F.P. Journe’s Last-Ever Limited Edition – Chronographe FB

A flyback chronograph in titanium.

To mark 20 years of its first boutique, and also 20 years of limited editions, F.P. Journe has created its final limited edition of any sort. Limited to 200 pieces, the F.P. Journe Chronographe FB is a flyback chronograph with big date that’s powered by the manual-wind cal. 1518.2. Like past boutique anniversary editions, this has a titanium case with pink gold accents.

Initial thoughts

In terms of intrinsic attributes, the Chronographe FB scores well on all counts. It is a good looking watch that is priced well.

The FB doesn’t depart from the established aesthetic for boutique editions, which is a good thing since the titanium-and-gold combination is appealing. The watch is classical F.P. Journe in terms of dimensions at 40 mm wide and just over 10 mm high, which makes it elegantly slim.

Styling aside, the FB is also notable as it is equipped with a new calibre. Few brands design new movements for a small-run limited edition. Admittedly the cal. 1518.2 inside is based on the current split-seconds movement, but it is still a new, different construction.

Technically, the movement is not as much of an achievement as say the FFC or Vagabondage III, but it is executed well, and the watch is priced right for the complication.

As is typical for majority of F.P. Journe watches, the Chronographe FB is reasonably priced at retail, just CHF90,000 before taxes. Accessibility, rather than affordability, is instead the problem. That’s true despite the 200 piece run is bigger than any past F.P. Journe limited edition. The larger run is logical considering the demand for its watches and also the fact that this is the final chapter.

Hello and farewell

A country dear to François-Paul Journe for cultural and person reasons, Japan is home to his brand’s first-ever boutique. Opened in September 2003, the Tokyo boutique is located along a quiet street in the upmarket district of Omotesando, not far from a well-known museum specialising in East Asian and Japanese art.

The building that contains the two-storey boutique was designed by Tadao Ando, while the boutique’s interior was the work of Seihachi Sagawa and François-Paul Journe, and formed the template for all future F.P. Journe boutiques.

Now there are a dozen boutiques around the world. Over the years, the brand as periodically released Tokyo Boutique Anniversaire limited editions to dedicated to each boutique. The last one was the Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire of 2016.

The Chronographe FB sticks to the template established by prior anniversary editions: a ruthenium-coated dial and titanium case with pink gold pushers and crown.

Stamped with the customary hobnail guilloche, the dial is ruthenium coated, giving it a dark grey finish. It’s matched with rose gold-tone print for the numerals and minute scale, as well as rose gold-plated hands. For contrast, the tachymeter scale on the periphery is silvered.

And finally the twin chronograph counters are in clear sapphire, a detail also found in the brand’s other chronograph models.

The dial has a two-disc date display at six o’clock

The titanium case is entirely polished, with the crown and pushers in rose gold for a two-tone effect. Inside the case is even more gold: the bridges and base plate of the movement are in 18k red gold, as is tradition for F.P. Journe.

The ca. 1518.2 is essentially a simplified version of the cal. 1518 split-seconds movement found in the lineSport Chronographe Rattrapante.

It does away with the split-seconds function, and is instead a single chronograph with a flyback function. The movement does, however, retain the unusual oscillating pinion found in the split-seconds version.

Key facts and price

F.P. Journe Chronographe FB
Ref. FB

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 10.4 mm
Material: Titanium with 18k pink gold crown and pushers
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 1518.2
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, and big date
Winding: Manual
Frequency: Unavailable
Power reserve: 80 hours

Strap: Alligator strap with folding clasp

Limited edition: 200 pieces
Availability: At F.P. Journe boutiques and retailers
Estimate: CHF90,000 before taxes

For more information, visit Fpjourne.com.


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