F.P. JOURNE Astronomic Blue for OnlyWatch 8.

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-13:18

The watch presented is a protype movement encased in a tantalum case and a special blue dial for Only Watch.

Finally, we get to see the long anticipated F.P. Journe Astronomic. The watch was expected in 2019 and the end of 2018 we got a hint from super collector Claude Sfeir  that we would get a taste of this new super complicated piece at OnlyWatch 2019. (end of video)

A lot of speculation has been done about this watch, since it has existed as a rumor among FPJ collectors for years. 

From the Only Watch Website as an official press release has not been issued by Montres Journe:

Prototype movement, with unique case and dial developed especially for Only Watch, 44 mm tantalum case, Astronomic prototype movement in 18K rose gold and blue chrome dial. Number of components (without casing): 758 Functions and complications: 18 All settings and corrections adjusted by the crown. SPECIFICITIES Model name: Astronomic Blue/AST 1.7.2019 Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies - F.P. JOURNE 2/2 Version imprimable | Plan du site © Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies Connexion Case: Case in Tantalum, unique piece developed exclusively for Only Watch Dial: Blue chrome dial, unique example developed exclusively for Only Watch, with Silver parts. Front indications: Hours, minutes and seconds of average time. 2nd time zone. Hours and minutes of sidereal time. Sunrise and sunset. Day and night indication. Moon phases. Power reserve. Back indications: Annual calendar. Equation of time. Calibre: Exclusive manual winding prototype calibre 1619 in 18K rose gold. Double barrel, minute repeater, tourbillon with « Remontoir d’égalité » performing a complete rotation in 60 seconds, dead-beat second. Bracelet: Orange Alligator strap. Dimensions: Diameter: 44 mm Thickness: 13.75 mm Estimate: CHF 300,000 - 600,000 EUR 270,000 - 539,000 USD 300,000 - 600,000

See the official release here:

There is a lot to absorb and still much more to learn when we see the final watch. 

Firstly, let us remember, that the ability to create such a watch is a monumental task in terms of movement design but also putting it in to a manufacturing process afterwards. Even more, for a relatively small independent brand without hordes of movement engineers. I think it is, once again, a testament to Mr Journes amazing skill as a watchmaker and running a small manufacture.

The watch belongs to a genre of watches with multiple complications. On a personal level, I gravitate more toward simple concepts to be fully unfolded. Singular, strong expressions like the Resonance, which to me, is still the quintessential FP Journe watch. However, when that is said, I am absolutely impressed with this piece and I  love the whimsical and esoteric complications such as e.g. equation of time, Sideral time, sunrise and sunset. In our daily lives totally impractical but It subscribes to the classical and historical tradition within high horology. I find it charming and connects the mind to the bigger dimensions beyond our boring little daily routines. 

Time is displayed like it is on a regulator type of watch where hours and minutes and seconds are displayed on separate dials. The hour dial has two hands, so two time zones can be displayed.

As you can see from the “menu” FPJ once again makes use of the remontoir dègalite to make sure the timekeeping is not destroyed when the double barrels have to deliver energy to the multiple complications – another among them – the Minute repeater.

The complication I am most surprised about is the addition of the Tourbillon. Normally that has a much more elevated position in the FP Journe universe. Here, I’m getting the thought it was added just because he can. Maybe I’m wrong. We will need to learn more at the presentation. Im not sure how it fits in with the theme of of an astronomic watch?

The dial is once again, evidence that Mr Journe is a master at designing a beautiful dial. He has so much information he needs to display. Wisely he uses both sides of the watch and applies his strict basic layout of the two symmetrically arranged circles, composing the smaller elements around that. I think he gets away with it very beautifully. The dial is simply good looking!

An amazing detail is that all displays are set through the crown. Tecnically amazing and Very elegant!

 What has me a little concerned, is the 44 mm case. I can understand that space is needed for a super complicated piece. The thickness is 13.75 and 44 mm diameter. That is slightly thicker than the Tourbillon Vertical but with an added 2mm on the diameter. This combination mages it a very big watch and beyond what I am personally in favor of. We can see from the movement name cal 1619 that the movement is 16 linge where as the Tourbillon Vertical was 15 Linge. So I would not expect to see a smaller version of this watch.

My own first impressions are, that I am hugely impressed. I appreciate and respect what is presented to us today. To just be able to construct a watch like this is very special. But also make it in to a beautiful design with all the complications it displays is an other issue in it self. I think, oftten, grand comlications end up looking like dinnerplates from a buffet, which is clearly not the case here. I think this piece will make an amazing trophy in any top level collection. 

I also think it deserves a proper presentation from Montres Journe. It is not an easy watch to understand instinctly. Unlike the I Monopoussuir Rattrapante Blue for Onlywatch in 2017.  That is a watch a watch connoisseur understands almost instantly. This one is different. That’s why it surprises me a little that F.P. Journe has not made a bigger effort to explain the watch at its release.

Please let me know your first impressions and keeping in mind that we don’t know the full story yet…

Best regards


Imho its a very impressive watch .

 By: Watchonthewrist : July 1st, 2019-14:39
Full with amazing complications . Maybe the size is big but i have seen watches that big that wears smaller on the wrist . Hope to see it in person one day

Thank you for chiming in

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-14:46
Yes it amazing and hopefully you will get the chance to see it. there is going to be a world tour of the watches.
check it out here:

I will do a lot to catch it myself. smile smile

Thank you for the post.

 By: NML77 : July 1st, 2019-15:23
I understand where you are coming from in less is more and preference for a smaller size but I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with this watch. Both aesthetically and certainly technically. I have often found that Journes look much better in person than pictures and the larger ones wear better than the dimensions would suggest. I prefer smaller cases too but given all that goes into this watch I think 44 may be reasonable .

