Francois-Paul Journe attended the Marseilles watchmaking school when he was just 14 years old, and then went to work for his uncle, a restorer, in Paris. During this time, he developed a passion for watches and their history, and decided that he wanted to make timepieces from start to finish. He gradually developed a reputation with collectors who commissioned his work; then with established watch companies who commissioned him to make new movements. This prompted him to move to Switzerland where, in 1999, he created and presented his first FP Journe branded collection in Basel. His word of mouth reputation spread, due to not only the striking look of his pieces, but also the technical novelties that he manages to merge with such a rich sense of history.
His timepieces have the look of classic pieces, but are put together in a completely modern way, with modern parts and mechanisms. Most of them are extremely complicated models, which require several weeks to make – which is why the company only puts out 850 – 900 per year (starting at around $19,800). The brand’s motto is “Invenit et Fecit”, which means “He invented it and made it” – referring to the fact that the company makes the watches from start to finish. Journe, himself, often designs new movements – going as far as to invent completely new systems; and plans to expand, even more, in coming years.