F. P. Journe Octa Automatique, 38mm, Black Label, Platinum

£105,000
Sold under the margin scheme. Learn more
Watchdrawer

Here is a "Black Label" Octa Automatique Réserve, rare by virtue not just of its more compact, 38mm platinum case but also its attractive monochrome appearance. Over a four or five-year period fewer than 20 such examples are believed to have been produced. The watch blends several characteristics coveted by Journe enthusiasts, some of which can no longer be found in the brand’s current catalogue of offerings. 

THE STORY OF F.P. JOURNE

Prior to launching his own brand, Francois-Paul Journe had already proven his skill as a talented watchmaker. Having spent time restoring clocks and pocket watches from the likes of Janvier and Breguet, he had also completed complex commissions for Asprey and Cartier, among others. In his own time, the young watchmaker had also already assembled a pocket watch integrating a tourbillon, by following the writings of Dr. George Daniels, as well as a handful of prototype wristwatches integrating a tourbillon and remontoir d’égalité systems. However, Monsieur 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 early works of the watchmaker reflect upon these experiences - and his mastery is evident in both the look and feel of his craftsmanship. They effortlessly blend his intimate knowledge of mechanics gained through restoring 18th and 19th century marine chronometers and pocket watches, with modern haute horological finesse.