WatchBox – the leading global platform for trading pre-owned luxury watches – has championed the work of independent brands and watchmakers since its founding in 2017. In this regard, the brand launched a global event series in October to honour the visionary spirit of François-Paul Journe and Denis Flageollet, titled: Two Decades of F.P. Journe & De Bethune – A Retrospective Exhibition.
Following successful shows in Switzerland, Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the exhibition arrives in Dubai next week – from February 15 to 17 – at the Four Seasons DIFC.
The exhibition – honouring François-Paul Journe and Denis Flageollet’s contributions to watchmaking in the 21st century – will display a collection of over 100 important watches, which are available to purchase. The exhibition will also host a forum for private appointments, panels, educational talks, and celebrations.
“Dubai is an incredibly important region for watch scholarship and collecting,” said Danny Govberg, WatchBox co-founder and Executive Chairman. “Our retrospective exhibition has been established as an unmissable experience for discerning collectors of modern independent watchmaking, and we’re excited to meet the passionate collector community on the ground.”
Jack Forster, WatchBox’s Global Editorial Director, will be on-site to discuss the brand-defining collections by François-Paul Journe and Denis Flageollet throughout the event. De Bethune’s CEO Pierre Jacques, and International Head of Sales Jorg Hysek will also be important guests of the exhibition, sharing insight into the brand’s first twenty years and its future. Here are some of the highlights from the selection of timepieces that will be on display in Dubai.
From the very inception of the brand, De Bethune watches were visibly different from anything else in modern horology. While most watch brands strive to establish a single case design which is iconic for that brand’s design philosophy, De Bethune has an entire vocabulary of design cues and elements which make any De Bethune watch instantly recognizable.
De Bethune DB25 Collection
De Bethune – often associated with a boldly futuristic, sci-fi aesthetic – takes a different approach with the DB25 collection. Here, the watchmaker presets its mastery of traditional watchmaking – chronometric precision with a relatively lightweight and modern interpretation of classical watch design.
De Bethune DB28 Collection
The DB28 is for collectors who love innovation, creativity, colour, and functionality in their timepieces; wristwatches that possess a unique flair. A distinctive modern case design, the use of vibrant blues in contrast to black, greys, golds and silvers, and innovative materials such as black zirconium and blue titanium distinguish the collection from the rest.
François-Paul Journe’s vision for complicated horology is succinctly communicated through the company motto – Invenit et Fecit – meaning “invented and made.” Journe’s timepieces are technically sophisticated, undeniably elegant, and represent new concepts and interpretations of modern watchmaking. The watchmaker’s commitment to invention is underscored through successive generations of the brand-defining Tourbillon Souverain and Chronomètre à Résonance collections.
F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain with brass movement [Reference T]
Launched in 1999, Tourbillon Souverain represents the founding complication of the F.P. Journe brand and the first time a tourbillon was coupled with a remontoir in a wristwatch. The founder used a subscription model for the first 20 watches, and each of these pieces is numbered on its dial side. The second generation is without the numbering on the dial and has the addition of “Remontoir d’Egalite” at 12 o’clock. The third generation is distinguished by the flat remontoir cock and the large screws on the dial. In the fourth generation, the dial screws become smaller and the printing becomes thicker.
F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Régence Circulaire and Régence Losange
Ornate, hand-engraved dials add another dimension of artisanal beauty, rarity, and complexity to F.P. Journe’s Tourbillon Souverain with remontoire and dead-beat seconds. Extremely limited in production, these pieces are part of the Tourbillon Nouveau (TN) series. The inspiration for the geometric dial patterns originates in the Regency period of the 18th century, a time that François-Paul Journe considers to be the golden age of time measurement.
F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance with brass movement [Reference R]
F.P. Journe introduced his first Résonance wristwatch in 2000, building upon the work of both Antide Janvier and Abraham-Louis Breguet, and setting the stage for a delicate evolution and five generations of this complex complication. Series R represents the first generation of the Chronomètre à Résonance, constructed with a brass movement, a 38mm platinum case, and a distinct yellow-gold dial.
The Ruthenium Collection
In 2001, F.P. Journe began producing a limited series of watches intended specifically for Journe collectors. The Ruthenium collection consisted of five watches all in 40mm platinum cases with ruthenium-coated brass movements and delicately textured ruthenium dials, each released in only 99 examples. The watches in the collection were versions of the Tourbillon Souverain, the Chronomètre à Résonance, the Octa Chronographe, the Octa Jour et Nuit, and the Octa Calendrier.