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INTRODUCING: F.P. Journe, Last Special Edition, the Chronographe FB Tokyo Boutique

The F.P. Journe Chronograph FB Tokyo Boutique Anniversaire Series

The watchmaker wants collectors to stop speculating on his watches and flipping them in private trades.

It’s no secret that François-Paul Journe is a bit of a lone ranger in the watch industry. It’s also no secret that Journe’s watches under his own label are highly coveted by loyal customers, obsessive watch collectors, and watch investors who pick brands and references like selecting stocks on the trading floor.

François-Paul Journe.
François-Paul Journe.

There are many brands with important or unique models that have asset-growth potential, but just a handful of brands will see most or all their watches gain value consistently across the global market. F.P. Journe is certainly one of those. That desirability factor hits even harder when it comes to one of his limited editions. Watch flipping is highly discouraged as it frustrates brand owners and loyal collectors, but it’s also impossible to fully guard against. Journe only produces 1,000 or so watches annually; seeing them go to buyers who turn them over to someone else for an instant profit, which also means one of his faithful missed out on an acquisition, is frustrating.

No More One-Offs

The F.P. Journe boutique in Aoyama, Tokyo, is his first and will aptly receive the Manufacture’s last limited series.
The F.P. Journe boutique in Aoyama, Tokyo, is his first and will aptly receive the Manufacture’s last limited series.

Towards the end of last year, the industry veteran decided to do something about this speculative behaviour. Since special and limited editions tend to draw the attention of these buyers and also pull focus and production resources from his regular collection, the watchmaker announced he would cease all limited-edition watches once they fulfilled existing orders. This final release is a Chronographe FB dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the F.P. Journe boutique in Aoyama, Tokyo.

Elegant and technically brilliant watches like the Vagabondage fit the Japanese market perfectly.
Elegant and technically brilliant watches like the Vagabondage fit the Japanese market perfectly.

The Japanese market’s preference for smaller-sized and well-crafted timepieces with a purist design towards design resonates (pun intended) with F.P. Journe’s watchmaking philosophy. Combining a generous dose of historical references with a soupçon of creativity, they marry watchmaking tradition with modern design. The Tokyo boutique has a tradition of its own, with special editions of Journe’s most influential creations dedicated to this Seihachi Sagawa-designed space, located in the La Collezione building designed by Tadao Ando. It became the reference for subsequent F.P. Journe boutiques across the world and gave him the resources to strengthen his production.

The F.P. Journe Chronograph FB Tokyo Boutique Anniversaire Series in polished titanium.
The F.P. Journe Chronographe FB Tokyo Boutique Anniversaire Series in polished titanium.

The Chronographe FB is the latest and last of the Tokyo Boutique Anniversaire Series. The watch maintains the current design of the series, with dual skeletonised counters set onto a ruthenium-plated gold dial. The indicator rings are in white with red details and hands, a nod to the country’s national colours. The dark grey dial has rosy-coloured Arabic hour markers and a minute track with the date window at 6 o’clock in matching colours. The 40mm polished titanium case has a red gold crown and pushers, plus a silver inner bezel with a BASE-1000 tachymeter scale. It might be the colours, but we see a hint of Konstantin Chaykin in this watch.

The Calibre 1518.2 by F.P. Journe has a rose gold mainplate and bridges.
The Calibre 1518.2 by F.P. Journe has rose gold mainplate and bridges.

The reverse of the watch shows the full beauty of the Calibre 1518.2 in rose gold, with the gold plates and bridges decorated with circular stripes and perlage. The flyback chronograph movement has a power reserve of 80 hours. The details of the special edition are engraved on the caseback, and the watch is paired with a burgundy alligator leather strap. Just 200 pieces will be produced and exclusively available at the Aoyama boutique; book your ticket now, and you might still have a chance to get one.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.