Review: F.P.Journe 10th Anniversary Élégante Gino’s Dream, a new release

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Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the F.P.Journe Élégante, François-Paul pays tribute to his friend Serge Cukrowicz, co founder of Montres Journe SA. The novelty was released just before WWG24, and is called Gino’s Dream. Here is our hands on review.

Review: F.P.Journe 10th Anniversary Élégante Gino’s Dream

This is François-Paul Journe’s tribute to his friend and co-founder of Montres Journe SA. Serge Cukrowicz is a man of passion and character. Known to all as Gino, he was born in 1959 in Belgium, the son of a diamond dealer. He was a character, known for his flamboyant dressing style. He favoured bright colours and interesting outfits. According the the Journe Press Release, Gino always wore his élégante on a yellow bracelet, as well as a host of accessories, including his famous diamond earrings. These choices reflected his approach to life, colourful, lively and full of passion.

François-Paul and Gino, photographed here at the Tokyo F.P.Journe Boutique during the opening in September 2003. Photo from F.P.Journe Press Release.

Gino passed away on 6 May 2021 in Singapore. And François-Paul decided to dedicate the élégante Gino’s Dream to him. The watch is available in two expressions, one light and the other dark, but both captures the colourful character and brilliance of the man. Here is our hands-on review of the two watches.

The case, dial and hands

Based on the élégante collection, the case is a Titanium Flat Tortue® with Titalyt® treatment. The case dimensions are 48 x 40 mm with an overall height of 7.95 mm, and corresponds to the regular collection’s 48mm model. Flat Tortue® is a special case design which is based a very flat rendition of a tonneau or tortue (tortoise in French) shape. Titalyt is F.P.Journe’s version of a titanium case, which is coating treated via electro-plasma oxidation to achieve the anthracite colour. This case design is very elegant with sensuous lines, which feels much more chic than other tortue case designs. As we said in our report of the auction results of one such watch for sale to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, “It carries with it a certain elegance and aesthetic that only François-Paul can muster. Quite beautiful indeed.” Finishing on the case is a masterful blend of polished edges with hairline brushed surfaces, creating a 3 dimensional look.

Seen on the dial side, at 4:30 is the motion detector, which puts the movement to sleep and wakes it up on sensing movement.

But the speciality for the Gino’s Dream is the “rainbow” bezel. Set with 52 baguette cut ceramic stones in rainbow hues, it is a reflection of Gino’s vibrant and colourful style. The bezel is a creation of Boîters de Genève, a manufacture which is part of the Journe group of companies. The ceramic stones are hand selected by François-Paul, and precisely set by gem masters. And it speaks for itself. The gradation of colour from one stone to the next and its brilliance needs to be experienced in real life to understand the beauty.

Our review sample is the white version features a fully luminiscent dial, by Cadraniers de Genève, another manufacture within the Montres Journe family. The white dial comes across as very pure, with an inner radiance.

The dark version carries a totally different feel, and comes across as more brooding than the light freshness of the light version. But no less beautiful and elegant. Still très très chic!

The movement: F.P.Journe Caliber 1210

Like the other élégante models, the Gino’s Dream is equipped with a quartz movement, though not just any quartz movement. The caliber 1210 movement 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. In the case of the caliber 1210, it has a battery autonomy of 8 to 10 years in normal use, and up to 18 years on standby mode.

From an inspection of the case back, the movement is very well finished, especially for a quartz movement. But even when compared to other high end mechanical movement, the finissage stands its grounds. The entire movement is form shaped, carrying over the shape of the case to the plates. The circuit board is laid out beautifully, with gold tracings for the electronics. The plate covering the battery is in 18k pink gold, like other movement plates of Journe watches. And is decorated with Côtes de Genève. One of the most beautiful quartz movements we have seen. And an unusual find powering a high end independent watch.

Concluding thoughts

This is a superbly beautiful watch. And a touching tribute to a man who has left a mark on F.P.Journe.

That this tribute is enshrined in two expressions of a watch so beautiful is even more gratifying. We dismiss any comparisons, and for this once, surrender to the beauty of both the physical watch as well as the friendship it symbolises. Though when push comes to shove, we do have a slight preference for the light version. And happily, we were told that this was probably what Gino would have chosen as well.

F.P.Journe Élégante Gino’s Dream carries a retail price of CHF 34,500 before taxes.