Why I Love the F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Vertical
I had the wonderful opportunity to handle the 2019 Tourbillon Vertical a few months back at the F.P. Journe Los Angeles boutique. I have got to tell you; this watch surpasses my wildest expectations! The guilloche is simply gorgeous. When you see the watch in photographs, you just cannot capture the wonder of the guilloche in person. It is surprisingly understated and comes off as simply an intriguing texture from afar. However, it certainly holds up under the loupe! What struck me the most, apart from the tourbillon, was the enameling and the design of the numerals. It is a slight departure, in my opinion, from the styles featured on most modern Journes. The dial is akin to the likes of antique Breguet, and it is a really nice touch on such a special watch from F.P. Journe. The design hearkens back to early Journe tourbillon pocket watches. Furthermore, the enamel is extremely fine, especially when under the scrutiny of magnification. I would also like to mention that although the style of the numerals echos Breguet style, it does retain the characteristic Journe aesthetic — possibly even slightly Art Deco.
The main feature of this watch is the previously unseen vertically aligned tourbillon. Indeed, this placement is not just for show. Most modern tourbillons in wristwatches do very little in regards to accuracy due to their position. However, the Tourbillon Vertical reverses (no pun intended) this notion that tourbillons are merely for show when placed on the wrist. The setup actually lives up to its purpose by counteracting gravity while the watch is on the wrist. Moreover, I'd like to point out the perfect finishing of the broad countersink. These areas are often overlooked by watchmakers looking to cut corners, and I can say with gladness that this is never the case with F.P. Journe. At nearly 250,000 CHF in either metal, it won't be added to the collection any time soon. But like many items, they can still be appreciated greatly without owning them.
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