(2000) F.P. JOURNE/HARRY WINSTON OPUS 1
Journe has achieved so many firsts, it is hard to know where to start. Above and beyond his stellar talent and a gaggle of watches combining old and new elements that no one else could ever have conceived, he is also the prime example of an independent who has made it, meaning the quality of his business acumen at least equals the quality of his horological skills. In 2000, Harry Winston Rare Timepieces under the direction of Maximilian Büsser brought out the first collaborative wristwatch of the Opus series. This was groundbreaking in many respects: a big brand makes its horological ‘help’ transparent; a big brand helps a talented independent watchmaker’s own business by openly collaborating; a big brand decides to cull the intimate world of collectors. The Opus watches, whose annual launches are a highly anticipated event, remain as cutting-edge as they are rare. And Journe just gets better with age, displaying his love of traditional watchmaking with every classic, complicated or simple, that he creates.