François-Paul Journe has always been fascinated by the 18th century, which he considers to be the golden age of time measurement. The exceptional horological art featured on the dial of the new Régence Circulaire was inspired by and pays homage to the clockmakers and artisans of the 18th century. It requires exceptional artistic savoir-faire as it takes two days for a Geneva artist to hand-engrave.
The motif is first drawn on a raw white gold dial. Then the artist incises the pattern into the metal. Different kinds and shapes of burins are used, which the artist prepares ahead of time so as to be suited to her manner of working and the size of her hands. These tools count among her trade secrets. After roughing out the grained decoration of the surface and the champlevé areas, the artist begins perfecting the background texture and then giving a final finish to the engraving of the lines.
After two days of painstaking work requiring highly specialised skills, great patience and dexterity, the dial is complete, with the tiniest of imperfections visible only under the watchmaker’s loupe as evidence of a hand created piece. It is then handed over to the expert hands of another artisan, who gives the dial a final polishing that leaves it gleaming.
The dial also features the hour sub-dial in Silver guilloché at three o’clock, and the small second subdial in Silver at six o’clock, and the power reserve at twelve o’clock. The hands of all three subdials are blued Steel.
The Tourbillon Souverain, first developed in 1983, is still one of the most accurate today and is enriched with the addition of an independent dead-beat second to provide a more accurate read-off of time. This exceptional mechanism in 18K Rose Gold reveals its technical performance through the transparent sapphire crystal case-back. The case itself is 40mm in 18K Red Gold.
The Régence Circulaire is limited to only 20 pieces and is available exclusively in the F. P. Journe Boutiques and Espaces.