There’s a good reason F.P. Journe is one of the most respected modern watchmakers in the world and a good part of it has to do with their Résonance complication. However, as 2019 marks the end of the Résonance as we know it, the watch is going out with a bang for its 20th anniversary in the form of the F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance with 24-Hour Time Display.
First, we need to explain a little about the concept behind the watch: acoustic resonance. Essentially, it’s the phenomenon of two elements naturally becoming in tune with one another. Think of an old radio crackling as it tunes into the transmission; the same happens in horology.
20 years ago, F.P. Journe applied that concept to a wristwatch. The Résonance places to escapements painstakingly close to one another inside the movement, essentially two watches working from the same balance spring. The result is that as one loses energy, that energy is naturally passed to the other escapement and vice versa. The result is a subtle but noticeable increase in accuracy over time.
If it sounds like so much watchmaking bluster, then you simply need to see the Résonance in action; it’s the kind of watch any collector would kill for. Unfortunately, from next year onwards that might be the only way of getting a hold of one as the Résonance enters retirement.
Fortunately, there’s one last chance to nab one in the Chronomètre à Résonance with 24-Hour Time Display. With its symmetrical dial this is one of the more classical iterations of the model, with twin hour indicators – 24 hr on the left, 12 hr on the right – each with their own minute hand and small seconds. Between the two arching from 12 o’clock downwards is the power indicator.
The in-house calibre 1499.3 is miraculous of course, but it doesn’t actually show off the Résonance complication like most watchmakers would be desperate to do. The entire layout of the watch leans towards it of course, but if you didn’t know better you might just think that an aesthetic quirk rather than one of the highest concepts in modern horology.
The final Chronomètre à Résonance is available in two different editions, with the slight 40mm case available in either rose gold or platinum with a matching dial and bracelet – or black alligator strap if that’s more your thing. The subdials are the same on both, silvered guilloche with blue steel hands so it really is personal preference when it comes to the edition.
There is also a black label version, essentially the platinum edition with a black dial, but as we’ve not seen anything of that quite yet we’re watching and waiting for the moment. It goes without saying that all of the editions are limited, but not in number. Sure, there’s a limit to the number F.P. Journe can make, but they will produce as many Chronomètre à Résonance watches as possible in 2019. After that, you’re out of luck.
Price & Specs:
- Model name: F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance with 24 Hour Display
- Dial/Case: 40mm diameter x 9mm thickness, platinum or red gold case, white or red gold with silver guilloché sub-dials
- Movement: In-House Caliber 1499.3
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vph)
- Power reserve: 40hrs
- Price & availability: SFr80,200 in rose gold and SFr84,100 in platinum, available now at F. P. Journe boutiques and other retailers in 2019.
Find out more on F. P Journe’s website.