This year, F.P. Journe has unveiled the production version of the ingenious one-off FFC Blue “Francis Ford Coppola” created for Only Watch 2021, which sold for CHF 4.5 million, setting a record for the watchmaker at auction. The watch was a tantalum prototype that featured an animated hand that could count out the hours from one to 12 by extending or retracting its fingers instantaneously while the minutes is displayed on a rotating disc.
Produced in a small series, the regular-production FFC is introduced as part of the Classique collection. It has been executed in platinum with an open-worked dial that features an imposing sculpted hand made of titanium along with titanium movement bridges that have been coated with Titalyt, lending it a more subdued yet striking contrast.
Inspired by a mechanical prosthetic hand invented by Ambroise Paré (1509-1590), the father of modern surgery, the life-like movements of the fingers are governed by a set of cams that actuate levers responsible for extending or retracting the individual fingers. The cams are in turn driven by a two-pronged fork that is controlled by an eccentric cam in its centre. A spring akin to a remontoir drives this eccentric cam, storing energy as it is wound for 45 minutes and releasing it instantaneously at the top of each hour.
The movement is the Octa Caliber 1300.3, which is characterized by a one-meter-long mainspring that crosses the central axis of the movement, offering a power reserve of 120 hours, or five days. Visible on the back, it is wound by a 22k gold unidirectional winding rotor that is ever so slightly off-centered.
Movement: Self-winding F.P. Journe calibre 1300.3 in 18K rose gold; power reserve of five days; 3Hz or 21,600vph
Functions: Hours and minutes
Case: 42mm x 10.7mm; Platinum
Dial: Instantaneous digital hours indicated by the animated fingers of a titanium hand; rotating minutes dial
Strap: Black alligator