The first ever dedicated auction for a living independent watchmaker, The Art of F.P. Journe, was 100% sold at Christie’s Geneva on May 12, realising CHF13,665,300 / US$15,314,702 or approximately CHF350,000 per watch. Clients from 20 countries across 4 continents participated in the sale. EMEA represented 52% of buying, the Americas 28% and APAC 20%, while 29% of all buyers and bidders were millennials.
Each timepiece was a true work of art, a testament to Journe’s relentless pursuit of perfection. The top selling lot of the sale was a platinum tourbillon Souverain souscription model wristwatch, bearing number 2 out of 20, made circa 1999, sold for CHF 2,707,000/ $3,033,735. The saleroom at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues applauded after each lot sold.
Remi Guillemin, Head of Watches Europe commented: “The Art of F.P. Journe marks an incredible moment for independent watchmaking. The first auction dedicated to a single, living independent watchmaker, the auction showed the passion amongst collectors for F.P. Journe.
With 100% of the lots selling, in a packed room with incredible energy and results, this sale showcases the desire of collectors for innovative projects, driven by their ever-increasing knowledge and desire. Our deepest thanks go to collectors who have followed and participated in the sale, and who made this project such a success.”
Arguably F.P. Journe’s most famous wristwatch model is the Tourbillon Souverain, launched in 1999, the first ever tourbillon with a remontoir d’égalité – incorporating constant force throughout the winding process to compensate for the uneven force delivered by the mainspring to the escapement as it unwinds.
Lot 2039 – Tourbillon Souverain Souscription– an especially rare, historic and highly important platinum tourbillon wristwatch with brass movement, yellow gold dial, remontoir d’égalité and power reserve. Signed F.P. Journe, No. 2/20, circa 1999, sold for CHF2,707,000/ US$3,033,735, making it the top selling lot of the auction.
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