The earliest works of François-Paul Journe, effortlessly blend traditional 19th-century watchmaking with modern haute-horology. The Octa movement was introduced in 2001, becoming only the third developed by brand (after the Tourbillion and Resonance) and the first automatic mechanism to deliver 120 hours of precision timekeeping, through reserved-power.
A year later, the Octa Réserve de Marche became F.P. Journe’s first automatic watch, produced between 2002 and 2014, with an estimated total number of only 700-800 cases known. During this time, the overall layout saw no real change except for dial texture and colours, thus making this 38 mm F.P. Journe Octa Automatique Réserve de Marche one of a limited number of examples that represent the original, inspired design. Furthermore, the classical 38 mm case is - sadly - no longer in production, making it even more coveted by collectors.
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 be divided into two main movement types – the manually-wound Souverain and automatic Octa (Latin for "eight" or "infinite"). 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.
In 2004, Journe switched to 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 that command more interest from collectors. It is estimated that only 2000 brass movements were ever produced, across all lines, and were manufactured exclusively between 2001 and circa 2004. These earlier pieces are now highly-sought after, owing to their unique placement in the brand's history and rarity.
This self-winding F.P. Journe caliber 1300 movement is rhodium plated brass, with Côtes de Genève embellishments, constructed with 32 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 off-center bi-directional 22-carat gold guilloche rotor. The movement is engraved "Exclusive Power Reserve System" and "Precision Chronometer".
The Octa Réserve de Marche is quintessentially an F.P Journe, in both its design language and movement. Housed in a classic 38mm case, it is made distinctive by a number of signature elements throughout. Though the dials of the Octa Réserve de Marche series show very little alteration throughout the brass movement period, some earlier examples carry a higher shimmer and texture. This particular white gold dial also displays a unique patina, occurring through the process of oxidation on the surface of the dial. It is delicately textured, and displays a separate silver guilloché dial for 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.
This 38mm F. P. Journe Octa Réserve de Marche watch is very nicely preserved, fitted to one of our Helsinki straps with curved-ends, measuring 20 x 19mm. It's also accompanied by its original early style F.P. Journe boxes, stamped guarantee card and product literature, within the complete early set..
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