Only Watch 2017’s complete lineup was announced yesterday with all of the watch industry’s who’s who having put up a watch for the occasion with, no doubt, the underlying cause forever in sight.

The task at hand for these brands, was, as it is listed on www.onlywatch.com that: Each watchmaker donates a one-off timepiece specifically made for Only Watch or offer a one-off version of an iconic/bestselling model of the brand’s collection.

From the majority of the watches on the catalog, it appears that most brands have taken on the second option, to create a unique version of one of their hot-stuff watches for the auction. And in many instances, these have turned out to be versions that have left many asking: Why oh, why didn’t we just get this one as a regular production model?

Of course, there are always exceptions to norms and in the case of Only Watch 2017’s lineup, this is no different. Because, F.P. Journe, for one, has put up a watch that isn’t in — any way — from his present collection of watches.

Your first encounter with the Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante will already give you a sense of this, because the combination colors used on this watch can hardly be described as typical of Journe. But now have a look at that name again: Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante. When was the last time Journe ever had a monopusher split-second chronograph? The answer is: Never.

Which means to say that this isn’t simply a fresh design for Journe, but is a completely new watch developed from the ground up. And because this is made for Only Watch, there cannot and never will be another one of this particular watch. Although, it’s safe to say that learning points from having developed the watch is likely to go towards a future watch for Journe.

For now, the Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante comes housed in a 44m Tantalum case with this blue chrome dial (think Chronometre Bleu) marked with a tachymeter and telemeter combo followed by the minutes and hours scales, all of which are painted in some rather vivid colors. The typography, too, is quite the interesting little detail, a serif font of sorts that almost looks like its hand painted.

The pusher at 2 o’clock activates the chronograph (start/stop/reset), pusher at 4 activates the split-second function, which then leaves the crown to wind and adjust time on the watch.

But the pièce de résistance — the cliché appropriately applied here — is for sure the movement, visible through the caseback. With its plates and bridges constructed out of Journe’s signature choice of 18k rose gold, this is where the watch screams out its maker’s name. Circular striped bridges, circular grained baseplate, every steel lever and spring mirror polished — the list goes on.

The watch is estimated to go for CHF 200,000 – 400,000 (€183,000 – 365,000/US$208,000 – 415,000) but wouldn’t be surprising if it does go for vastly more, considering the crowd pleaser it’s turning out to be, here in these early days. But, of course, only the auctioneer’s gavel will reveal once we’re in Geneva on the 11th of November.

Technical Specifications: F.P. Journe Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante for Only Watch 2017

Movement

Manual winding F.P.Journe calibre 1517; split-seconds chronograph; hours, minutes and small running seconds; 80-hour power reserve

Case

44mm; Tantalum

Strap

Leather