he most state-of-the-art innovations sometimes have roots reaching way back to previous centuries. Such is the case of the horological application of the acoustic resonance phenomenon. We owe it to the clockmaker Antide Janvier who, back in 1780, adapted this astonishing physical phenomenon for use in watchmaking.
So what is resonance? It occurs when two close, vibrating frequencies harmonise, absorb one another’s energy and start to vibrate at the same frequency. The principle is that when two moving balances are placed side by side, they enter into “sympathetic resonance” and begin to beat naturally in opposition to one another.
The principle is that when two moving balances are placed side by side, they enter into “sympathetic resonance” and begin to beat naturally in opposition to one another.
- Antide Janvier’s Regulator (1780)
“They shoulder one another, providing greater inertia to their motion,” explains François-Paul Journe. “Any shock will accelerate one balance wheel and slow down the other, but gradually the two balances will fall back into step and return to their point of harmony, thereby eliminating the effect of the disturbance.”
- The Chronomètre à Résonance has a 40 or 42mm platinum or 18K 6N gold case, redesigned with the crown now positioned at 2 o’clock to facilitate winding of the watch in position 0. The dial comes in white gold or 18K 6N gold with the hours dial in silver and a Clous de Paris engine-turned finish. Leather, gold or platinum strap. Indicators: double analogue time display, left dial 24h, right dial 12h, power reserve.
François-Paul Journe has succeeded in applying the principle to a wristwatch, which he did back in 2000, his objective being unparalleled precision. During the following two decades he regularly produced further models, and this year, on the twentieth anniversary of this fundamental innovation, he is presenting his new Chronomètre à Résonance, the most advanced model in the series.
This year, on the twentieth anniversary of this fundamental innovation, François-Paul Journe is presenting his new Chronomètre à Résonance, the most advanced model in the series.
This model is endowed with a whole new mechanical architecture, with a single mainspring barrel for the two movements. A differential on the first wheel, visible at the centre of the dial, directs the energy from the mainspring separately to the two secondary going trains. Each secondary going train is fitted with a one-second remontoir d’égalité. Thanks to this operating mechanism, the power received by the escapements remains constant, guaranteeing isochronism for 28 hours.