After the success of the prototype’s sale at the Only Watch auction, F.P. Journe presents the final version: Astronomic Souveraine. It is a grand complication watch in a steel case, with 18 functions and complications, entirely devoted to the contemplation of the stars.
The inspiration for the project was an adolescent’s drawing. That sketch was done fifteen years ago by François-Paul son, Charles. On the dial, there was a curved aperture for the path of the sun. François-Paul liked the idea and thought about what to do with it. He came up with the idea of a self-winding watch, as long as there were not too many additional complications. His quest for the ideal watch took six years – and now, the watch would have a manual-wind caliber that would allow more functions. It would be necessary, however, to ensure the delivery of enough energy to power all of them.
One of F.P. Journe’s earlier creations served as his inspiration: a pocket watch with planetarium made in 1987 for a collector of scientific objects. That one-of-a-kind tourbillon indicated mean time and sidereal time, as well as the equation of time, a full calendar and the power reserve. But his new astronomic watch had to be resolutely contemporary and possess a distinctive personality. Its power would come from a double barrel and the tourbillon with remontoir d’égalité would guarantee its perfect isochronism.
The 18K rose gold movement of the Astronomic Souveraine is totally novel. The white gold dial’s sub-dials are embellished with ‘clou de Paris’ decoration. The moon phase shows a striking realistic moon that was traced from a NASA photograph. At 3 o’clock is the mean time (civil time) indication, with a blue hand indicating a second time zone. At 9 o’clock, there is a sidereal time dial, which allows the observation of the stars. The mean time seconds are shown on a disc next to it. Between the two are the central minutes and the power reserve indication, which remains optimal up to 40 h. Above all this is a blue aperture showing the sunrise and sunset. Here, metal shutters lengthen or shorten the days. On the reverse there is the equation of time and a full annual calendar encircled by the signs of the zodiac.
In all, this watch, which also strikes the hours, the quarters and the minutes, possesses 18 functions and complications. The manual winding Calibre 1619 is made up of 758 components and bedded in a case of 44 mm in diameter and 13.80 mm thick. Only a few pieces will be produced each year at a price of 889,000 CHF.
|CASE MATERIAL:||Stainless steel|
|DIMENSIONS:||Diameter: 44.0 mm|
Height: 13.8 mm
|DIAL:||White gold, sub-dials are embellished with ‘clou de Paris’|
|MOVEMENT TYPE:||Manual winding|
|POWER RESERVE:||40 hours|
|FREQUENCY:||21,600 Vph / 3 Hz|
|FUNCTIONS:||Minute repeater, sunrise and sunset, sidereal hours and minutes, moon phase, equation of time, annual calendar|