Last year F.P.Journe organised an exhibition in Geneva devoted to the 20th anniversary of its Octa calibre, from the first Octa timepiece of 2001 to the 2021 Automatique. The watch designated to celebrate the 20th birthday of the Octa was the Automatique, a 99-piece limited edition with design cues taken from the Octa Réserve de Marche of 2001 with a 40mm platinum case, off-centred hours and minutes display with small seconds, a large date window, an arcing power reserve indicator, a rhodium-plated brass movement and satin-finished yellow gold dial. For 2022, the F.P.Journe Automatique becomes a regular member of the Classique collection and is available in 40mm or 42mm cases, in 950 platinum or 18k red gold with matching gold dials. And as part of the regular collection, the powerful Octa 1300.3 automatic calibre is crafted in 18k rose gold.
The Octa automatic movement of 2001 was F.P.Journe’s first self-winding movement. Before the Octa, François-Paul Journe had established himself as one of the most respected watchmakers in modern horology with the Tourbillon Souverain and its tourbillon regulator fitted with a constant-force mechanism in 1999, and one year later, the Chronomètre à Résonance. Unwilling to sacrifice chronometric precision in the name of a self-winding movement, the Octa not only guaranteed chronometric accuracy but delivered an impressive 120-hour/5-day power reserve and would soon become the base movement of an entire collection.
The New F.P.Journe Automatique
The case, available in platinum or red gold (18k 6N) and in 40mm or 42mm diameters, has the ‘official Octa’ height of 10.7mm and is polished throughout with the hallmark silk-rope motif or knurled crown, enlarged to enable corrections of the date and time.
Relying on the asymmetrical layout of the 2001 Octa Réserve de Marche but benefitting from the upgrades executed to the 20th-anniversary edition, the dials are gold with whitened guilloché silver areas for the hours, minutes and small seconds. A screwed steel frame contains the off-centred hours and minutes dial and its intersecting small seconds counter. The sub-dials are decorated with different guilloché motifs and the brand’s signature font for the Arabic numerals – also enlarged for better legibility. The teardrop-shaped blued steel hands, a hallmark feature of F.P.Journe’s watches, are used to indicate the hours, minutes and power reserve indications; the small seconds are indicated with a blued steel hand with an openworked counterweight.
The white gold dial of the platinum model is the epitome of sobriety, contrasting with the warmer tones of the red gold dial. Compared to the 2001 Octa Réserve de Marche calibre 1300, the patented large date display with two concentric discs bearing the numerals was increased in size to 4.7mm x 2.6mm to aid legibility, and the power reserve indicator was moved down a notch.
The view of the luxuruious18k rose gold Octa 1300.3 calibre on the caseback is stunning with its combination of high-end finishings and openworked bridges. The large 34.6mm movement is wound by the off-centred 22k rose gold unidirectional rotor with a self-locking ball bearing system to exploit the slightest movement of the wrist. Thanks to the 1-metre long mainspring inside a single barrel, the movement can deliver up to 160 hours of power reserve. Although the movement can run for 160 hours, the specs indicate 120 hours because they represent the most stable chronometric performance.
The F.P.Journe Automatique calibre 1300.3 is available on classic black hand-stitched alligator leather straps or platinum or red gold bracelets to match the case material. As mentioned, these are not limited editions and form part of the regular Classique collection. The price is set at CHF 42.500 (before taxes) for the rose gold version and CHF 45.500 (before taxes) for the platinum version.
For more information, please consult www.fpjourne.com.