F.P. Journe: A Resounding Success in High Horology

Becoming a high-end independent manufacture is a feat on its own; becoming a commercial success; a whole different story. The success of Montes F.P. Journe can be attributed to many aspects that make it unique.

A key element regarding F.P. Journe’s success is their philosophy with regards to aesthetics. So many independent brands feel it is necessary to drastically alter their design philosophy in order to captivate and draw the attention of prospective customers, watch enthusiasts, and the media. They would be correct; however, Journe, unlike the vast majority of independents, has managed to straddle the fine line of unique aesthetics while maintaining traditional and elegant aesthetics. In this way, the maison of Francois-Paul Journe, a dress watch heavy brand in a seemingly sport-focused industry, has managed to find enormous success. To quote Mr. Francois-Paul Journe (translated by Kiran Shakir in Journe: The First Thirty Years, “Of course, it was also my intention to create a strong image from the beginning. I don’t have a lot of money to advertise like he big companies, so a characteristic Journe aesthetic is essential.

Journe also came into the business with a no-nonsense approach to marketing and branding. Kiran Shakir’s work details this by quoting Pierre Halimi Lacharlotte, President of Montres Journe USA by saying, “[On use of funds in the company] This is where your money went. It didn’t go into a Ferrari. It didn’t go into a castle. It went into machines…”

Journe builds unique and exceptional with the business sense to back his watchmaking brilliance up. This is further confirmed by the recent 20% acquisition of the company by Chanel, in which Journe retains total creative control. Montres Journe has flourished in an uncertain era for the Swiss watch industry, following a period of continued readjustment to the economic climate of the digital age.

Colin Carpenter