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Recently serviced by the manufacture, this F.P. Journe Octa Réserve de Marche houses an elusive brass movement, which is only seen in the brand's earliest pieces. This Réserve de Marche also features a rose gold case, which was more seldom used by the manufacture, making this example one of the rarest configurations within the production series.
The Dawn of Montres Journe
Prior to launching his own brand,Francois-Paul Journehad already proven his skill as a talented watchmaker. Having spent time restoring clocks and pocket watches from the likes ofJanvier and Breguet, he had also completed complex commissions forAspreyandCartier, among others. In his own time, the young watchmaker had also already assembled a pocket watch integrating a tourbillon, by following the writings ofGeorge Daniels, as well as a handful of prototype wristwatches integrating a tourbillon and remontoir d’égalité systems. However, Journe had not yet established his own brand, lacking the capital to do so.
One day, while out to lunch, his friend Camille Berthet suggested a subscription model. The idea was simple. A few trusting clients would have put the money forward for a watch that was yet to be made. In exchange for this good faith, they would receive a 50% reduction on its retail value, allowing the watchmaker to raise just enough money to start the production of pieces under his own eponymous brand. The project behind the Souscription Tourbillon was born, with twenty close clients and friends of the watchmaker committing a deposit, sight unseen. These early wristwatches became the foundation of the F.P. Journe manufacture we know today.
The Birth of the Octa
The Octa Réserve de Marche was the first automatic movement developed and produced by François-Paul Journe. What the watchmaker aspired to do was to create a base calibre that could hold all kinds of complications, without gaining a fraction of a millimetre in thickness or width. He achieved in doing so, hence why all the movements in the Octa line, from the Octa Chronographe to the Octa Calendrier, all share the same dimensions, no matter what complication they hold. That base caliber birthed a whole collection of complicated watches, which endure to this day.
The first step in this journey was the Octa Réserve de Marche, introduced in 2001. Only two years after establishing his own eponymous brand, this was the third watch released by François-Paul Journe, following the Tourbillon Souverain and the Chronomètre à Résonance. Combined, these three models represent the watchmaker's earliest brushstrokes and the foundation for the brand he would build over the following decades.
It is estimated that F.P. Journe produced under 600 Octa Réserve de Marche watches with brass movements, before transitioning to rose gold movements. This particular example stands out for being amongst the latest pieces to have left the manufacture with a brass movement. Indeed, the "57X-05A" serial number on the caseback suggests that the watch was assembled in 2005, with the guarantee card confirming that it was sold the same year.
EarlyF.P. Journewatches are traditionally housed in a platinum case, with very few rose gold examples ever produced. Having chosen platinum for his first prototypes and theSouscription Tourbillons, it is believed that Journe himself preferred the white metal, with several of his early clients also favouring its versatility. Rose gold examples are believed to be rarest within the production series, with the white gold dial making this piece all the more elusive.
The Octa Réserve de Marche builds on the aesthetic cues cemented by the Tourbillon Souverain and the Chronomètre à Résonance. The dial integrates a masterful use of asymmetry and empty space, achieving a layout that is both refined and legible. A separate white guilloché dial displays the hours and minutes.
The words "Invenit et Fecit" are inscribed below the power reserve - Latin for "Invented and Made" or more literally "Designed and built by F.P. Journe", in classic F.P. Journe style - a nod to signing conventions of a century ago. At nine o’clock, a power reserve indicator of 120 hours is also shown. The classic 38mm case is another reminder of this being one of the watchmaker's earliest pieces.
The self-winding F.P. Journecaliber 1300 movement is made from rhodium-plated brass, save for the bi-directional rotor in 22k rose gold. This is a logical choice for many watchmakers, for a rotor with a high karat gold count has a significantly higher mass than other materials such as brass or stainless steel.
It features Côtes de Genève embellishments, constructed with 32 jewels and a shock absorber mechanism. It also integrates a straight-line lever escapement, and monometallic 4-arm balance with 4 timing weights, adjusted to 5 positions. The movement is engraved "Exclusive Power Reserve System" and "Precision Chronometer".
The development of the movement was a prolonged process, with the main task being refining the mainspring to a point where it gave consistent power to the gear train, for as large a proportion of its unwinding as possible. Together with a specialist spring maker, Journe finally settled on a design that was a metre long and 1mm thick. This caliber 1300 also integrates a power reserve of 120 hours, which was still the largest that had ever been put into a wristwatch at the time.
This 38mm F.P. Journe Octa Réserve de Marche is accompanied by its outer box, inner box, stamped guarantee card, user manual and international guarantee booklet, F. P. Journe polishing cloth and service receipt (from 2021). The watch comes on a bespoke Saffiano strap in taupe, and is supplied with its black F.P. Journe alligator strap and rose gold buckle.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this F.P. Journe Octa Réserve de Marchewill be subject to 20% VAT. Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.
outer box, inner box, stamped guarantee card, user manual and international guarantee booklet, F. P. Journe polishing cloth and service receipt (from 2021)
This rose gold, 38mm F. P. Journe Octa Réserve de Marche watch is in very good condition, having recently been serviced by the manufacturer in early 2021. The case is well preserved, with superficial marks throughout, consistent with wear over time. The white gold dial is very lightly textured, with faint signs of patination around the outer edge. More noticeable fading can bee seen across "Invenit" printed at seven o'clock (as captured in photography). The watch movement was fully overhauled by the manufacturer in early 2021, during which time the crown and winding-stem were also replaced. The watch is offered with the remainder of its twenty-four month warranty from F.P. Journe, along with a lifetime guarantee of authenticity from A Collected Man.
We stand by the quality of all of our pre-owned watches and mechanical objects. If something goes wrong, we’ll always strive to remedy the situation in a timely manner and to the best of our ability. The satisfaction and trust of our clients is of the highest importance, to everyone at A Collected Man.
All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough, non-invasive mechanical inspections and have been serviced, if appropriate, to ensure that they meet our highest standards of timekeeping and functionality.
Our pre-owned watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by either a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. This excludes any damage sustained due to improper use or accident. Due to their age, some pre-owned watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when new.
Any of our pre-owned watches which have been serviced by their respective manufacturer, will carry the manufacturer’s servicing guarantee. This is separate and supersedes, the standard warranty offered by A Collected Man. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. You can write to us directly at email@example.com, for further clarification.
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