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.
The Octa Sport line is definitely one of the more unusual offerings from F.P. Journe. Known more for dress watches, Journe surprised everyone when he released a sport line in 2012, with this Octa Sport being one of them. Weighing at only around 30 grams without the strap, the aluminium case is insanely light. Furthermore, this example is discontinued, with titanium taking over the line after only a few years.
Powering this watch is the classic Octa calibre 1300.3 that you find in the other Octa models, except the entire movement is also produced in aluminium. The case itself sits very nicely on the wrist with its integrated rubber strap and deployment buckle fitting the look well. 120 hours of power reserve, a two-wheel date aperture, a power reserve and day/night indicator finishes off the Octa Sport aesthetic atop a matte grey dial.
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 the Octa Sport, it is still less appreciated and certainly something to look out for in the future.