F.P. Journe: Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante | On The Wrist3 December 2018
Francois-Paul Journe, the “enfant terrible” of fine watchmaking, is certainly not famous for his sports watches. However, at the beginning of this year on the occasion of SIHH the watchmaker unveiled a new sports model, called the Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante, broadening its F.P. Journe LineSport collection. This watch is inspired by the Monopusher Split-Seconds Chronograph that was created for the OnlyWatch charity auction and sold for 1,15 million Swiss Francs, but despite featuring a remarkable complicated movement, its price is much lower.
The Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante that we had the chance to try at the F.P. Journe Espace in Milan by GMT Great Masters of Time is in 18 K red gold, but the model is also available in 2 other versions: one in platinum PT 950 and one in titanium grade 5. The case, 44 mm in diameter and 12-mm thick, encloses the new monopoussoir split second chronograph movement with a very large date, made in 18 K rose gold for the platinum and the red gold versions, and in aluminium alloy for the titanium version. This choice confirms Mr Journe’s preference for noble and traditional materials for his movements – the reason being that he wants his timepieces to still be easily reparable 100 years from now, as the old clocks and watches built a century ago are nowadays.
The dial of the timepiece is in silver guilloché covered with ruthenium and numerals in matte red gold, 2 silver chronograph counters and matte 5N golden hands – for the other 2 versions the dials are in different colours, i.e. for the platinum model, blue-mauve colour silver guilloché with numerals in matte white gold, 2 silver chronograph counters and matte rhodium-plated hands, and for the titanium model, in aluminum alloy of anthracite colour and numerals with Super-LumiNova, 2 chronograph counters in engraved sapphire and hands with Super-LumiNova.
The tachymetric bezel is inlaid with ceramic and the numerals’ font is new – the same of the Only Watch timepiece. The rubber crown has 3 positions, for winding, correction of the date, and time setting. The 2 pushers at 2h and 4h respectively for the chrono start, stop, and back to zero functions and for the rattrapante, are made in the same metal as the case.
This particular shade of red gold – that is also the material in which the bracelet is made of – is rather dark and does not “dazzle” as is often the case with yellow gold. As a consequence, the watch on the wrist does not lose any sportiness, indeed the color combination between the case and the dial is really well balanced.
Its movement, the new F.P. Journe calibre 1518 with manual winding and frequency of 21,600 v/h (3Hz), is as usual entirely conceived, manufactured and assembled in-house.
As a reminder of the Only Watch Chronograph, this new movement features a chronograph direct gearing with a rocking pinion to avoid the jump of the hand at the start.
The master watchmaker and his team managed to cope with an important challenge to integrate the very large date in a total height of only 6.80 mm, signature of the F.P. Journe brand. The Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante features a power reserve of over 80 hours, making it possible to efficiently use the chronograph with the rattrapante function after 2 days. The very large date in a window of 5.20 x 2.80 mm provides an increased readability.
The finishing and decorations of the movement – circular stripes on the bridges, circular graining on the baseplate, polished screw heads with chamfered slots, pegs with polished rounded ends, straight-grained steel work – are really exceptional, and they are one of the trademarks of F.P. Journe Haute-Horologerie. The transparent sapphire back allows the lucky owners of this watch to admire them.
The bracelets of the three versions are in precious metals assorted to their respective cases. Two new bracelets in platinum and red gold with matte finishing have been developed while the titanium bracelet is identical to the existing LineSport version. Rubber inserts are fixed on the case and the bracelet links to protect the watch from frictions on smooth surface. The links attached to the case are also articulated to adapt to the different wrist sizes with an adjustable folding clasp. The bracelet is therefore very comfortable to wear.
This ultimate example of the combination of Haute-Horologerie with a sporty look is on sale for CHF 78,000 + tax. The titanium and platinum versions are respectively priced at CHF 58,000 and CHF 106,000 + tax.
By Valeria Garavaglia