As a long-standing Journe supporter, the time for me to feature a Bleu had to approach eventually. Few watches are as recognizable or iconic in the modern world. However, a watch can only double in value so many times before the value proposition it offers no longer makes sense. A Bleu at 20K is a different thing to a Bleu at 40K, both which are still far under today’s premiums. However, we may still be far from the apogee of the CB. So just what is driving the insane surge this reference has enjoyed in the last year? Let’s examine it with a loupe’s granularity.
The 39mm case on the Bleu was crafted out of tantalum, a difficult material to mould. However, once crafted, it is highly scratch resistant, corrosion resistant, and hypoallergenic. This is a standout material and rare in the world of Journe. Then there’s the dial. Its sky blue hue is meant to compliment the dark purple undertones in the grey tantalum. The design is classic, but with a twist. Its Breguet-ish Arabic numeral layout changes in size with proximity to its petite seconds track, artfully arranged left-of-center. That geometry somehow feels completely harmonious despite the total lack of symmetry or historic reference. That rare feat has lent the Bleu a place all its own in Journe’s lore. It is powered by the typical rose-gold-based movement, here a calibre 1304 with dual mainspring barrels and expert hand-finishing.
Collectors will be aware by now, the Chronomètre Bleu has tripled in value over the last two years. This is not a chance coincidence. FP Journe has been very careful to drip-feed the market despite increasing notoriety and demand. Similarly, the manufacture has been carefully directly involved in supporting their secondary market values. Let’s not say more than that. One cannot deny that the watches are exclusive by design, beautiful, technically competent, and deeply impressive. In addition, FP Journe have grown as a manufacture in the precise timeframe that modern horologic cultism has been brooding. These factors, with the spice of quarantine lockdowns, have blended to produce a market curve that looks saucy. It is.
This example is all as one would hope. Produced in 2011, full set, card, and tantalum buckle. It comes from a very reputable retailer out of London.
Find this Chronomètre Bleu here from A Collected Man for 64000 GBP.