If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from this COVID era in the watch world, it’s that the market comes in waves. I’d waited two years without seeing a single decent 765 AVI. Then, all of sudden, three hit Chrono24 within a month. I waited even longer for an IWC 3705. Then, following last month’s re-edition, multiples have been offered on auction houses and retailers. I’d seen a single Vagabondage I go at Christies right as I was getting into watches. I didn’t have the knowledge to appreciate what it was at the time. The I remember seeing Sothebys and Christies offer a handful of IIs. The same goes for IIIs. A few weeks ago, a II was offered through a retailer and I had to feature it. Today, ACM is offering the first III I can remember through a private retailer. And my god is it a lovely thing.
The Vagabondage series is a showcase of mechanical digital time-telling. Like I’ve said previously—think Zeitwerk, but a bit deranged. The original iteration featured a unique highlighted window and revolving hour with railroad minutes. The second saw evolving complexity with digital hours, digital minutes, and petite seconds. This, the III, takes the concept to its extreme conclusion.
The watch is the first of its kind, the first ever wristwatch with jumping digital seconds. That is not an easy complication. It’s downright unbelievable. Much of the mechanics are exposed through an open sapphire face, but with a highlighted time window reminiscent of Journe’s first Vagabondage I. What this watch represents to me is really a distilled form of Mr. Journe’s pure madness, and I mean that in the absolute best way possible. Long live independents.
The one we see today is a rose gold III, produced in 69 pieces. Platinum and a few other extremely limited metals were also produced. This is probably the most desirable, as Journe in rose gold is kind of . . .a thing for collectors (and me). It comes with everything, the full set, buckle, strap and documentation from FP Journe. There’s nothing else remotely like this Vagabondage and I’m so glad FP Journe was brave enough to bring the range of Vagabondage pieces into the metal. Good luck if you’re after one.
Find this Vagabondage III here from ACM for 130500 GBP.