Geneva – The first ever dedicated auction for a living independent watchmaker, The Art of F.P. Journe, was 100% sold at Christie’s Geneva on May 12, realising CHF13,665,300 / US$15,314,702 or approximately CHF350,000 per watch. Clients from 20 countries across 4 continents participated in the sale. EMEA represented 52% of buying, the Americas 28% and APAC 20%, while 29% of all buyers and bidders were millennials.
Each timepiece was a true work of art, a testament to Journe’s relentless pursuit of perfection. The top selling lot of the sale was a platinum tourbillon souverain “souscription model” wristwatch, bearing number 2 out of 20, made circa 1999, sold for CHF 2,707,000/ $3,033,735 (shown left).
The saleroom at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues applauded after each lot sold.
Remi Guillemin, Head of Watches Europe commented: “The Art of F.P. Journe marks an incredible moment for independent watchmaking. The first auction dedicated to a single, living independent watchmaker, the auction showed the passion amongst collectors for F.P. Journe. With 100% of the lots selling, in a packed room with incredible energy and results, this sale showcases the desire of collectors for innovative projects, driven by their ever-increasing knowledge and desire. Our deepest thanks go to collectors who have followed and participated in the sale, and who made this project such a success.”
Sale Highlights – Tourbillon Souverain
Arguably F.P.Journe’s most famous wristwatch model is the Tourbillon Souverain, launched in 1999, the first ever tourbillon with a remontoir d’égalité – incorporating constant force throughout the winding process to compensate for the uneven force delivered by the mainspring to the escapement as it unwinds. Lot 2039 – Tourbillon Souverain ‘Souscription’ – an especially rare, historic and highly important platinum tourbillon wristwatch with brass movement, yellow gold dial, remontoir d’égalité and power reserve. Signed F.P. Journe, No. 2/20, circa 1999, sold for CHF2,707,000/ US$3,033,735, making it the top selling lot of the auction.
Chronomètre à Résonance
By achieving synchronicity without a physical linkage, resonance considerably reduces the effects of wrist and body movements. François-Paul Journe became the first watchmaker to incorporate this tremendous improvement in precision into the smaller available volume of a wristwatch, an incredible achievement of modern horology. This represented the second highest selling piece, Lot 2038 – Chronometre a Resistance “Pre-Souscription” – an exceedingly rare and early platinum chronometer wristwatch with resonance – controlled twin independent geartrain brass movement, pink gold dial and power reserve. Signed F.P. Journe, No.040/00R, circa 2000 which sold for CHF1,376,000 / US$1,542,083.
The Centigraphe Souverain was developed with the aim of producing the perfect chronograph for the world of automotive racing. This category was led by Lot 2032 – Centigraphe Souverain Formula Edition – an exclusive and highly desirable platinum ergonomic chronograph wristwatch with 100th of a second, 20th second, 10 minute registers, red chrome dial. Signed F.P. Journe, No. 096-CT, circa 2010.
Sold for CHF529,200 / US$593,074.
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* Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price – see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium.
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