FP Journe T30 Tourbillon Historique
Albert Camus once wrote that ‘a true masterpiece does not tell everything.’ There is beauty in artistry, but perhaps even more in mystery. Journe’s T30 has a magic about it, not because of what is revealed at first glance, beautiful though it is, but because of its unimaginable depth in engineering, finishing, and story it belies; a gorgeously restrained exterior with a tourbillon and two parallel mainspring barrels hiding under a hinged caseback. I adore a tourbillon which is not visible anywhere on the exterior. This is watch engineered to the highest levels, at the peak of exclusivity. And yet, the T30 is so comfortable in its outright excellence that it need not shout about it to the outside world. Its mystery is known only to us few who care and its wearer.
But the story goes much deeper; the tourbillon is dear to Mr. and was a complication he mastered early in his career. Uncommon at the time, Journe’s first ever pocket watch and, later, wristwatch were both tourbillons. Mastering this complication was his nod toward the watchmakers he respected most, Breguet and Daniels. The T30 celebrates the 30th anniversary of Journe’s first-ever watch, a tourbillon pocket watch completed in 1983, and was released in 2013. Just 99 examples were produced, all marked for friends and Journe’s closest clients.
The uncluttered dial mirrors that early pocket watch design, as does the unusual divisive 40mm rose gold and silver case construction (with caseback and sides covered in guilloché). The 178 component movement is hewn from grained gilt brass, with mirror anglage and blued screws meant to evoke 19th century Breguet pocket watches. The style of finishing is very restrained, but perfect in every detail. Yet, from the simple three-hand opaline dial alone, one would never know the depths of perfection lurking beneath. In Journe collecting, the T30 and T10 are highly coveted (perhaps even the apex). This, I suspect, is not just due to the extremely low production. The T30 is Journe like none else: more restrained, more classical, and more personal. And the untrained eye would never know at a casual glance.
This example sports a full, unpolished (yeah, I used the word) case with hairlines and surface wear. The watch is not a safe queen and to my eye more beautiful for it. The case back has a small knock toward 7 in its guilloché. The original leather strap shows light signs of use. Dial and movement are all perfect. It comes with its full set from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this T30 here from Iconic Swiss Watch for 649000 EUR.