F. P. Journe Octa Rdm Steel
In 2015 F. P. Journe announced that the iconic 38mm case size would be phased out in favour of the 40-42mm cases. In order to commemorate its 25-year production run the brand released a coffret ‘set’ of 5 emblematic references, the coffret was limited to just 38 examples. This marked the first time the 38mm case size would be made available in Stainless Steel with rose gold movements, the set included the following watches: Tourbillon Souverain, Chronomètre à Résonance, Octa Automatic, Octa Calendrier and the Chronomètre Souverain.
From a historical standpoint, F. P. Journe has always offered his watches in a 38mm case, this dates back to his first mechanical wristwatch which was exhibited at Basel World in 1991. At the time most watches measured a modest 33-36mm, the reason the tourbillon stood at 38mm was due to the complexity of the movement which incorporated one of the first Tourbillon’s regulated by a remontoir d’egalité. As the brand evolved so did the case sizes, 2001 marked the introduction of the Ruthenium Collection which led to the first 40mm case size. It is also believed that the interest in the 38mm case sizes waned as the years went by. At the same time, certain references could no longer support the 38mm cases, the Optimum for instance would simply not fit in a 38mm case. In improving the overall legibility of the Octa Lune and Quantième Perpétuel F. P. Journe realized that the future lay in the 40-42mm case sizes.
A fitting tribute
In order to celebrate the end of the historic 38mm case after 25 years of existence, F. P. Journe created 38 exclusive collector’s set containing 5 emblematic and historic watches. The set was reserved for historic collectors of the brand and by application only. Certain collectors split up their sets over time such as this example which was originally sold in 2015.
This stainless steel 38mm Octa Réserve de Marche is 1 of 38 examples made. The Octa Réserve de Marche was originally introduced in 2001 as the brand’s first automatic movement powered by calibre 1300. The reference was phased in 2016, shortly after the introduction of this steel series.
The gold dial pays tribute to the early brass examples that date from 2001-2004. The overall layout of the dial remains identical to the original. The separate silver guilloche dial for the hours and minutes is held together by three screws found on the periphery of the steel bell-shaped frame, the overall appearance of the frame is smoother compared to the earlier brass examples. The numerals are displayed through a unique use of dark Mediterranean blue lacquer which appears to be unique to this series. The stark contrast of the blue steeled hands is a trait found on F. P. Journes apart from boutique editions. The dial is signed F. P. Journe – Invenit et Fecit Latin for invented and made and features a 120-hour power reserve scale finished in a similar dark Mediterranean blue lacquer.
As is the case with all references found within the Octa Collection, when fully wound the indicator would read ‘120’ and as the power reserve gradually runs down the indicator would display how many hours of power are left.
The meter-long mainspring supplies an average of 850 gr 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 gold movement decorated with circular Côtes de Genève paired with a first time 38mm steel case.
The watch comes with a copy of the original set’s certificate.
Brand: F. P. Journe
Model: Octa Réserve de Marche (Acier XX/38)
Movement: Calibre 1300.3 Rose Gold
Case Diameter: 38mm Stainless Steel
Box & Papers: Copy of the Original Certificate.