Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix,
Gold Hand Award 2006
The Sonnerie Souveraine, Grand-Strike Clockwatch and Minute-reprater by François-Paul Journe
The Watch Quote™ - November 27th, 2006
In your watch, a single mainspring provides enough energy for 24 hours of grand strike (96 full chimes in passing), for the minute-repeater, and to keep the movement going for 48 hours. The chiming functions alone use up almost 60% of the mainspring’s energy, and without the chime, the movement will run for five days.
Constructing this movement has been an exercise in minimising energy use by maximising mechanical efficiency. The result is a low-tension movement with gentle mechanisms that have to be very finely adjusted to ensure unfailing chimes 35,040 times a year.
Operating a chiming watch has always been risky. If you do the slightest thing wrong, like setting the time while the chimes are ringing, you damage expensive mechanisms.
Thus, the first entry in my specification book for your watch was: “make it safe to use by an eight-year-old child.” You will forgive me if you knew that the eight-year-old set me the toughest assignment of my career. To meet the demands, I had to construct a movement on new mechanical principles. In this piece, 10 patents underwrite the “invenit” of my watchmaking. “Fecit” took me five years.
I’d like your watch to make you feel you possess time itself, and therefore invite you discover how the illusion was created by exploring your new domain in this manual.
By naming your watch, you gave it a purpose, an identity and a soul. Thank you for being its guardian ».