Haute Woman: Hands-On With The F.P. Journe Élégante

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This year the legendary watchmaker François-Paul Journe unveiled his first-ever ladies’ timepiece, the Élégante. Combining F.P Journe’s traditional pared-down aesthetic with a unique new horological concept, the Élégante marks a deft debut into the women’s watch market.

Hands-On With The F.P. Journe Élégante

When the Élégante was unveiled in January, Mr. Journe revealed it took him eight years to bring this model to life. For you see, the Élégante is no ordinary timepiece: it is an electromechanical watch, which allows time to be stopped and started again at will. A mechanical motion detector – visible on the dial at 5 o’clock – achieves this concept.

Hands-On With The F.P. Journe Élégante

When the wearer removes the Élégante, the watch stops after about half an hour. However, it will continue to keep time in standby mode thanks to a microprocessor; the mechanical parts, including the gears, rotors, and hands, stop moving. This allows the Élégante to save energy, so that when her owner puts the watch back on, it automatically sets itself to the correct time. The hands race to set themselves, taking the shortest path around the dial, either clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Hands-On With The F.P. Journe Élégante

Functions of the electro-mechanical Calibre 1210 include hours and minutes, as well as small seconds on a subdial at 6 o’clock. The movement, which features a patented two-rotor motor, its own dedicated processor, and an engraved battery bridge, can be glimpsed via the sapphire crystal caseback. The Élégante offers her owner 10 years of use when worn, and up to 18 years in standby mode.

Hands-On With The F.P. Journe Élégante

This unique movement is housed in a 34mm x 35mm tortue-shaped case, and with a total thickness of just 7.35mm, it has a slim profile on the wrist. The Élégante comes in three versions: one in platinum PT 950, one in 5N red gold, and one in titanium (as pictured here). All three case versions can also be decorated with diamonds. The dial features blued hands and a Superluminova coating for optimal legibility.

Hands-On With The F.P. Journe Élégante

At the debut of the Élégante, Mr. Journe commented, “I created this watch because for 20 years, women have been asking me to design a watch for them; a watch that was different and comfortable to wear, and that suited their needs and desires.” The F.P. Journe Élégante does all that and more.

Retail price for the diamond-clad titanium version pictured here is $16,100 USD.

For more information, call the F.P. Journe boutique in New York City, at +212 644 5918, or visit the F.P. Journe website. Photo credit: Valerie Jack.

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