If you’re planning on making the trip to Watch Valley this fall, be sure to get your wire transfer information for one of the more historic auctions you’ll attend.
Phillips announced on Tuesday that he will be offering a full set of five number one FP Journe Watches “Subscription” to the Geneva watch auction: XIV in November. Each of the watches in the limited edition set bears the serial number 001, and this is the only known set of its kind. What makes these timepieces even rarer is that they have never been auctioned off before.
The auction will not offer them in sets, but in individual lots: the separate Tourbillon à Remontoir d’Égalité has an estimated value starting at $ 334,658 and the Chronomètre à Résonance estimate starts at $ 223,105. Meanwhile, prices for the three models in the Octa collection, including the Reserve de Marche, Chronograph and Calendar models, have estimates ranging from $ 55,776 to $ 223,105.
All five of the original “Subscription” models are shipped from the original owner. Each piece is housed in a 38mm case and all feature precise brass movements. The watchmaker’s first prototype of the Remontoir d’Égalité Tourbillon was completed in 1991; Journe revisited it in 1999 for its first mass-produced wristwatch. The Chronomètre à Résonance was launched in 2000, as the world’s first timepiece in which the movement is made up of two independent unbalances, notably as an “exciter” and “resonator”.
As for the Octa Collection, or series that introduced the brand’s first automatic movement, it was a real challenge to build according to the watchmaker. More precisely when it comes to chronometry and timing, but also when it comes to everyday comfort. In turn, Journe effectively designed a caliber with an eight-day power reserve that could fit many future complications into the same volume. Although difficult, it should be noted that the Octa caliber retains its original dimensions.
The first twenty models in the Octa collection – launched when the Journe brand was officially created in 1999 – were reserved for collectors who had purchased the original Tourbillon and Résonance “Subscription” series. Subsequently, these figurines were also referred to as “Subscription” pieces by Journe.
“The word ‘historical’ may have been overused, but we can’t find a better term to describe Subscription Box # 1,” said Aurel Bacs, senior consultant for Bacs & Russo and Alexandre Ghotbi, head of watches by Phillips for Continental Europe and the Middle East in a joint statement. “These five watches are not only the foundation of the Journe brand, but whose historical significance and relevance as number one cannot be stressed enough. It is humiliating to hold Tourbillon # 1 in your hand and think of it as the very first watch made by Journe to launch its brand. The rest, as they say, is history. “
If you want to see the rare figurines up close, the full set of Subscription # 1 watches will be on display for the first time on June 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST in FP Journe Miami House. The five models will be presented alongside two other complete series of Journe watches on loan from collectors. Meet at Maison FP Journe Miami website for more information.
Discover the three Octa models from the “Subscription” collection below.