In 2004, Journe began manufacturing movements from 18-carat gold, having developed the brand sufficiently to further the manufacturing process. Interestingly, it is François-Paul Journe's earliest brass-movement pieces which command more interest from collectors. It is estimated that only 2000 brass-movement examples were ever produced, across all lines, and were manufactured exclusively between 2001 and circa 2004. Brass-movement F. P Journe pieces are highly-sought by collectors, owing to their rarity and unique place in the brand’s history.
The Octa Calendrier is quintessentially an F.P Journe, in both its design language and movement. Housed in a classical 38 mm dress watch case, it is made distinctive by F.P. Journe’s signature ‘flat crown’ with a rope-like pattern. The white gold dial is delicately textured, and displays a separate silver guilloché dial for the hours and minutes. The words ‘Invenit et Fecit’ are inscribed below the two subsidiary seconds (Latin for “Invented and Made”) in classic F.P Journe style - a nod to signing conventions of a century ago. To the left of the dial, the annual calendar indicates the date in two windows, with an automatically advancing date for months with 29, 30 and 31 days. Overall, the dial layout is clean and highly legible.
While this piece is undeniably attractive, it is the movement that F.P. Journe is famed for. Since the introduction of the first ‘Reserve de Marche’ in 2001, mechanical F. P Journe examples can been divided into two main movement types – the manually-wound ‘Souverain’ and automatic ‘Octa’ (Latin for ‘eight’ or ‘infinite’). In 2001, the ‘Octa’ debuted as the first automatic movement to deliver 120 hours of precision timekeeping through reserved-power. Each ‘Octa’ movement is designed to incorporate fully-integrated complications within the same volume. Impressively, all variations within F. P Journe’s entire ‘Octa’ collection are identical, both in diameter and thickness. The Octa Calendrier was the first wristwatch to integrate an annual calendar with a large date, and to feature a power reserve of more than 120 hours.
This automatic, self-winding F.P. Journe caliber 1300.3 movement is rhodium-plated brass, with fausses côtes embellishments, constructed with 39 jewels and a shock absorber mechanism. It further features a straight-line lever escapement, and monometallic 4-arm balance with 4 timing weights, adjusted to 5 positions. It includes a self-compensating free-sprung flat balance spring, and an off-center bi-directional 22-carat gold guilloche rotor. The movement is engraved "Exclusive Power Reserve System" and "Precision Chronometer".
The earliest works of François-Paul Journe, effortlessly blend traditional 19th-century watchmaking with modern haute-horology, in perfect harmony. Housed in a 38 mm platinum case, this F.P. Journe ‘Octa Calendrier’ is one of few pieces that represent its original, inspired design – the classic 38 mm case, since no longer in production. Monsieur Journe’s mastery is evident in the look, feel, and romance of his craftsmanship - inspired by his immediate works after graduation, restoring 18th and 19th century marine chronometers and pocket watches. These earlier, rarer pieces are being earmarked by collectors as ‘the ones to buy’, with such effects continuing to impact auction results in a measurable fashion.
This watch comes with an original black F. P Journe alligator strap, and a matching platinum tang buckle.
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