The gathering of storm clouds over a typically humid October evening in Hong Kong provided a dramatic and photo-friendly backdrop to the guests of the F.P.Journe boutique, gathered at one of the best views of the city to celebrate the boutique’s 10th birthday and also the launch, by Mr. F.P.Journe himself, of the special limited edition boutique-only model.
To be released on the 10th birthday of Journe boutiques worldwide, Hong Kong is the first to have the new model.The draped watch was unveiled to reveal a Centigraphe Souverain Anniversary in titanium with red gold, which may seem familiar because it has appeared previously as boutique editions in a slightly different form (black lacquer dial).
A limited edition chronograph to mark the 10th anniversary of each F.P. Journe boutique around the world, each of F.P. Journe‘s ten boutiques around the world will soon have its very own Centigraphe Souverain Anniversary limited edition, available during the respective store’s 10th anniversary, starting with Hong Kong and to be followed by Tokyo.
The Centigraphe Souverain Anniversary has a polished 40mm titanium case (the same size as the usual Centigraph), with the crown and chronograph (start/ stop and reset) activation ‘rocker’ in 18k red gold.
The dial is ruthenium-plated, and the numerals and markings are in copper-coloured print. Whereas the production Centigraphe has a solid dial, this anniversary edition has transparent sapphire dials for the chronograph register.
Mechanically the Centigraphe Souverain Anniversary is identical to the normal production version, containing the manual-wind Calibre 1506, with bridges and main plate in solid 18k rose gold.
If you aren’t familiar with the Centigraph Souverain, it is a chronograph that is capable of measuring up to a 1/100th of a second, hence calling it the ‘Centigraphe’, with this shown via the top left register. The register on the top right shows elapsed seconds (a 20-seconds register), and the final one at 6 o’clock is for tabulating minutes (10-minute register), for the chronograph function. The hands of each are driven by different wheel trains.
Each of these registers has a time scale in red and a tachometer scale in black. The tachometer scales converts time units for 1 kilometre into speeds ranging from 6 km h to 36,000 km/h.
The 1/100th of a second register is a a flying seconds (or ‘foudroyante’), meaning it ticks once each time the escape wheel rotates. The 100th of a second hand makes one revolution of its dial in one second on a scale marked in hundredths of a second. If you’re quick enough, it may be stopped at any point during the one second revolution and you can read this more exact time via the scale markings. This stoppage is achieved by vertically disengaging the pinion of the 100th of a second hand from that of the escapement, which presses on the pivot shank and acts as a brake.
The foudroyante second hand is driven by both the going train of the movement and the chronograph train.
On the minutes register the hand revolves once every 20 seconds on a time scale divided into seconds.
The bottom dial, graduated for 10 minutes, has a similar tachometer scale with speeds corresponding to 20-second markers.
A second patent was granted for a mechanism that isolates the chronograph from the timekeeping function. This means the balance amplitude is unaffected when the chronograph is running, so the accuracy of the watch is still the same even if the chronograph is activated.
There are about eighty hours of power reserve without the chronograph in operation, and twenty-four hours with the chronograph running.
Although all the upcoming 10th anniversary boutique limited edition Centigraphe Souverain Anniversary watches will be the same, each boutique’s version will be distinguished by the name of its home city engraved on the case back, next to the serial number.
The number made for each boutique will vary, with Hong Kong’s limitation being twenty pieces. Tokyo comes up next.
Although the boutique anniversary watch is now known, whether the cakes will continue is, as yet, unknown.
I hope they will.
The new Hong Kong boutique 10th anniversary LE Centigraphe Souverain Anniversary is limited to twenty pieces and priced at CHF 62,000CHF.
In purchasing this (or indeed any) Centigraphe Souverain, you are also supporting the medical research carried out by the Institute of Brain and Spinal Cord (ICM) in Paris, with 30% of profits from the sale of each watch going to the ICM.