a Rolex split-seconds chronograph (ref. 4113) on the other. And that 4113 from Rolex—the most complicated watch ever made by the Crown—yup, it's a two register, 44mm watch with a thirty minute counter at three o'clock. It's all coming together now, isn't it? Here is a closer look at that beautiful in-house and completely unique caliber for Only Watch 2017.
The details of this new caliber are just stunning: circular stripes on the bridges, with a baseplate that's circular grained. The screw heads are polished and the slots are chamfered. Pegs get polished, rounded edges and all steel parts are beveled with straight graining.
F.P. Journe has put an estimate of CHF 200,000 to 400,000 on this remarkably cool 44mm split-seconds chronograph, though considering the 2015 Tourbillon Souverain brought over $500,000 and that was an existing model in a new case metal, this chronograph could fly.
Only Watch 2017 is hosted by Christie's and will take place November 11, 2017, in Geneva. More to come.
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