François-Paul Journe on F.P. Journe's Experiential Retail Boutique in EPIC Hotel

By Nicole Schubert | March 6, 2019 | Watches & Jewelry People

Invenit et Fecit, Latin for invented and made: An inscription certified on every F.P. Journe wristwatch, marking its original conception and rigorous craftsmanship. And at F.P Journe’s newest exclusive boutique, Maison F.P. Journe, located at the EPIC Hotel, guests can expect to find one-of-a-kind innovation and elevated artistry parallel to F.P. Journe’s unprecedented watches. Launching an exquisite experience this season, for the likes of watch collectors and connoisseurs, F.P Journe, the high-end Swiss watch manufacturer, will present shoppers with a timepiece arcade, signifying the evolution of retail.

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Featuring a fine and rare spirits bar coined Bar Journe and partnering with Petrossian Caviar to provide shoppers with complex caviars—such as the nutty and fruitful Ossetra or flavorful Shassetra—this interactive boutique will translate retail into a new story magnifying the five senses. And boasting an exquisite 2-story glass atrium and cigar lounge furnished by Spanish yacht builder Astilleros Astondoa, “combining artistry, engineering, technology and meticulousness,” to create “more than just a luxury product, but a legacy,” Maison F.P. Journe will set a new standard and vanguard in timepiece fashion.

Ocean Drive sat down with François-Paul Journe, President of F.P. Journe, and Jennifer Massolo, creator of Bar Journe, to hear more about this elegant saloon, building a collection of high horology watches, and reinvigorating the boutique space with premier experiences.

Tell us about opening your newest store, Maison F.P. Journe, inside the EPIC Hotel.
FRANÇOIS-PAUL JOURNE: We are very excited about the opening of the new Maison F.P. Journe inside the EPIC hotel. It’s an altogether new concept for us. Of course, the focus is on our watches but we look to draw connections beyond the world of watchmaking to other areas that pursue passion and excellence in their fields. From the curated offerings at Bar Journe to events with crossover into tailoring, cars, cigars, and more, Maison F.P. Journe is a place to experience excellence.

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F.P. Journe, famously known for their amalgamation of innovation and style, is a leader in the industry. As President and designer, what first sparked your fascination with haute horology watches?
FPJ: When I was a young child, maybe 4 years old, someone handed me a pocket watch to examine. I remember that watch vividly.

It was mentioned that you first created the tourbillon pocket watch when you were only 20 years old. Tell us about this experience.
FPJ: I was working in my uncle’s store as a young man and became fascinated by the tourbillon and decided that I wanted to own one. Keep in mind, this was a different time. Now, there are many tourbillons available, back then there were no tourbillons in production. It took nearly six years, but my watch was complete.

What was the first watch you ever made?
FPJ: My first tourbillon was the first watch I ever made. Then I made my first wrist watch in 1991, again a tourbillon. In that watch, you see more connection to the design of my later watches.

A tastemaker and an influencer in the luxury watch industry, do you see yourself as a role model, creating a new generation of design?
FPJ: For me it is very important to stimulate the next generation of watchmakers and independents, which is why, with the support of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, I created the talent competition. I was lucky because I was working with my uncle and had access to tools, but many do not. So, the objective of the prize is to foster the growth of these promising young watchmakers to create their ideas.

Your values, noted as Authenticity, Rareness, and Talent, are reflected throughout your timepieces. Explain these values and how you developed them.
FPJ: A.R.T. is very important to the brand and also to the new Maison F.P. Journe. These values—authenticity of our movements and design, rareness in our materials and limited production, and talent in inventing and making such exceptional watches—are key to the story of F.P. Journe. Our watches are avant-garde with a strong embrace of history, backed by centuries of wisdom and design and thrust forward by talent, technology, and innovation.

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What are some of your favorite pieces that Miami shoppers can look forward to seeing at the new boutique?
FPJ: At the new boutique, we will have our entire collection including the new Elegante in a Titalyt titanium case for men and women, the new Linesport in a 44 millimeter case, and the new Tourbillon Souverain Vertical that I just released at SIHH this year.

Jennifer, uniquely featured inside the new Maison F.P. Journe is Bar Journe. Leading this project, how did you develop this contemporary vision?
JENNIFER MASSOLO: Bar Journe was born of an interest in elevating the luxury retail experience in this case that of the finest independent watchmaker in the world, F.P. Journe. I considered François-Paul’s attention to detail, how few pieces are produced each year and more, then worked to mirror those elements in the bar program. Bar Journe is a less-is-more bar that highlights some of the finest beverages with a special focus on vintage and handmade distilled spirits but includes fine wines, single origin coffees and rare Chinese teas. We are open to the public six days a week from Tuesday through Sunday, as well as featuring a membership program and reservations at the bar through TOCK for a bespoke sipping experience. Our two story, 3,200 sq. ft. space includes 10 bar seats and two lounge areas in the Maison, as well as seating for 22 on our outside Terraza Astondoa, a cigar lounge.

Tell us about the distilled spirits and beverages that will be provided to guests.
JM: Bar Journe will feature fine distilled spirits from all over the world but will highlight rare and vintage spirits on our reserved menu, accessible through bar reservations and to our members. Our main menu features creative Maison cocktails as well as flights, where the guest can order for example three blanco tequilas or Caribbean rums in order to compare styles and nuances. In general, we will have some finer expressions of well known brands such as Tanqueray 10 and Grey Goose VX, but in greater number we have spirits, wines, coffees and teas made by hand, in small volume, by families with generations of practice and fine standards of production.

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You mentioned that one of the highlights of the Bar Journe program will be vintage spirits including Soviet era vodkas to go with the Petrossian caviar program, as well as pre-embargo era rums from Cuba. A rare experience, what journey do you hope to bring to Miami shoppers?
JM: I think the ability to offer ‘dusty bottles’ to our guests is a fascinating element of our program, one that provides a form of time travel, given that these spirits were made and bottled decades ago. This form of aged liquor allows us to compare, for example Campari made in the 80s with Campari made today, with eight year wild turkey that was bottled in the 70s and one from today. It’s fascinating to me.

Can we expect to see future experiential boutiques opening worldwide?
FPJ: You know this a new concept, but we are confident that this new experiential boutique will be a success and become a gathering place for people interested in excellent watches and A.R.T. Time will tell what comes next.



Photography by: Photography by Kris Tamburello