On my recent trip to Geneva I had the opportunity to spend some time with the Chronometre Optimum – a remarkable chronometer that represents the culmination of a concept Francois-Paul Journe came up with over ten years ago.

The design incorporates many of the distinctive features of FP Journe watches including a big sub-dial that displays the hours and minutes, a smaller sub-dial dedicated for the seconds, an open view of the remontoir, power reserve indicator and knurled crown. But the real magic is what’s inside.

The heart of the piece is the newly designed high performance bi-axial escapement that functions without oil. Combine this with double barrels, a remontoir and a dead beat second and you have what may be Journes most precision watch to date. There is a wonderful symmetry to the design of the movement. The right side is more open with a perfect view of the balance wheel, escapement and gear train. The left feels more closed partially revealing the winding mechanism and barrels.

The Optimum has been in the works for years and it’s great to finally see the idea transformed into reality. Previously I have only seen the 42mm size which surprising didn’t feel too big on the wrist. On this occasion I was able to view the 40mm which I think is better suited for my wrist size. In my humble opinion the Chronometre Optimum is the ultimate time only collectors watch. This one is a keeper!

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