F.P. Journe celebrates 10 years of the most precise mechanical timepiece of contemporary watchmaking with a new edition
To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of his renowned Chronomètre à Résonance, master of innovative and precision timekeeping François-Paul Journe introduces a new edition now featuring a 24-hour indicator. This emblematic timepiece will significantly mark the research on precision made by this master watchmaker.
This unique watch represents one of the wildest challenges ever in the field of the mechanical watch. Utilizing the natural resonance phenomenon, this exceptional mechanism revolutionized the classic standards of watchmaking by offering an unequalled precision for a wristwatch.
Marking a revolution in timekeeping
The first applications of the resonance phenomenon in horological science date back to the 18th century, by French master watchmaker Antide Janvier (1751–1835). He observed the negative effects of these waves on clocks and then conducted his own research on ways of using this phenomenon in the operating of regulators.
In 2004, F.P. Journe introduced a second version for the Chronomètre à Résonance with the introduction of the first movement ever made in 18K rose gold, a specification that would from then on apply to all the precision chronometers of the brand.
Now, in 2010, F.P. Journe offers a new face to the renowned Chronomètre a Résonance, acclaimed by collectors and professionals of the brand worldwide. In an ultimate quest for precision, the dial at 9 o’clock now offers a time indication of 24 hours, defining precisely the hours of day and those of night. The dial at 3 o’clock in silver guilloche indicates the local time but can also be used for the same time zone.
As well, a small modification for the subtle 18K rose gold mechanism with its two perfectly synchronized beating mechanical hearts – that are revealed through a sapphire crystal caseback – is also unveiled: there is now a different gear transmission making the hands turn in 24 hours instead of 12 hours.
Most precise mechanical watch available
As with its predecessor, the F.P. Journe’s new Chronomètre a Résonance will be available in two versions: one with a platinum case and white gold dial and the other all in red gold. The two dials in silver guilloche indicating the hours, minutes and seconds are secured on the 18K gold dial by polished steel rings, a patent by F.P. Journe.
Imbued with a profoundly poetic depth, the new Chronomètre a Résonance remains – 10 years later – quite simply the most precise mechanical watch of contemporary watchmaking.
Chronometre à Resonance – Technical Specifications
- Movement: Calibre 1499.3; manual winding; 18K rose gold; 40 jewels
- Dimensions: Overall diameter: 32.60mm; casing-up diameter: 32.00mm; overall height: 4.20mm; height of winding stem: 2.59mm; diameter of stem thread: S1.00mm; diameter of reset to zero stem: S1.20mm
- Characteristics: 2 x linear escapements, 15 teeth; 2 x balances with 4 inertia weight; 2 x flat microflamed Anachron balance spring; 2 x mobile stud carriers; 2 x free sprung balance springs; 2 x spring laser pinned to Nivatronic collets; pinned GE studs; 2 position winding crown; reset to zero button for seconds; frequency: 21,600v/h (3Hz); balance: inertia 10.10 mg/cm2; angle of lift: 52°; amplitude: 0h dial up: > 320°; 24h dial up: > 270°
- Main feature: Manual winding, 27 turns of crown; time adjustment at 12h for left dial by winding crown on position 2 in one direction and in the opposite direction for right dial; reset both seconds to zero by pulling button at 4h00
- Power reserve: 40 hours + 2
- Indications: Double display: Left dial – digital – indicating 24 hours; right dial –analogic – indicating 12 hours; 2 small seconds at 6h00; power reserve at 11h00
- Finishing: High quality; partial circular graining on baseplate; screw heads polished and bevelled, with chamfered slots; pegs with polished rounded ends
- Case: Platinum or 18K red gold; diameter: 38.00 or 40.00mm; total height: 9.00mm
- Number of parts: Movement without dial – 297; cased up with strap – 336
What actually is the resonance phenomenon?
For example, when we are looking for a programme on the radio, it crackles until the chosen wavelengths meet those of the transmitter: only then do they harmonize to begin resonating together.
Resonance concerns all fields, including those related to mechanical engineering, music and human beings, as confirmed by musician Keith Jarrett in F.P. Journe’s first catalogue: “This is particularly obvious in music, since lutes and sitars, for example, have strings whose only reason for existence is to vibrate by resonance; the musician never touches them, despite their proximity to the strings that are plucked.”
Research on resonance
Two centuries after Antide Janvier’s remarkable innovation, François-Paul Journe took up the challenge with a first creation in the form of a pocket watch, which did not yet, however, perform according to his expectations. It would take another 15 years of work for the watchmaker to gain the maturity and the experience to meet the demands of actual wear on the wrist and provide chronometric performance driven to extremes to present – as a world premiere – the very first resonance wristwatch, pushing the limits of chronometry to its extremes.
Each of the two balances alternately serve as exciter and resonator. When the two balances are in motion, they enter into sympathy due to the effect of resonance and begin naturally beating in opposition. The two balances thus rest against each other, giving more inertia to their movement.
Nonetheless, this harmony is possible only if the difference in frequency between them does not exceed 5 seconds per day of cumulated difference in six situations. Adjusting them is an extremely delicate task.
Whereas an external disturbing movement affects the running of a traditional mechanical watch, this same disturbance, in the case of resonance watches, produces an effect that accelerates one of the balances as much as it slows the other down. Little by little, the two balances come back towards each other to find their point of harmony, thus eliminating the disturbance. This innovative chronometer offers a level of precision that is unequalled in the field of the mechanical watch.
Article by Jules Landon