Again within the day – by which I imply the early 2000s, when the main on-line watch boards had been gathering momentum – the world of watch enthusiasm and collector curiosity was very a lot organized by model.
Whereas there have been normal boards that allowed for commentary on subjects of broad curiosity, the actual motion was within the brand-specific subpages (and within the case of The PuristS on the Unbiased Watchmaking web page as effectively).
To an extent, the world of in-person watch interplay mirrored this, with now-dormant brand-specific curiosity teams such because the Lange Homeowners’ Group (LOG) and the online-offline hybrid Hour Lounge and Hour Membership, centered on Vacheron Constantin watches, as a few notable examples.
Whereas nowadays group constructing within the fanatic realm appears more and more the area of brand-agnostic organizations reminiscent of RedBar, there stay old-school organizations whose members are dedicated to the watches of a single maker.
One such group is the Journe Society: a small, low-profile group of enthusiast-owners of the watches of F.P. Journe.
The Journe Society: a membership and a watch
The Journe Society isn’t a secret, however the group and its members do like their privateness to the extent that once I signed on as a founding member in 2016, I used to be required to signal a press release saying that I might “maintain all delicate info of The Society and its members confidential.”
So, you’ll be listening to no revelations right here about who the members are, membership governance, or the weird secret rituals practiced at membership conferences – primarily as a result of there’s actually nothing that fascinating, and positively nothing scandalous, to inform.
I can say that, like different brand-specific fanatic organizations previously, the Journe Society is just not a part of the F.P. Journe group or model, however slightly a completely impartial group. Membership is by suggestion of present members and requires present possession of a number of Journe watches, so it’s positively a collectors’ group.
It ought to come as no shock that sooner or later early on it grew to become clear that improvement of a “membership” watch can be kind of a foregone conclusion.
Different golf equipment such because the Lange Homeowners’ Group had commissioned their very own personal version watches previously, and Mr. Journe has through the years been fairly beneficiant to each his loyal collectors and inside the broader watch-related world.
For examples of the latter, we will look to the annual Younger Expertise Competitors organized by Journe with the assist of the Basis de la Haute Horlogerie and The Hour Glass, in addition to Journe’s donation of phenomenal items, every extra mind-blowing than the final, to the biennial Solely Watch charity public sale.
As for the previous, we now have the instance of 2014’s issuance of the T30 Historic Anniversary Tourbillon and T10 10 Years Anniversary Tourbillon, each restricted collection that had been allotted to long-time Journe collectors and offered at fairly affordable costs (for my part, at the least) relative to their high quality and significance, as a “thanks” to those that had supported the model through the years.
The historical past of club-commissioned watches has had one thing of a checkered previous. My statement on what sometimes occurs in a bunch buy is that everybody will get a vote (and even worse, a veto), there’s a powerful want on some components to “do one thing actually completely different,” and the ensuing watch seems to be some type of lowest-common-denominator compromise.
I’ll increase the cloak of secrecy simply sufficient to specific my happiness that with the Journe Society Watch there have been none of these types of hijinks. Robust membership management labored immediately with Mr. Journe, who had his personal solutions, and after a fast ballot of the membership on one (and just one) small possibility the ultimate design was put into place.
The end result may be very a lot to my style and simply completely different sufficient to make it particular with out being outrageous. As you might have seen by now, the case materials is a “straw gold” that’s someplace between yellow and white and that varies in colour tone and depth relying on the character of the encompassing mild.
The arms and printed indices are a properly complementary cream colour, and the dial itself is a mid-dark blue that provides some visible punch with out having the overt flash of the chromed blue dial of Journe’s Chronomètre Bleu.
The bottom for the motion is Journe’s Caliber 1304 from the Chronomètre Souverain (CS), and as you’ll see within the picture beneath the motion of this watch is definitely labeled with the Caliber 1304 designation.
The massive purposeful distinction between this watch and the usual CS is the presence of a crown-adjusted moon part indication, added by Mr. Journe as a tribute to the “lunatics” who make up the Journe Society.
Cosmetically, the motion is re-labeled from “Chronomètre Souverain” to the English-language “Society Chronometer,” and in a particular contact every watch comes from the manufacture with the proprietor’s title in addition to the Society designation engraved into the again bezel.
Disclosure: the precise watch bears my full final title as an inscription; within the pictures of the reverse of the watch proven right here I’ve Photoshopped out all however the first letter of my final title.
There’s something nice about receiving a bundle containing a watch made particularly for you! There was considerably of a wait to endure till sufficient members dedicated to purchases to make sensible the making of the second batch of Society Chronometers to which mine belonged; however that solely elevated the thrill when the bundle with my initials arrived on my doorstep.
For me there’s so much to love about this watch. The distinctive colour mixture helps it to face out from the others in my watch field, and the aesthetics are traditional Journe from the elegantly skinny case to the pink gold motion.
The motion ending is what I’d name “traditional Journe” as effectively: nothing fancy however completely serviceable and greater than interesting to the bare eye.
So far as quibbles go, whereas this watch does put on fairly comfortably I do want that there had been an choice to have the watch in a 38 mm diameter case as an alternative of its 40 mm; then once more, having endorsed the “sturdy membership management” mannequin that led to the design of the piece, I can’t be too important as I’m certain nearly each different member would have had his or her “one little factor” to contribute to the design had it been invited.
And whereas I completely love the presence of the moon part and its “lunatic” connotations, in some mild circumstances the darkish blue sky and flat gold moon appear to recede into the darkness of the moon part recess slightly than being plainly seen as you’ll be able to see within the straight-on picture of the watch earlier within the article.
All issues equal, I’d even have appreciated the colour of the “sky” to be a more in-depth match to the dial’s hue.
All in all these are fairly modest complaints, I’d say. As for the exclusivity of the piece, I’ve blended emotions: for me it’s much more about having one thing cool to share with mates with related pursuits than it’s about having one thing that others don’t have.
And I additionally notice that there are a lot of individuals on the market who wouldn’t have an interest on this watch or in becoming a member of a membership organized round enthusiasm for Journe watches within the first place!
As a longtime Journe fanatic and collector, I’m delighted to have this one in my assortment. And if there are club-related items or buddy watches in your watch field, I’d love to listen to from you about them within the feedback part. Joyful carrying!
Fast Information F.P. Journe Society Chronometer
Case: “straw” gold with entrance and rear sapphire crystals; 40 mm diameter; unique proprietor’s title engraved on again bezel
Dial: matte blue with textured heart part and round grooved seconds subdial; ivory-colored metal arms and printed indications
Motion: manually wound Caliber 1304 modified with the addition of moon part indication; 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, energy reserve approx. 56 hours, pink gold plates and bridges
Capabilities: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds; moon part adjusted by way of crown
Limitation: manufactured in small batches primarily based on subscriptions by Society members
Value: not disclosed
Manufacturing years: 2017 to current
* This text was first revealed on October 1, 2019 at No Secret: The Journe Society Chronometer From F.P. Journe.