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Soon To Be Discontinued, Last Call For The F.P. Journe Grande Sonnerie Souveraine

With just four examples produced per year on average, the F. P. Journe Grande Sonnerie Souveraine is the archetypal one-of-a-kind watch reserved for exceptional collectors in possession of the knowledge that the chiming hour is the ultimate display of power. And to make it extra special, François-Paul Journe has resolved to definitively cease production of this marvelous gem of watchmaking on the final stroke of midnight on 31 December 2018…

By Vincent Daveau

The announcement struck the world of fine watchmaking like a bolt out of the blue. The Grande Sonnerie Souveraine, the ultimate feat in watchmaking complications, representing the absolute pinnacle of mechanical sophistication, will be removed from the collection within just two months. Personal alarm bells will already be going off in the watchmaking world. As we all know, Christmas is on its way the moment the leaves start to turn. So, the 31st December is already upon us.

Clearly, those happy few lucky enough to have scooped such a treasure produced only in small numbers will be rubbing their hands in glee, the announcement having secured the skyrocketing value of their purchase for the foreseeable future. While the more hesitant among us will be kicking ourselves for thinking: "I'll get it later, once in the catalog, always in the catalog.” It just goes to prove the adage that procrastination is the thief of time.

Eighty-two days to countdown

Ah! So it goes... Nothing is a foregone conclusion. Even a smooth flow of orders placed with Swiss clockwork regularity is no guarantee these days if you're the type who puts off to tomorrow what should be done today. However, François-Paul is fully aware of the ways of men and the habits of collectors, having spent so much time in their midst. Mr. Journe knows that such a creation demands respect. But too much thinking can stop you from doing. Therefore, the urge to hesitate and jolt the indecisive into making the right choice, the master watchmaker has decided to notify all fine watchmaking fans that, on 31 December 2018, what was once a collector's watch, the Grande Sonnerie Souveraine, will be ceremoniously relegated to the annals of history.

In bold pursuit of absolute time

Without further ado, the time has come to place your orders and consider the considerable pleasure such a piece would afford, for this is no ordinary timepiece. Such an exquisite example of craftsmanship and expression of power is not measured in terms of value, but instead in terms of music and harmonics. Concealed within this complicated timepiece and heir to the age-old traditions to which F.P. Journe adheres, is an impressive array of subtle innovations conceived and developed by the master craftsmen of the last manufacture to be located in the heart of Geneva. This timepiece is the linchpin between two worlds: the old and the new, a bridge between tradition and the vision of a future-forward industry.

The experts know what they are talking about and to prove it, they have awarded a variety of prizes to this reference six-years-in-the-making. Prizes that include the GPHG Aiguille d’Or in 2006 and "Watch of the year" in Japan the following year. Need we say more? Connoisseurs predicted its glittering future; it was heralded as one of the models that would go down in the history of the industry. It was the first time that a watchmaking creation, a timepiece reflecting the accumulated knowledge of the manufacture's founder, protected by no less than ten patents.

Designed to accompany its owner on every occasion, wherever he goes, the F.P. Journe Sonnerie Souveraine is protected by a series of patented security systems, designed to preserve the watch and its precious chiming mechanism against improper handling. Unique for its chimes and reliable due to its attention to the smallest detail, this study in perfect balance, a kind of gold standard regarding mechanical complexity, embodies the burning passion that drives the production of every creation bearing the F.P. Journe hallmark.

Exceptional pieces should reserve something special for their owners. And they are exceptional indeed, with a single barrel spring powering a chiming mechanism that sounds the hours and quarters musically throughout the year. The Grande Sonnerie chimes 35,040 time a year automatically in full grand-strike mode, which means 332,880 strikes of the hammer and as many notes, without outside help.

Final Call for the F. P. Journe Grande Sonnerie Souveraine

Similarly exceptional is the fact that, instead of carrying series numbers, these pieces are called after the names of their owners, present and future. Would-be purchasers of this extraordinary creation have until midnight 31 December to make their reservations… The "Invenit & Fecit" brand promises to fulfill all firm orders.

And receive each week a custom selection of articles.

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