The F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine: a seriously complex watch with a quirky attitude

The F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine: a seriously complex watch with a quirky attitude 

F.P. Journe is a watchmaker is his own class. Master of Haute Horlogerie, his watches are not only unique but take your visual senses through an emotional journey of complicated dials and mechanisms. It comes as no surprise then that the new — released in November 2019 after the ‘Only Watch’ success of the prototype and is being produced in very limited numbers — F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine is a beautiful beast of a watch that features 18 functions & complications.

The watch is devoted to the study of the skies and contemplation of the stars, quite like the new Greubel Forsey QP à Équation watch. And while the QP à Équation is more serious and formal in appeal, the Astronomic Souveraine has a playful, almost quirky character to it.  

Features of the F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine 

The Movement

The heart used, calibre 1619, is a manual winding — 34 turns of the crown — mechanical movement beating at the frequency of 3Hz (21’600 A/h). It features a whopping 758 components, 68 jewels and has a 40-hour power reserve. 

F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine
Image Courtesy F.P. Journe | © Montres Journe SA Group

The 18K rose gold movement is decorated with circular waves on bridges, partly circular grained base-plate, polished screw heads and chamfered slots, and pegs with polished rounded ends.

The movement — all settings via the crown — includes:

  1. Tourbillon with remontoir d’égalité 
  2. Minute repeater 
  3. Sidereal hours and minutes 
  4. 2nd time zone 
  5. Moon phases 
  6. Annual calendar 
  7. Equation of time 
  8. Sunrise and sunset 
  9. Natural dead-beat second

The movement is encased inside a 44mm diameter and 13.80mm thick polished steel case.

The Dial 

In addition to the movement, the dial is another feature where the magic for this watch occurs. The watch has functions shown over both sides of the case, so front and case-back. 

The watch face on the front shows the following: Hours (orange hands) and 2nd time zone (blued hands) at 3’o clock, minutes in the centre, sunrise and sunset at a blue aperture at 12’o clock above the F.P. Journe signature, sidereal hours and minutes at 9’o clock — that allows the observation of the stars — power reserve indicator at 6’o clock, moon phases at 5’o clock, and seconds on disc at 7’o clock.

F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine
Image Courtesy F.P. Journe | © Montres Journe SA Group

The rear case-back side shows the following: Equation of time in the center (blued hand) and an annual calendar at 10’o clock. 

Complementing these functions are the various finishings, textures and colours of the dial that aide legibility in the otherwise complex dial. We are particularly partial to the use of blues and oranges that enhance readability. 

Watch Ya Gonna Do About It?

The new F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine has got to be the best tool watch we have come across in recent time. It is a grand complication watch not only featuring a tourbillon and minute repeater, but also a multitude of other complications that pay tribute to the stars. 

One of the visually defining features of this release is the complex beauty of the dial. 

F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine

Image Courtesy F.P. Journe | © Montres Journe SA Group

The white gold dial features sub-dials that are embellished with clou de Paris decoration and stand out from a distance giving textural play to the watch face. 

The moon phases feature a hyper-realistic moon that was traced from a NASA photograph. 

On the rear, the wearer can not only admire the tourbillon but also witness the artistry gone into including the full annual calendar that is impressively encircled by the signs of the zodiac.

The watch with so many complications is surprisingly slim, and is almost a daily wearable watch coming in at 44×13.8mm. It may not fit comfortably under the cuff but I would be damned if I wanted to hide this wrist beauty anyway. 

The F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine is a seriously complex watch with a quirky attitude.

For more information on this watch and other F.P. Journe watches, head to their website here.