lot 06


Centigraphe Souverain

This watch was featured at the "Chronographs" auction

Starting bid CHF 100 000
Hammer price CHF 185 000
Total bids 18


CasePlatinum case 950/1000, with a sapphire caseback, chronograph pusher at 2 o'clock
StrapBlack alligator leather strap, adjustable white gold F.P Journe folding clasp
DialWhite gold & whitened silver dial, black Arabic numerals, 1/100 of a second counter, 20 seconds counter, 10 minutes counter, blued hands
MovementSolid rose gold 750/1000 hand-wound movement, with centigraphe function, circular stripes on the bridges
Case No.388-CT

Condition report

Case:Very good, small signs of wear
Strap:Very good, small signs of wear
Dial:Mint condition
Movement:All functions working properly
Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):Approx 330°
Accuracy (Dial on top):Approx +1 sec/day
Exctract from archives:Yes


An elegant, charismatic and rare numbered-edition platinum chronograph wristwatch of the Swiss watch brand F. P. Journe Invenit et Fecit, founded in 1999 by the French watchmaker François-Paul Journe. Reference launched in 2007, discontinued in 2018. Case made of platinum 950, diameter 40mm, 10.1mm thick, sapphire caseback. Matt solid white gold dial with black printed Arabic numerals designed by François-Paul Journe, screwed and polished white gold frame, white matt sub-dials with fine circular grooves in the centres, blued steel and red lacquered titanium hands. Caliber 1506, hand-wound, thin, in solid 18k gold, double barrel, 80-hour power reserve without the chronograph running and 24-hour with chronograph operation. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, chronograph with 1-second counter featuring 1/100-second graduation at 10 o’clock, 20-second counter at 2 o’clock, and 10-minute counter at 6 o’clock. F. P. Journe black leather strap, platinum F.P. Journe adjustable folding clasp, created in collaboration with Roland Iten.

Lot essay

The story goes that the starting point for the development of this unique chronograph movement, which has a seconds counter that rotates in one second and is theoretically capable of registering time intervals with an accuracy approaching a hundredth of a second, was a conversation between François-Paul Journe and Jean Todt (then executive director of Scuderia Ferrari). Caliber 1506 is a kind of mechanical trick invented by François-Paul Journe following this conversation. The balance, operating at a frequency of 21,600 vph, causes the gear system of the movement, both the base caliber and the chronograph, to move in 1/6 second jumps. In caliber 1506, the chronograph is designed in such a way that the fastest seconds hand – also called lightning (foudroyante) – generally moves in 1/6 second increments. However, stopping the chronograph at a certain point in time can theoretically lead to the measurement of time intervals with a smaller increment, down to 1/100 of a second. Modern chronographs with a foudroyante seconds counter are extremely rare, and François-Paul Journe’s design with three counters and no other additional features is definitely unique. The beauty of the concept and the high quality of execution were recognized by the professional community – in 2008 the Centigraphe Souverain received the Aiguille d’Or, main prize at the Geneva Grand Prix d’Horlogerie.

At the 10 o’clock position, the 1/100-second hand revolves in one second, on a scale marked in hundredths of a second. The sub-dial is equipped with a tachymeter scale that permits the reading of subject speeds up to 36,000 kilometers per hour. The subsidiary-hand at 2 o’clock revolves once every twenty seconds, with the scale divided into seconds and a tachymeter scale from 189 to 3600 km/h. The third sub-dial, at the 6 o’clock position, is graduated for 10 minutes, with a tachymeter scale from 6 to 180 km/h. To start, stop and reset the chronograph counters there is a rocker pusher located on the caseband at 2 o’clock, instead of the usual pushers on the sides of the crown. The idea behind it had never been used in the industry, hence why François-Paul Journe patented it.

The winning combination of the present lot is manifested in the solid-gold movement, fine platinum case, solid white gold dial and rare platinum F.P. Journe adjustable folding clasp, collectible in its own right and created in collaboration with Roland Iten, the inventor of the most complex mechanical clasps.

The F. P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain is equipped with a hand-wound 1506 caliber. The movement is finished to a high standard with manual decoration of all parts, including chamfering and polishing. The mainplate is decorated with a Perlage pattern, while the bridges feature a côtes circulaires decoration. The peculiarity of the F. P. Journe movements is that since 2004 they have been produced from solid 18k pink gold, so that no protective coatings are required to create a flawless and non-patinated finish of the parts.

The present watch features an original execution with a 40mm platinum case and matt finished white gold dial. From 2007, François-Paul Journe launched numerous Centigraphe designs based on the caliber 1506, including the sporty lineSport Centigraphes in aluminium and in blackened titanium, Centigraphe CTS2 Yellow, classical Centigraphe Souverain in rose gold, rare Centigraphe Souverain Black Label in platinum, Centigraphe Souverain ‘Ferrari’ in platinum on a platinum bracelet, Centigraphe Souverain Anniversaire ‘10th Anniversary Boutique Edition’ in titanium and rose gold, and Centigraphe Souverain in platinum with a salmon dial and on a platinum bracelet. Nevertheless, the original platinum Centigraphe quite rarely appears on the secondary market and therefore each such example is of great collector’s interest.

Reasons to bid

The F. P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain Ref. CT, characterised by its rare original execution, and distinctive yet modest design, is considered to be one of the most sought-after F.P. Journe watches. Therefore, the present lot would appear to be an extremely attractive purchase for the collector and F. P. Journe watchmaking expertise aficionado, who will receive an elegant, extraordinary and rare mechanical chronograph wristwatch from this famous independent watch brand, one of the undoubted leaders in the haute horlogerie watch market. The winning combination of the present lot is manifested in the solid-gold movement, fine platinum case, solid white gold dial and rare platinum F.P. Journe adjustable folding clasp, collectible in its own right and created in collaboration with Roland Iten, the inventor of the most complex mechanical clasps.