Monday, February 4, 2013
Easy reader: F.P. Journe Quantième Perpétuel LE watch
F.P. Journe makes watches admired not only by watch collectors, but also by watch industry experts.
Now Francois Paul has focussed on perhaps one of the most useful of all complications, the Perpetual Calendar.
During the 18th century, astronomical watches gradually gave way to the manufacturing of watches showing the date and, usually, the moon phases. These primitive calendar watches were all of the simple calendar type; at the end of each month of less than 31 days, the days hand has to be put forward manually.
The Quantième Perpétuel (perpetual calendar) displays the exact date by automatically taking into account the variable length of the months and leap-year cycle. It also displays the day, month and often the moon phases. To achieve this, the movement has a mechanical “memory” of 1461 days or four years.
The mechanism includes several hundred components, cogs, gears, levers and rockers. Despite their name, perpetual calendars have to be corrected by one day on 1 March 2100 (perhaps a task for your grandson in future years), not through any fault of the mechanism but due to the Gregorian calendar, which rules that this year, as three centennial years out of four, will not be a leap year.
A movement able to identify leap years has a real mechanical memory. A small toothed planet wheel connected to the month’s mechanism performs a complete rotation in four years. During the fourth year, this mechanism displays 29 February before directly moving on to 1st March.
Just as the moon moves around the earth, this planet wheel rotates on its own axis resting on a swivel wheel, it’s one of the true masterpieces of the watchmaking art.
The new F.P. Journe Quantième Perpétuel replaces the Octa Calandrier model as the basic perpetual calender watch. The watch features an uncluttered dial and signature F.P. Journe large apertures: two for the day and month calendar, and a large date in two windows.
The instantaneous jump is reinforced by an F.P. Journe system which accumulates energy and releases it instantaneously when the date, day or month changes; and then slow it down at the end of its route.
The watch is also very easy to use. All corrections are made using the three-position crown, except for the rapid correction of months, which is carried out by a protected and hidden corrector lever beneath the lug at 1 o’clock. This makes easy work of adjustment over four years without any specific tool.
The in-house automatic winding movement of the Quantième Perpétuel is, like all the brand’s precision chronmometers, manufactured in 18K rose Gold.
The movement is the Octa calibre 1300.3, with an identical calibre leaving room to insert all the complications of the Octa line. It also features the exclusive off-centre F.P. Journe rotor in 22K red gold that creates a power reserve of up to 120 hours.
Limited to just 900 pieces per year, the Quantième Perpétuel replaces the Octa Calendrier with annual calendar, and as this will now cease production in 2013, it is destined to become a collector's piece.
The Quantième Perpétuel is available in Platinum or in 18K red Gold, in a 40 or 42 mm case. The red or white Gold dial is fixed by a steel circle with a silver chapter ring.
Movement: Automatic Calibre FPJ 1300-3 in 18K rose Gold (4N)
Off-centre 22K Gold guilloché winding rotor
Unidirectional automatic winding
Dimensions of the movement: Overall diameter: 33.00 mm
Casing-up diameter: 30.40 mm
Overall height: 5.20 mm
Height of winding stem: 1.80 mm
Diameter of stem thread: S0.90mm
Balance: Linear escapement 15 tooth
Chronometric balance with inertia weight
Anachron free-sprung flat balance spring
Mobile stud holder
Free sprung Nivatronic laser soldered balance spring
Pinned GE stud
Three-position winding stem
Barrel with slipping spring
Frequency: 21,600 Alt/h, 3 Hz
Inertia 10.10 mgcm2
Angle of lift: 52°
Amplitude: 0 hr dial up: > 300°
24 hr dial up: > 220°
Autonomy: 160+/- 12 hours
Indications: Central hours and minutes / indication of leap year with centred small hand, 1, 2, 3, in black; 4 for the leap year in red / day and month at 12 o'clock in 2 apertures / large date at 6 o'clock in double aperture / power reserve at 9 o'clock.
Decoration: Circular graining on 18K Gold baseplate
Circular Côtes de Genève on 18K Gold bridges
Polished screw heads with chamfered slots
Pegs with polished rounded ends
Steel components hand polished and chamfered
Main characteristics: Perpetual calendar with instantaneous jump. Unidirectional automatic winding. Simultaneous correction of the date and day in one direction, rotation of the day only in the other direction in position 2 of the winding stem. Discreet and secure corrector in the lug of the watchcase for correction of the month and leap year.
Dial: Red or white Gold
Silver chapter ring
Steel mounting fixing the centre of the dial
Case: Platinum or 18K red Gold
Diameter 40 or 42 mm.
Height 10.8 mm
Number of parts: Movement without dial 348
Cased up with strap xxx
Winding speed: 274 anti-clockwise rotations per 24 hours