This example, is one of few pieces from the Tokyo Anniversaire series, celebrating the opening of F.P. Journe’s Tokyo boutique. The watchmaker himself has demonstrated a long-standing affection for his Tokyo Boutique, the very first one he opened in 2003. Speaking to the Financial Times in 2010, Journe says that the impetus behind opening the boutique was that no retailer was sufficiently focused or well informed to sell the brand. Occupying two floors of a minimalist Tadao Ando building in chic Aoyama, the boutique has been the connecting link with many of Journe’s most important clients in Japan.
Five watches currently make up the Tokyo Anniversaire collection, with each featuring ruthenium coated dials, polished titanium cases and rose gold accents. This was the first time an entirely new model was created for the series, which also includes modified versions of the Souverain, Tourbillon, Résonance and Centigraphe. The Octa Perpétuelle was only ever made as part of the Tokyo Anniversaire series, meaning that this approach to the perpetual calendar complication only appears in these 99 pieces. Both the dial layout and movement configuration weren't repeated as part of normal production, speaking to the François-Paul Journe's dedicated approach to limited editions.
The use of titanium for the cases is highly unusual for the watchmaker, especially when it is paired with the distinctive rose gold accents. As a result of their unconventional aesthetics and considering few pieces appear to have left the country in which they were first sold, the Tokyo Anniversaire pieces have developed a cult following among collectors. As the only piece in the series to integrate a brand new complication, the Octa Perpétuelle has also been a source of intrigue.
Building on the Octa
In the design, Journe reorients the original F.P. Journe calendar watch. Like the Octa Calendrier, the days of the week and months are displayed in two opposing windows, beside the silver guilloché dial showing the hours and minutes. The month aperture for the Octa Perpétuelle conceals the leap-year indication within the month of February, switching to “B FE” or “Bissextile February”, every four years, with superimposed discs. The month of February is otherwise displayed as “1FE”, “2FE” and "3FE”, using a more conventional three letter format for the remaining months.
Borrowing again from the Calendrier, the Octa Perpétuelle features the same distinctive long arc for the retrograde date display, automatically advancing the date for months with 29, 30 and 31 days. Situated on the left side of the case, the Octa Perpetuelle features a unique lever system for quick adjustment of the months annually, with a locking mechanism preventing accidental changes.
Housed in a 40 mm dress watch case, the watch is made further distinguished by the ruthenium coated dial. The charcoal grey surface is delicately textured, giving the dial a mixture of tones and added depth. The overall appearance differs from that of the Ruthenium Collection, with a noticeably darker and more consistent matte tone.
The words "Invenit et Fecit" are inscribed below the rose F.P. Journe signature (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. The lettering for the date discs is also highlighted in rose, complimenting the handset and exposed dial screws.
This self-winding, F.P. Journe caliber 1300.3 perpetual calendar movement is 18-carat rose gold, with Côtes de Genève, constructed with 32 jewels and a shock absorber mechanism. It 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, with off-centre 22-carat gold guilloché rotor winding in only one direction using a self-locking ball bearing system. The movement is engraved "Exclusive Power Reserve System" and "Precision Chronometer".
This Octa Perpétuelle Anniversaire Tokyo watch comes with an F.P. Journe outer and inner box, the original stamped paperwork, a copy of the original purchase invoice and a copy of the paperwork from a full service with Journe in 2016. Limited to 99 pieces and wonderfully preserved, it demonstrates Francois-Paul Journe's long-standing affection for the Tokyo boutique.