F. P. Journe
F. P. Journe Centigraphe
In 2007, F. P. Journe decided to cease production of the Octa Chronographe in favour of the mind-boggling ‘Centigraphe’. The word chronograph means ‘time writer’, whereas the word ‘Centigraphe’ means ‘100 writer’. Such is the superiority of the ‘Centigraphe’, in 2008 this reference won the highly recognized ‘L’Aiguille d’Or award at the GPHG (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve). The birth of ‘Centigraphe’ can be traced back to François-Paul’s passion for motorsports as well as his friendship with Jean Todt (ex-executive director of Scuderia Ferrari and current FIA president).
This example of the Centigraphe features a 40mm rose gold case paired with a rose gold dial, a configuration that is believed to be rather rare. The industry norm follows a similar path whereby, a given brand creates a new caliber and only then conceptualises the dial, François-Paul, works the other way round. One could argue that the design of this dial paved the way for Francois Paul to explore other design-related avenues, the then classical design mainly consisted of a smaller silver guilloché sub-dial (bell shaped) for the hour, minutes and seconds. This dial features many intricate details such as the three main sub-dials, the first found between the 9-11 o’clock markers read “SPR 1” (seconds per round) measures up to 100th of a second, and the second found between the 1-3 o’clock markers reads “SPR 20” (seconds per round) revolves once every twenty seconds and third found between 5-7 o’clock markers reads “MPR” (minutes per round) measures up to ten minutes. The use of the metallic holder around the sub-dials creates depth within the dial, additionally, the guilloché found on the three sub-dials enhances the stepped dial effect. The use of red font allows the user to take note of the time scale, whereas the black lacquer font enables the use of the tachymeter scale in km/h.
The Centigraphe remained in production till 2018 and apart from the anniversary of each boutique’s 10th year anniversary the piece will no longer be made. The Centigraphe Souverain collection supports the ICM (Institute for Brain and Spinal cord disorders), each sale of the piece from the factory level constituted a donation to the institution. The prototype CTS (no. 000) was sold at auction in 2012 with all proceeds donated to the ICM.
The distinction between the manually wound and automatic movements can be divided into the following: Octa (automatic) and Souverain (manually wound). The manually wound Centigraphe Souverain caliber 1506 is manufactured entirely from 18k rose gold. It is constructed with 50 jewels, from our research there are certain examples that have 49 jewels, an update to the movement might be the cause of this. The in-line lever escapement is unique for several reasons, firstly, the barrel (also found in the Grande Sonnerie) is patented due to its nature of providing two separate sources of energy without compromising the amplitude of the timekeeping. In essence, the chronograph has a separate gear train, driven directly from the mainspring, when not used it isolates itself from the escapement.
Secondly, the use of the foudroyant allows for the 1/100th of a second to be recorded, despite only beating at 3 Hz (21’600 vph). Thirdly, the rather unique rocker to engage the chronograph has been successfully patented by F. P. Journe, the rocker allows for the user to use the function as a start, stop and reset tool. François-Paul noticed that the only error whilst activating and deactivating the chronographe, is the human error, it is virtually impossible to start and stop a chronographe according to real-time events without a slight delay. The unique rocker also attempts to solve that ‘issue’.
This 40mm F. P. Journe Centigraphe comes with an original F. P. Journe alligator strap, a corresponding rose gold buckle and is also accompanied with the original inner and outer boxes. The warranty card also forms part of the set.
Brand: F. P. Journe
Movement: Caliber 1506, rose gold
Case Diameter: 40mm