Friday

F.P. Journe Sonnerie Souveraine Grand-Strike Clockwatch and Minute Repeater

This is a living breathing creature, not a wristwatch. At first glance, the F.P. Journe Sonnerie Souveraine may not seem out of the ordinary -- except for the profound fact that it comes alive with movement and sound, a mechanical praying mantis striking chiming gongs instead of prey.


Requiring ten patents and six years of development, F.P. Journe explains, "The grand-strike clockwatch is the most complex of horological creations. The greatest difficulty in its construction is to achieve full clockwatch capability from the limited energy available in a wristwatch without compromising on the sound and reliability of the chime."

Ian Skellern of
The Purists writes, "Journe’s Sonnerie Souveraine is much more than ‘simply’ a grand sonnerie; it is a grand et petite sonnerie plus a minute repeater. A sonnerie is a clockwatch; that means that it sounds the time (hours and quarters) in passing - just like an old grandfather clock: although a grandfather clock is likely to strike only the hours or perhaps half hours. A grand sonnerie (full strike) sounds the hours and the quarters at each quarter (every 15 minutes), i.e. at 4.45 we would hear four dongs (hours) and three ding-dongs (quarters). A petite sonnerie (small strike) sounds only the hour at the hour the quarters at the quarters, i.e. at 4.45 we would hear only the three ding-dongs of the quarter hours."


F.P. Journe is relatively new the independent watchmaking world but he's become an overnight success since the 1999 inception. Comparisons to masters like 19th century watchmaker/inventor Abraham Louis Breguet and
Antonio Stradivari (Stradivarius violins) are certainly piquing the interest of many. And within the insular & ravenous watch collecting world, there exist entire forums dedicated to his brand --> Link

The Sonnerie is priced at 650,000 Swiss Francs with only four made per year (with a waiting list) but the rest of the Journe collection
starts at $19,400 USD.

The watch is best experienced in this slow-building video
(the praying mantis-style chime strikers come into action near the end) -->
Video Link

F.P. Journe --> Link
Sonnerie Souveraine --> Link
The Purists article --> Part 1 & Part 2


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