Bizarre trends form consistently in a fascination as niche as ours. One, a recurring feature here, is in-period unpopularity leading to latter rarity and, by extension, collectability. The logic behind this process is, perhaps, questionable. Yet, the effect is no less real or common for its dubious nature. However, the speed with which these processes are developing is something totally foreign to myself and many others. FP Journe’s masterpiece architecture, the Resonance, received a refresh in 2010. That 3rd series became known as the parking meter for its left hand subdial namesake. It was an initial slow-seller, later catapulted into demand by an entire market on fire for independents. Nonetheless, its time to blossom both in market and enthusiast zeitgeist has clearly come.
First, a bit of traditional lecture on what history will remember as Journe’s complication. The physical phenomena of resonance is rarely harnessed practically, but nonetheless holds mechanic significance. It is that of periodically applied force acting upon two systems in oscillation equally. The effect can be accurately modeled through Fourier transforms (which are a bitch) in modern physics (just so happens to be my degree), or loosely as a series of harmonic oscillators. The architecture is simple; two balanced wheels close to each other in a sealed environment will have a tendency to synchronize and, therefore, even out imbalances in each other’s rate. Think of it like all those times you’ve seen two like personalities marry, only to become carbon copies in old age. This is the broadest possible application of Newton’s Third Law on display.
Journe was not first to apply the phenomena of resonance to horology. Like most things, that honor goes to AL Breguet. But Mr. Journe had been fascinated by the concept since studying George Daniel’s experimentation with the architecture in early pocket watches. Yet, Journe did most successfully popularize resonance in his masterful wristwatch, the 1990 prototype N°1 resonance. Two separate, free sprung balances with a regulator placed in between to limit vibrational transmission to a correct range, all condensed to a 38mm wrist-worn case.
The shift to a parking meter dial was a largely aesthetic one, as the movement remained from the second series with its more efficient ratchet wheel design. Outside of the souscription model’s oxidation, this was probably the most significant visual tweak to the Resonance of all time. Notably, the look also disappeared in the fourth series, which will have collectors gleeful at the proposition of such a visually distinct single iteration. This 2013 example doubles down on that philosophy with an extremely rare mother of pearl dial, produced in only a handful of examples here with a rose gold case.
In terms of condition, there is very little to hold this example apart. It shows light surface wear equally, only just visible in certain light. In every other respect, it stands apart from everything. The extremely gorgeous dial is unmarred by time or service. The watch comes with a full set, from a very well-regarded Swiss retailer.
Find this MOP Resonance here from Iconic Swiss Watch for 712500 USD.