F. P. Journe Octa Lune Brass
The journey of a watchmaker differs from case to case, the story of François-Paul Journe is unlike any other. The pillars of Francois Paul’s success can be attributed to many factors, although he consistently credits his uncle Michel Journe who was a highly gifted watchmaker, that was trusted by some of the most influential collectors in the world. Under his guidance François-Paul Journe flourished, he then went on to tactically build up the arsenal that eventually allowed him to establish, F. P. Journe – Montres Journe SA in 1999.
Being a talented watchmaker is one side of the coin, being a businessman is the other and finding a healthy equilibrium between to two is extremely rare. There have been numerous occasions whereby a highly gifted watchmaker does not have the capacity to build a brand or a viable business model. François-Paul managed to excel on both ends of the playing field by grasping the importance of transparency towards his collectors along with building a strong brand identity through a unique design language. Additionally, François-Paul understood that the distribution of his watches would also play a key role in furthering the brands offering. The opening of the Tokyo Boutique in 2003 symbolized that the brand was headed in the right direction through the principles instilled into the brand.
The brand F. P. Journe today would best be described as one of the largest independent watch brands, that practices a form of semi-artisanal watchmaking, in turn, this allows production to hover around 650-850 pieces per year. Each watchmaker is responsible for his or her watch from inception till the piece leaves the manufacture. In the event that a timepiece returns to the manufacture within 24-36 months, the original watchmaker responsible for this specific piece will be asked to repair the watch. In doing so, the efficiency of the manufacture is definitely not optimized but rather respects watchmaking of old. At the same time François-Paul understood the importance of a vertically integrated manufacture, today Montres Journe SA are the proud owners of both the dial and case makers, whereas the early pieces from 1999-2004 feature dials and cases that were produced by third parties, resulting in inconsistencies.
F. P. Journe is considered to be one of the most important independent watchmakers of this era. The constant innovation and sometimes mind-boggling creations have forged his name into the upper echelons of watchmaking with names such as Antide Janvier, Ferdinand Berthoud, A. L. Breguet, and George Daniels.
This 38mm platinum F. P. Journe Octa Lune features the quintessential look of the brands early work, the combination of a platinum case paired with the shimmery yellow gold dial was the original configuration that F. P. Journe presented at Basel World in 2000. At the time both retailers and collectors were thought to have preferred the more sober white gold dials. The yellow gold dials ‘original configuration’ have become particularly sought after for various reasons. It is important to note that the yellow gold dials were discontinued upon the introduction of the gold based movements in 2004, additionally, the yellow gold dials were strictly used on platinum cases, whereas the white / pink gold dials were used interchangeably on both platinum and rose gold cases. All F. P. Journe dials from the brass era tend to oxidise in their own unique way, in particular, the yellow gold dials tend to turn brownish, almost coffeé like. This particular early dial features hues of brownish-yellow with hints of patina starting to develop. Additionally, in 2003, the Octa Lune won the ‘Favourite Men’s Watch’ award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).
The distinction between the manually wound and automatic movements can be divided into the following, Octa (automatic) and Souverain (manually wound). The power reserve of the entire souverain collection is based on antique marine chronometers, the power reserve indicator shows the number of hours elapsed since the watch was last wound. Therefore, when fully wound the indicator reads “0” as it has been zero hours since last wound. On the other hand, the Octa collection, when fully wound the indicator reads “120” and will gradually display how many hours of power are left. The Octa collection was introduced in 2001 with the introduction of the Octa Reserve de Marche, the caliber 1300 is the backbone of the entire automatic collection (till date). Naturally, the movement is François-Paul’s unique creation, the ingenuity of the base caliber 1300, allowed him to integrate different complications within the movement whilst still retaining the proportions of the most ‘basic’ models.
This, Octa Lune is fitted with caliber 1300, when fully wound, the Octa Lune delivers chronometric precision for 120 hours. The meter-long mainspring supplies an average 850gr of torque, limiting the loss in balance amplitude to 25% over the five-day period. Beyond that time, the watch will continue to go for another day or two, but the amplitude-loss no longer guarantees precision timekeeping.
What makes this particular example all the more special is the highly coveted brass movement which was only in production from 1999-2003, subsequently, the 38mm cases were also phased out in 2015. From our knowledge, there are only a handful of such examples and we are proud to offer such an example. It is believed that only 2000-2200 brass movements were ever produced from 1999 till 2003, making them exceedingly rare.
This remarkable, F. P. Journe Octa Lune is accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity dated 2018, original user manual, supporting paperwork and further production literature.
Brand: F.P. Journe
Model: Octa Lune
Movement: Caliber 1300, brass
Case Diameter: 38mm
Year: 2005 (sold)
Box & Papers: Extract only.