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F.P.Journe Chronomètre Holland & Holland

A partnership of distinction

The Watch Quote™ - October 13th, 2017

F.P.Journe and Holland & Holland are two manufactures that share common values: excellence, exquisite craftsmanship, as well as a shared love for beauty.

Both have produced outstanding art objects for decades, each in their own field. Their highly specialized craftsmen have spent endless hours making and shaping each component. These skilled professional polishers, decorators and engravers, fine wood and precious metal specialists, lacquerers, precision mechanics and watchmakers all perform their tasks tirelessly and meticulously until they attain perfection.

The conception of an F.P. Journe watch can take a minimum of three years; the making of a bespoke Holland & Holland gun can take up to two years, during which time the client can choose each part of his new gun.

The meeting between Holland & Holland with F.P. Journe could only result in a common project in partnership. It immediately sparked the desire to produce something unique for a special occasion. Over time, the project has evolved, notably thanks to the discovery of two antique and rare Damascus steel Holland & Holland guns. Each one is over one hundred years old, and the know-how that went into making them has been since forgotten.

Always in the search for something exceptional, unique and innovative, F.P. Journe immediately saw the possibility of including these barrels in a unique watch series with a powerful reference to ancient traditions dating back to 1850.

For their part, Holland & Holland was attracted by the idea of allowing two of their museum barrels of over hundred years old to be used to make magnificent haute horology F.P. Journe timepieces. The two barrels were registered by hand in the company’s books. Barrel No. 1382, dating to 1868, yielded 38 dials, while barrel No. 7183, dating to 1882, produced 28 dials.

About F.P.Journe

Independent contemporary master watchmaker, François-Paul Journe, has been conceiving and manufacturing haute horology timepieces for forty years. His knowledge of history and expertise has led him to show a timeless consistency in his research and innovative powers.

The F.P.Journe manufacture is a world in itself, embodying excellence, know-how and innovation. In a never-ending quest for perfection, at the crossroads between the arts and haute horology, it produces no more than nine hundred precision chronometers per year. Each movement is made of precious 18 K rose Gold, a unique feature of F.P. Journe. Entirely invented and made in the Geneva manufacture, they bear the engraved inscription Invenit et Fecit, hallmark of authenticity and seal of quality.

This inscription used to be engraved on watches manufactured by prestigious eighteenth-century French master-watchmakers upon their acceptance by the Royal Academy of Sciences.

The components are entirely finished by hand, polished, bevelled and decorated with precise and patiently repeated gestures until they are flawless, even though these parts are at times invisible to the naked eye. Thanks to the company's vertical production, dials and cases are also made in-house and therefore harmonise perfectly with the movement.

F.P.Journe’s exceptional haute horological creations span decades. They have an outstanding pedigree and each series features unusual functions and technical highlights. The Chronomètre à Résonance, for instance, has two mechanical hearts; the Tourbillon Souverain features a remontoire and dead-beat second. And there is the ultra-slim Répétition Souveraine, or the stunning Sonnerie Souveraine. These pinnacles in the art of watchmaking have earned F.P. Journe the world’s most prestigious industry awards.

About Holland & Holland

Holland & Holland have been at the peak of British gun-making for over a century, but the roots of the company are rather unconventional. The founder, Harris Holland, happened to be a fine competition pigeon shot and he started having his guns built to order in the 1840s. By 1850, he became a ‘gunmaker’ and opened a workshop under the name ‘H. Holland’. His successes in the pigeon ring continued to be reported in the press and business flourishes. With expansion came a move from King Street to Bond Street, in the heart of the fashionable Mayfair district in London.

Excerpts from the Holland & Holland archives books dating 1860 to 1890 featuring Damascus gun barrels No. 1382 and 7183

In 1860, his nephew Henry William Holland joined the company as an apprentice. He would become an inventive genius and gifted businessman, helping to drive his uncle’s firm forward. He lodged the first of the company’s fifty-one patents in 1861 and became a partner in 1876, thereby creating ‘Holland & Holland’. As the nineteenth century progressed, the company prospered. On the way, it won all classes in the 1883 rifle trials held by The Field magazine and picked up Royal Warrants from the King of Italy and King George V, among others. In 1885, the name ‘Royal’ was adopted for the firm’s best guns.

Excerpts from the Holland & Holland archives books dating 1860 to 1890 featuring Damascus gun barrels No. 1382 and 7183

In 1893, Holland & Holland built their first factory, which was soon replaced, in 1895, by the one currently operating in Kensal Green. Innovation continued with the introduction of the ‘Paradox’ jungle gun in 1885 and the famous .375 H&H Magnum in 1912. In 1930, chairmanship passed to Col. Jack Holland, who opened the current shooting grounds in Northwood and saw the company through the difficult years of the Great Depression, World War Two, and the austerity that followed.

