This Movement Monday brings the first appearance of the venerable independent FP Journe to the Amateur Horologist. Journe’s status as one of the foremost independent watchmakers in the world and his brand’s unique style has made his eponymous brand one of the fastest rising (and already one of the largest) independent brands in watchmaking. While his dials are fantastic and showcase his unique style, today we are focusing on the movement of his intro-level timepiece, the Chronometre Bleu. The CB is in the same price bracket as intro level Pateks, Vacherons, and Langes, but offers a completely different style. The finishing remains, however, on par with the best in the business and the end product is a unique and beautiful movement.
Two things really jump out when l0ooking at the CB movement. The first is the obviously unique coloration. Journe is (I believe) the only watch brand that uses sold rose gold for the mainplate and all of the bridges in his movements. Gold is generally avoided in favor of steel or German silver in watch movements given its softness. Soft metals are much more difficult to work with when trying to get the prices edges needed in a high end watch movement, but Journe has taken on the challenge and the result is a unique soft glow that screams luxury and quality. The second stand out feature of the CB is its symmetry. Journe chose to hide the whole going between the mainplate and the dial, making it invisible, he then adopted a unique finish for the mainplate (as opposed to the more common perlage) given how much of it is visible from the back. All that can be seen on the movement side is the balance and the two mainspring barrels. This creates an extremely clean and visually appealing look that, when coupled with the rose gold tones, gives the movement a very sculptural quality. Journe has adopted a style all his own that flows through his whole collection. The CB is the simplest of the whole collection, but also the purest illustration of this style and definitely deserving of some attention all to itself.