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François-Paul Journe unveils a new and unique watch, the Vagabondage III. It’s the third and last iteration of the Vagabondage Trilogy and by far the most impressive watch we’ve come across lately. It’s the world’s first watch packing a digital jumping seconds display. This piece shows some top-notch watchmaking skills, blending a classical hand indication with a digital display and an overall style setting it apart from traditional watches.

Vagabondage 3 : a world première

With this Vagabondage III, F.P.Journe goes full circle and ends a very unique trilogy. The series was named after the wandering (vagabond in French) digital display. It also comes from the fact that this unusual collection differs from F.P.Journe regular collections as he was wandering in new watchmaking territories. This special limited series, featuring a unique and highly recognisable turtle-shaped case, started in 2006 with the first Vagabonde and its digital hour display. F.P.Journe then went on to make the VII, offering digital jumping hours and minutes. For the third piece of the series, Journe worked on the seconds to create a world’s first digital jumping seconds display.

The Vagabondage III displays digital jumping hours and seconds at 10 and 6 o’clock respectively, while minutes are shown by a conventional white central hand. Also we get a power reserve at 1 o’clock on the outer dial, which is always welcomed addition. While setting this watch apart, the lovely design requires a short adjustment period as some indications are not where you’d expect them.

Digital jumping hours and seconds

Since the digital display doesn’t require hands, the registers’ locations differ from conventional watches. It doesn’t take long to get used to it as you probably won’t be able to keep your eyes off of the digital jumping seconds anyway. This world’s first is quite an achievement and a delight to watch working. Also, while not being a skeleton watch, this piece is the most exposed of the series and pretty extraordinary to look at. Personally, I never get tired of visible movements, which have something hypnotic to them and this one is no exception.

Style-wise, the mix of colours looks really nice, especially the red gold version which fits very well with the movement and smoked sapphire dial. The case, available in platinum or red-gold, is rather large with an overall size of 45,2 mm x 37,6 mm but it doesn’t really matter considering the specific movement required for such a piece. The case packs an in-house hand-wound movement with a 1514 caliber, design specifically for the Vagabondage 3.

This watch will be limited to 69 platinum pieces and 68 red-gold pieces. Note that priority will be given to owners of Vagabondage I and II.