Excerpts from the Holland & Holland archives books dating 1860 to 1890 featuring Damascus gun barrels No. 1382 and 7183

In the second half of the twentieth century, Holland & Holland maintained its position as one of the world’s best gun makers, moving to Bruton Street and introducing the ‘Products of Excellence’ concept, which set a new standard for fine presentation-grade guns and rifles and introduced a new calibre, the .700 Nitro Express.

In recent years, new models have joined the range, like the ‘Sporting’ over-and-under shotgun and the ‘Round Action’ shotgun and rifle. Today, Holland & Holland continues to lead the field as a traditional gun maker with a thoroughly modern outlook and catering to the world’s most discerning sportsmen.


The idea was to use bars of two or more different types of steel, or iron steel, one having less carbon content, and forge them together into a single bar. This was done by heating, twisting and hammering as needed, and then folding the bar, hammering and forging it again. The process was repeated a few more times. The result was a bar with layers of steel of different types producing the wavy lines and patterns visible due to the difference in chemical composition between the different bars used.

The technique was first called 'pattern welding' and was known to several cultures. The Japanese had been using it to manufacture their swords since 1100 AD, and the Vikings and Celts around 600 AD. By 1570, it was used to manufacture gun barrels in India. The Damascus techniques had spread to the Ottoman Empire and later to Hungary and Spain by the 1650s. The defeat of the Turks at the siege of Vienna in 1683 yielded thousands of captured pattern welded barrels for examination. This accelerated the manufacturing of pattern welded barrels in Europe. By 1700, the Belgians were producing pattern welded barrels in Liège, and in the early 1800s, the technique was used in England to produce high quality sporting barrels.

Preparation of the dials

In order to produce the dials, the gun barrels were first cut along their entire length at the Holland & Holland factory and rolled out to form flat strips. These were cut to into smaller strips, which could then be cleaned, polished and reduced to the required thickness. The material was then sent to F.P.Journe’s own dial makers, “Les Cadraniers de Genève” where the dials were cut out. They were sent back to Holland & Holland and “browned”, a traditional gun-making technique that helps protect the steel and highlights the wonderful patterns created during the original manufacture of Damascus barrels. The process is the same today as it was when the guns were made in the late 1800s. Each dial thus has a unique pattern making each watch unique.

The watch case

Given the Holland & Holland steel dial, F.P. Journe’s most suitable option was to make a steel case as well. The 39-millimeter diameter easily adapts to most wrists. The sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating enhances the special wave pattern of the dial.

The exclusive Limited Serie

The two antique Holland & Holland barrels, bearing the serial numbers 1382 (38 dials) and 7183 (28 dials), only allowed for the making of dials that will never exist in any other watch. The Chronomètre Holland & Holland is accessible to F.P. Journe and Holland & Holland collectors through an application process.

F.P.Journe Boutiques

Geneva, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Bal Harbour, Hong Kong

Holland & Holland Boutiques

London, Dallas

F.P.Journe Chronomètre Holland & Holland

Technical specifications

Movement :Exclusive F.P. Journe calibre 1304
Manually wound by 38 turns
Movement in 18 K rose Gold with Holland & Holland engraving
Dimensions of the movement
Diameter :30.40 mm
Casing-up diameter:29.60 mm
Height:3.75 mm
Height of winding system:2.30 mm
Diameter of stem thread:S 0.90 mm
Balance :Four inertia weights
Flat Anachron microflamed spring
Mobile stud holders
Free sprung
Nivatronic laser-welded to collet
Piton GE goupillé
Frequency:21,600 v/h,(3Hz)
Inertia:10.10 mg*cm²
Angle of lift:52°
Amplitude :0h dial up: > 320°
24h dial up: > 280°
Principal characteristics:Two mainspring barrels in parallel
Time adjustment via crown in position 2
Pallet escapement with 15 tooth escape wheel
Two position crown
Indications :Central hours and minutes
Power reserve:56 hours ± 2h
Decoration :Partly circular grained baseplate
Sunburst finishing
Polished screw heads, chamfered slots
Pegs with polished rounded ends
Case :Steel
Diameter :39 mm
Height :8.60 mm
Dial :Damascus pattern from two antique Holland & Holland gun barrels
Number of pieces
Movement without dial: 164
Cased-up on leather strap:198
Jewels: 22S
Limited series :Damascus Holland & Holland barrel:
No. 1382 dating to 1868 - 38 watches numbered XX/38
No. 7183 dating to 1882 - 28 watches numbered XX/28

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