News: unique F.P. Journe élégante raises $420k in support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

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Miami fundraising event co-hosted by Phillips and F.P.Journe sets a new record price with their élégante. Details in press release here.

News: unique F.P. Journe élégante raises $420k in support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation


We seldom carry news of auction results, especially charity auctions. Mainly because we do not get behind the principle that in order for one to donate to a charitable organization, one needs to bid against others for a desirable watch or other object. Charity auctions is un-necessarily complicated, with too many intermediary parties. As evidenced by the recent 2023 farce created at Only Watch. Also raises the question of the motive for donating. Is it for the benefit of the organization? Is it because of the hope that the watch (or other object) will increase in value over time, and become a financial bonus? Why not just write the cheque to the charitable organization? One still benefits from the tax rebates many governments give.

Anyway we digress. This news from F.P. Journe is interesting for several reasons. The élégante from F.P. Journe is an very interesting watch. Made with a quartz movement, it is unlike any other timepiece made by François-Paul. Though not any quartz movement. But one which is electromechanical and contains a motion sensor to hibernate the watch after 35 minutes of non activity, only for the watch to fully catch up when motion is detected. This is not an unusual scheme in many quartz or mechanical-electronic movements to conserve energy and have longer intervals between battery changes. But it is rather rare in a high end manufacture watch by an independent maker. Even the shape of the case is of considerable merit. It carries with it a certain elegance and aesthetic that only François-Paul can muster. Quite beautiful indeed.

And though at first instance, having a quartz movement might be a detraction from the excellent mechanical genius he has exhibited in his other watches, and initially it was thought that it would not be well received by the collector community. But the élégante went against this, and is a highly sought after watch among collectors. And this auction is evidence. The highest price ever achieved in a non-diamond-set quartz watch. Quite a feat!

The watch is essentially the same as the standard offering élégante in white flourescent dial and 48mm Titaly case which retails for SGD 26,000. The only difference is the pink numeral for the 1 o’clock marker in the unique auction piece. Even the pink strap is available in the regular watch. So to us, at least, as observers, it is quite remarkable that the auction piece has achieved the final price of USD 420k! Kudos to F.P. Journe and Phillips!

Release information

On 2 March in Miami, Phillips and F.P.Journe offered for sale a one-of-a-kind élégante 48 mm Titalyt®, which sold after 10 minutes of spirited bidding for a staggering $420,000, setting a new record for a non-diamond-set quartz watch and any élégante. 100% of the final sale price will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world.

“We are deeply grateful for F.P.Journe and Phillips’ extraordinary efforts which have helped to draw important attention to male breast cancer and fund critical research into a disease that effects one in 833 men in the U.S. By supporting BCRF—the world’s largest private funder for breast cancer research—they are making an enormous impact in allowing our global legion of scientists to develop better approaches, treatments and outcomes for those with breast cancer and their loved ones.”

Donna McKay, Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s President and CEO

“The Phillips team is immensely honored to have collaborated with F.P.Journe in offering this one-of-a-kind timepiece for such a noble cause. Standing witness to the vibrant energy in the room as collectors and philanthropists united for this mission was truly inspiring. With 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, every bid represented a significant step forward in the fight against breast cancer. This watch, with its blend of timeless design and modern innovation, serves as a symbol of hope and solidarity in our collective effort to support breast cancer research and awareness.”

Isabella Proia, Phillips’ Head of Sale, New York, International Specialist, Watches

Since its inception, the F.P.Journe brand has been known for exemplary workmanship and technical innovation.

With the élégante collection, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2024, Journe brought forward a 21st century electromechanical movement, which was in development for eight years; the exclusive caliber 1210 with motion detection. This allows the watch to offer eight to ten years of autonomy when the watch is worn and up to eighteen years in standby mode. The Flat Tortue® case is reminiscent of timepieces from the early 20th century, but the 21st-century electromechanical movement within is a technical marvel. To preserve battery life, the watch “hibernates” after 35 minutes of inactivity, stopping the hands from moving. When the watch is moved again a small motion detector “awakens” the watch, automatically setting itself to the correct time, with the hands taking the shortest path, whether clockwise or counterclockwise. The white luminescent dial features black Arabic numerals, and an outer dial with screwed Steel elements.

The élégante offered in this sale boasted a unique numeral “1” rendered in pink, given the watch’s one-of-a-kind status in raising funds for such an important cause, and is paired with a pink strap.


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