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The F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine (Specs & Price)

In the case of high-end issues, the Grande Sonnerie is king, and his successor is the princely Minute Repeater. In the case of ingenious interpretations of those issues, François-Paul Journe is the person of the hour. Six years within the making and guarded by ten patents, F.P. Journe’s 2005 chiming masterpiece, the Sonnerie Souveraine, doubled the complication issue by combining a Grande and Petite Sonnerie. Three years later, in 2008, F.P. Journe got here out together with his Répétition Souverain, the world’s thinnest minute repeater watch at the moment. Given its complexity and restricted manufacturing, this rara avis is never noticed within the wild. Fortunately, we had been capable of deal with and {photograph} a Répétition Souveraine for this evaluate.

Time on demand

Earlier than the arrival of synthetic gentle, most individuals relied on church bells or putting clocks to inform the time at the hours of darkness. Based on historic data, the primary clock to strike the quarter-hour on demand appeared in England, circa 1675. The extra refined minute repeater was produced round 1710 in Friedberg, Germany. By activating a pusher or a slider on the case of a conveyable minute repeater clock, privileged people might hear the time because the hammers struck gongs to sound the hours, quarters and minutes. Throughout the universe of chiming watches, there are totally different classes. 1 / 4 repeater, for instance, strikes the hours on one tone and the quarter-hours on one other. A 5-minute repeater strikes the hours after which the variety of 5-minute elapsed intervals. A minute repeater, as its title signifies, strikes the hours on a low tone, the quarters with a sequence of two tones (excessive and low) and the minutes with a second excessive tone.

F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine Stainless Steel Minute Repeater

Slim, compact and discreet

Not like among the extra fussy baroque representatives of chiming watches, F.P. Journe’s distinct but understated design has resulted in a minute repeater that may be worn – even each day! The straightforward, unpretentious design of the Répétition Souveraine may even be confused with the time-only Chronomètre Souverain mannequin had been it not for the small aperture on the dial between 9 and 10 o’clock and the slider on the caseband. In reality, evaluating the 2 watches reveals the spectacular technical wizardry deployed by F.P. Journe to miniaturise and slim down the complicated minute repeater mechanism. In comparison with the time-only Chronomètre Souverain or Chronomètre Bleu, the case of the minute repeater, which has a peak of 8.80mm, is simply 0.20mm thicker. And with nearly double the elements, the motion of the repeater (4.50mm) is simply 0.50mm thicker than the less complicated time-only mannequin.

F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine Stainless Steel Minute Repeater

When it was launched in 2008, the Répétition Souveraine was the slimmest minute repeater on the planet till it was trumped by Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Minute Repeater Extremely-Skinny with its case peak of 8.10mm in 2013, after which in 2016 by Bvlgari’s Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater with its 6.85mm case peak.

F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine Stainless Steel Minute Repeater

Very a lot in step with François-Paul Journe’s signature type and related in structure to the less complicated Chronomètre Souverain mannequin, the whitened silver dial includes a central Clous de Paris guilloché sample, a chic fan-shaped energy reserve indicator at 3 o’clock and a small seconds counter between 7 and eight o’clock. The ability reserve and small seconds show a moiré ending contrasting with the satin-finished chapter ring. The F.P. Journe Invenit et Fecit inscription slightly below midday intersects the guilloché space. One other quirky but extremely distinctive trait of F.P. Journe’s watches is the upside-down numerals from 3 to 9 and the weird flat blued-steel palms that taper from a spherical base to needle-thin factors. The Arabic numerals, minutes observe, palms and inscriptions on the dial are all blue.

F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine Stainless Steel Minute Repeater


F.P. Journe’s inventiveness is prodigious, and his options to create a minute repeater mechanism that produces a powerful crystal clear tone in an impossibly slim 18k gold motion of simply 4.50mm is proof optimistic of his genius.

F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine Stainless Steel Minute Repeater Calibre 1408

In a departure from Journe’s predilection for valuable metallic instances, the case of the Répétition Souveraine is manufactured from chrome steel as a result of the decrease density and “the crystalline construction of metal” make sure the “very best putting tone”. One other shock for anyone fortunate sufficient to get his or her palms on this watch is its lightness. Based on the technical specs, the watch with the strap included weighs simply 69.6 grams. The raised, fluted space of the crown makes it simpler to wind (38 turns) and extract to regulate the time in place 2. The asymmetrical aperture on the dial between 9 and 10 o’clock reveals the hammers of the chiming mechanism which can be activated by the slider on the left facet of the case. The motion of shifting the slider hundreds a small spring to activate the minute repeater.

F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine Stainless Steel Minute Repeater

The sound emanating from the case is louder and clearer because of the incorporation of a patented flat gong mounted underneath the dial as an alternative of across the motion, permitting more room for the motion. Journe first used the flat gong on his Sonnerie Souveraine. As a result of the gongs and the hammers are flat, they are often mounted on the mainplate and produce a louder chime than different repeaters. If you happen to have a look at the {photograph} of the openworked mannequin, you may see the flat hammers at 10 o’clock and the flat gongs operating between 5 and 9 o’clock on prime of the mainplate.

Right here the Répétition Souveraine with a sapphire crystal dial, so you may have a greater understanding of what’s taking place underneath the dial.

The second patented innovation is Journe’s system of putting racks and strike choice mechanism that take up a lot much less area than standard strike mechanisms. An inertia regulator (governor) controls the velocity of the chimes and eliminates the background noise related to conventional air regulators.

F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine Stainless Steel Minute Repeater

One other differentiating function of this Répétition Souveraine is that the hours and minutes share the identical gong and produce the identical tone. Conventional minute repeaters strike a low tone for the hours and a excessive tone for the minutes. Nevertheless, this minute repeater works otherwise. If it had been 5:48, for instance, and also you activate the repeater, you’d hear 5 low tones for the hours (5) adopted by three excessive tone double chimes for the quarters (45 min) after which three low tones for the minutes (3 min). If it had been 5:05, for instance, you’d hear 5 low tones for the hours (5), and since there aren’t any quarters, there could be a pause earlier than you’d hear the 5 low tones for the minutes (5).

Spectacular gold motion

Whereas the dial might be described as restrained and discreet, the caseback presents a view of the spectacular manual-winding motion with base plates and bridges in 18k rose gold. Lavishly embellished with straight waves on the bridges and round graining on the bottom plate, the gold components safe the mechanical elements. To the left of the stability wheel is the repeater governor/inertia regulator set inside a metal body with three screws to control the velocity of the chimes. Two mainspring barrels in parallel ship a (regular) energy provide of 56 hours, and the free-sprung stability beating at 21,600vph, with variable inertia adjustment on 4 weights, is adjusted in six positions.

F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine Stainless Steel Minute Repeater Calibre 1408

The Répétition Souveraine is a glowing testomony to F.P. Journe’s inventiveness interpreted in his signature type. The result’s a discreet, slim, gentle, unpretentious-looking watch extending its fortunate proprietor an open invitation to be worn and loved each day. Though the mannequin we had for our photoshoot comes on a blue alligator leather-based strap, it is usually accessible on a ravishing chrome steel 5-link bracelet.

Availability & Value

The F.P. Journe Répétition Souveraine continues to be a part of the everlasting assortment of the model, however I can’t assure that it will likely be straightforward to seek out. The retail value is CHF 204,100.

For extra data, please go to F.P. Journe.