I wonder what complications and design the actual commercial version will have.

You are absolutely right about how they wear

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-20:47
It’s an advantage of the case design with the short, downward turned lugs. It is reasonable, as you so eloquently put it. Especially as the reason behind it, is that the case is filled to the brim with high horology and not just an upscaled case for fashions sake. Therein lies an important nuance that you point out smile

I’m impressed from a technical standpoint how much he have stuffed in to this 44 mm case...

 By: mahesh : July 1st, 2019-15:27
Yet uncluttered in terms of aesthetics - he outdid himself on this, if I can say so.

What worries me personally, even as production piece these are kind of complications that will keep most of the FPJ fans out of reach, just in terms of the price point.

Hope Mr Journe decides to give a less complicated version to the general fans !

That is a tricky one

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-20:54
I don’t think this watch was ever meant to be accessible. Just like the Grande et Petite Sonnerie - the flagship of the collection. These can only be built in very limited numbers. The former was only built in appr 50 pieces over the 13 years run. It occupies 2 of the 25 watchmakers doing the entire assembly at Montres Journe.

What I had in mind was...

 By: mahesh : July 2nd, 2019-11:53
I was drawn by the dial layout to dream off the next Resonance 😜

epic amazingness

 By: Gelato Monster : July 1st, 2019-16:31
So far the best and most likely will be the best of Only Watch 2019.

I have to agree, my friend. [nt]

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-20:55
No message body

To be seen in the flesh, which will be highly improbable. I like the tantalum case a lot. Now, the diameter is more intriguing than the thickness, for me. For the rest, I like...

 By: amanico : July 1st, 2019-16:32
This combination of complications! 



Aah, not improbable, dear friend...

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-21:02
Look here:
I will try to find out more. And maybe even pay you a visit smile
I agree the complications are spectacular. Especially these more esoteric ones.
Thank you for chiming in, Nico.

It's funny how we get so excited for SIHH/Basel every year, when...

 By: Brandon Skinner : July 1st, 2019-16:54
the real show is the announcement of the Only Watch collection. FP again is the leader (at least so far) in my book.

Haha, yes - good point

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-21:06
I think that is a truth that keeps growing by the year. I agree. I think FPJ steals the show with this piece.

Very cool

 By: NautNut : July 1st, 2019-18:34
this will surely go for  big number

Yes. To the top collectors, the OnlyWatch are important and prestigious.

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-21:08
Especially something really special like this. It will be really interesting to follow.

Does this signal the end game?

 By: hub6152 : July 1st, 2019-19:08
Because how could he possibly top this in 2020? I can’t help but wonder if this is some sort of “going out with a bang” type of piece! I guess only time will tell (how’s that for a pun!!).

I doubt that...

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-21:11
Mr Journe is living and breathing watchmaking. I doubt he, as a person, is able to do much else that he would feel more meaningful smile

Very true, he’ll only stop when he can’t do it anymore [nt]

 By: hub6152 : July 1st, 2019-21:23
No message body

That is my clear impression

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-21:31
My feeling of him as a person is, that everything in his life revolves around his watchmaking smile

Thanks Christian for the details.

 By: Jay (Eire) : July 1st, 2019-20:19
I was initially thinking the size, and what that meant for future regular production prices, was a big negative but then I realized it doesn’t matter to me as whatever regular production piece that follows this is way way outside of any watch budget I’ll ever have!!!!

So, to the positive.  I said something similar elsewhere but I think it’s worth repeating as it reflects my view.  

I looked at this, then I looked at “The Only Watch” Patek, then I looked back at this and I smiled. And then I smiled some more. 

Everything good about Journe is evidenced in this watch.  It’s unmistakably Journe. 

LOL, Jay

 By: ChristianDK : July 1st, 2019-21:22
I had the exact same train of thought. It is not relevant to me personally smile i just don’t hope to see it as a trend for FPJ as I’m guessing a lot of us feel.
I agree so much on your second point as well. Even though it is a multiple complication and the size is unusual- it is still unmistakable FP Journe. I think the way he has “tamed” the many elements he displays shows true mastery.
Always good to read you, my friendsmile

I just look at the Patek and I see a mess, dial, case and pushers.

 By: Jay (Eire) : July 1st, 2019-23:03
I understand many like that aesthetic and so my comment should be taken as the subjective view it is.  

It’s good that we have both, something for everyone! 

I don’t disagree with you. Good thing we don’t all have the same taste. [nt]

 By: ChristianDK : July 2nd, 2019-11:32
No message body

You guys are cracking me up.

 By: TheMadDruid : July 3rd, 2019-09:03
And you are risking the wrath of the Patek Forum. Know when to duck.

It’s called..

 By: ChristianDK : July 3rd, 2019-10:33
Living on the edge 😎

As much as I love and respect Patek, I find it difficult to appreciate the aesthetics of that piece. I know, on a technical level, it is a master piece.

That’s why I declined to comment over there....we are safe here, among our own. [nt]

 By: Jay (Eire) : July 3rd, 2019-19:50
No message body

I think it's a wonderful watch and I love the complications.

 By: Patekphilippecollector : July 2nd, 2019-02:29
Wish PP did astrological a bit more. At 44mm would have no interest for me and I guess the price will be in the millions

Hi, Karl. I love the astrological theme as well. I would love to see a more simple incarnation of this theme for us mortals.

 By: ChristianDK : July 2nd, 2019-11:41
Somehow it suits the FPJ aesthetic very well.

One thing struck me as odd...

 By: mdg : July 2nd, 2019-08:43
...Annual Calendar? Seems odd to have a tourbillon and minute repeater but not a perpetual calendar. 
Load More Comments >>