The F.P.Journe LineSport Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante
F.P.Journe represents the pinnacle of fine watchmaking and is one of the best ambassadors of the Swiss watchmaking tradition in haute-horlogerie. The brand's 2000 sqm workshop based in Geneva, that I had the chance to visit during a private event hosted by Watchonista in 2017, is the place where the master watchmaker himself designs, develops and looks after all the activities geared towards producing no more than 1000 watches a year - a figure that is small enough to confirm how everything is made in compliance with the oldest Swiss watchmaking tradition's rules, every watch is assembled by hand and almost all components are 100% produced in-house. It is that kind of "haute horlogerie" we are particularly in love with and the brand is among those ones that have preserved the exclusivity of the Swiss watch industry over the years.
In keeping with a tradition that looks somehow radical, each F.P.Journe timepiece is equipped with a mechanical movement crafted in gold, a rare choice that ideally links this small workshop to another one, Parmigiani Fleurier, that used the same approach when they designed the Kalpa Chronograph.
How can you abide by these rules and simultaneously design a titanium watch that might easily "dilute" this pedigree, on paper? No wonder, as long as you adopt those same rules also when you're into designing a sports watch. It all started some years ago when the brand decided to launch a new sports line of watches aimed at satisfying the desire of a single collector to wear a sportier timepiece than a Souverain Tourbillon.
The outcome was the new LineSport collection where F.P.Journe explored new territories, by coupling an ultra-light case to an ultra-light movement, for the very first time. The titanium case enclosed an aluminum-alloy made movement equipped with a titanium rotor and a tungsten segment. The Octa S was officially born and it was the first one out of a collection that includes today various timepieces, some of them boasting one of the mechanical complications that made F.P.Journe so popular among enthusiasts and collectors alike: the chronograph.
The F.P.Journe LineSport Monopoussoir Rattrapante Titanium Chronograph is the latest addition to the LineSport collection. Sportiness and luxury have never looked so good together and that's the reason why the new Rattrappante is also available in red gold and platinum 950, featuring a caliber crafted in pink or red gold respectively.
Although a F.P.Journe LineSport Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante Titanium is sportier than any other F.P.Journe timepiece belonging to the LineSport collection, as you can easily perceive from the tachymeter scale printed on the ceramic inlay, the F.P.Journe LineSport Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante has all those characteristics that made every F.P.Journe's look and feel unique, like the original font used for the applied Arabic numerals and the oversized date, one of the most recognizable and legible ones so far (along with Lange's and Glashütte Original's ones) or the two chrono registers surrounded by two screwed-in plates applied to the dial, a F.P.Journe's hallmark.
The F.P.Journe Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante Titanium is 44m wide and just 12mm thick, thus combining lightness and extreme wearability, a result that was achieved thanks to the hand-wound caliber 1518, a 3Hz and 80-hour-power-reserve in-house (conceived and crafted) movement. The power reserve is quite impressive and guarantees you can use the double chronograph, that usually requires a lot of energy to work, for at least three full days. The titanium version is the sportiest of the three versions available and is the only one whose two sub-dials are made from a sapphire disk, thus allowing to admire the gearings of the caliber 1518.
It is probably not my favourite F.P.Journe's timepiece but I have to admit it is the the only high-end chronograph out there that successfully combines a sporty chronograph style with one of the most refined double chronograph movements ever made, in which each part is finely decorated by hand: Côtes de Genéve, perlage, beveled bridges are just some of the decorations made by the master watchmakers at F.P.Journe on each caliber, whose features can be somehow only found at Villeret. The F.P.Journe LineSport Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante retails for 58,000 CHF in the titanium version, 78,000 CHF in the red gold version and 106,000 CHF in the platinum version.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Watchonista)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®