Where to begin with F.P. Journe. Started by the man himself in 1999, Journe had previously spent quite a few years restoring and producing movements and also made a couple of pocket watches during that time. It took quite a few years before his brand went from something only a hardcore collector could appreciate to being appreciated by a more mainstream audience and today, he is considered by many as one of the most successful and important independent brands to have emerged.
In my opinion, F.P. Journe has hit the sweet spot, producing around 900 pieces a year only. This ensures that they are exclusive enough that people consider any Journe a rare piece, but not so rare that it becomes esoteric. There are brands like Roger Smith and Philippe Dufour, both who are considered godfathers of high horology, but they make so few pieces a year that the average watch collector would not know about them. Mention F.P. Journe though, and you’ll have collectors jumping with joy.
It goes without saying that F.P. Journe has been one of the hottest brands in the last 12 months, finally gaining the recognition that it deserved all along. With early brass movement pieces hitting records at auction, the rest of the collection has followed. This particular example is one of the more desirable models as it is a discontinued 38mm version. Collectors value the old 38mm sizing due to its perfect proportions and how well it sits on the wrist. Furthermore, this one comes with the elusive and desirable salmon dial. This is one of those watches where photos really do not do the watch justice- in real life, the dial pops and the subtle grained texture of the salmon dial really comes to life.
Flip the watch over and you will see the in-house FPJ calibre 1300.3 made entirely of rose gold. It has a beautiful 22k gold rotor and all parts are hand finished to perfection. It has a 120-hour power reserve, and this is indicated on the dial.
F.P. Journe has carved a very interesting niche in the independent watch world where he has managed to blend traditional watchmaking and design cues with modern technology and an unmistakably Journe aesthetic. Despite using very traditional elements like his serif’d Arabic numerals, a knurled winding crown and a standard round case, the way it has been laid out combines to create a look that is F.P. Journe through and through.
The Octa Lune regardless of which variant is one of the all-time greats from the F.P. Journe line up and with this aesthetic not in production anymore, it certainly makes it an investment-grade piece and one that you’ll be happy to wear every day.