I suppose it’s inevitable that when you collect watches for a few years, you at some point come across a model that simply takes your breath away. And for me it has to be the F.P. Journe Quantieme Perpetuel Watch.
So what can I say about this remarkable watch. For me as I say this is the ultimate watch – it is simply stunning – and very complicated. It has a most beautiful and simply executed dial, which displays the Date, the current Day and Month. A true Triple Date Calendar watch display if there ever was. The Day and Month are visible through two windows at 12 o’clock. The 6 o’clock double window shows the current Date. The aperture/window sizes are quite large so readability is near perfect. Note that the Date change is virtually instantaneous, so if the time is for example 11:57 the Date will still be correct, it doesn’t slide slowly over as most watches, so that you’re not sure if it’s today or tomorrow!
The F.P. Journe Quantieme Perpetuel Watch is of course a true Perpetual Calendar and one of the most difficult of all complications to master – and being a true complication can be incredibly awkward to reset if you let your watch stop for a few days. It is not impossible that such complications may have to be returned to the Manufacturer for this to be done – which is both expensive and inconvenient in the extreme! However not for François-Paul Journe, as he strives always to make any watch he designs, simple enough even for a child to operate – there is an answer – using the center single crown which has 3 positions. Using it you can set the Time, the Day and the Date. Setting the Month however is managed by another control, hidden beneath the top right hand case lug. The reason for this separate corrector control apparently is that within the movement there is a tiny Leap Year wheel connected to the Month wheel and separate from any crown intervention. The Leap Year indicator by the way is almost unnoticeable at the center of the dial with 4 small indices and indicator.
The fact that this wonderful complication Octa Calibre 1300.3 mechanical movement with it’s huge 120 hour reserve, is hidden within such an elegant case with the most simple and logical dial is nothing short of astounding. Of course this is no surprise to those who know F.P.Journe as he starts every new design with the dial and the aim of perfect readability. Also note that to achieve the proper visual balance of the dial, the Power Reserve Indicator with it’s retrograde hand is placed @9 – surely a feat in itself!
Anyway, there you have it – my absolute ultimate watch, that unfortunately I will never manage to own unless of course I win the European Lottery! – and even then with such a limited number produced the odds against being a proud owner are just about nigh impossible!
But I can dream!