January 17 2018
Sold for: €74,704
There seems little doubt that the creations of Marseilles-born Francois-Paul Journe are set to go down in history as all-time classics thanks to their rare combination of historic watchmaking practice, genuine innovation and limited production numbers. Highlights include the ultra-slim Souveraine minute repeater, the all-aluminium Octa Sport and the mechanical-digital Vagabondage models.
Perhaps the quintessential Journe watch, however, is the Chronomètre a Resonance that made its debut in 2000 having been inspired by the work of the 18th century watchmakers Antide Janvier and Abraham-Louis Breguet, who both made regulators (and, in Breguet’s case, a pocket watch) that worked on the theory of ‘resonance’ whereby two pendulums housed in the same timekeeper will naturally start to beat together.
The Chronomètre a Resonance features twin balance wheels (and two dials) which enables the two seconds hands to synchronise exactly. In the event of the watch being knocked, one balance wheel will temporarily speed up and the other will temporarily slow down but, after a short time, the two will once again achieve an equilibrium.
Like all Journe watches, the Chronomètre a Resonance is a relative rarity – but this example was rarer than most, being one of five with platinum cases that were made for the Milan retailer Pisa Orologeria. Only the second of the five to appear at auction since it was created a decade ago, it was offered in virtually unworn condition, complete with the all-important original box, certificate and instruction manual – all of which helped it to sell for just €300 short of its high estimate.
Simon de Burton