The phrase grail watch gets thrown around a lot these days. I’ve heard the term applied to Tudor Big Blocks, Doxa No Ts, Seiko Spacewalks, and the last Speedmaster article I wrote. It seems to me, however, that when a piece is truly a grail no one need say it outright. The headline for this piece will get the attention of anyone who knows what’s what in watchmaking. Though even the best of us may not understand just how rare this Journe is. TN (2nd generation) Journe Tourbillons Souverains aren’t exceptionally rare, as pretentious as that sentence might seem. But in double rose gold? That’s a different story.
I generally get mildly annoyed with most tourbillons. They are by definition a complication, with additional points of failure. They do not belong on sport or tool watches. I know I am the minority, nonetheless this is my view. However, in a dress watch—particularly when made by FP Journe—one has to make an exception. If you don’t yet know why or how Journe’s tourbillons are special, please do yourself a favor and read this in full. The introduction of a remontoir mechanism was a true innovation. It was such a move on, Journe decided it was too good for the brands he was working for. It forced the man to set up his own house, in order to keep it in-house. The ancestry of this Tourbillon Souverain is what we have to thank for the creation of modern FP Journe as we know and love it.
This 2003 TN is not the most sophisticated or earliest of Journe’s tourbillons. But it is one of the most beautiful. I personally adore the little addition of a natural deadbeat seconds mechanism that was added in place of the remontoir window of the first generation. In addition, this is the generation that introduced the now signature gold movement (the T was brass).
This example is in seemingly perfect condition. The seller doesn’t note any faults and I can’t see any. That’s not to say they don’t exist, but I have yet to find any. It’s just gorgeous and comes with a full set from its 2003 production. Even if it’s not your grail, I defy anyone to not appreciate this gem of modern watchmaking. It combines story, innovation, and beauty seamlessly. A grail amongst grails.
Find this FP Journe Tourbillon here from Watch4Moi in Singapore at 199500 USD.