Considered a watchmaking legend in his personal lifetime, F.P. Journe’s watches are a bridge between the golden age of horology and modern watchmaking. Some of the influential unbiased watchmakers, the Invenit et Fecit emblem of the model fits Journe’s scientific thoughts to perfection. The introduction of the Octa computerized motion in 2001 was a milestone in Journe’s pursuit of real horological content material, will fewer historic ties maybe, however nonetheless extraordinarily sensible. Unwilling to sacrifice chronometric precision within the title of a self-winding motion, the Octa not solely assured chronometric accuracy however delivered a formidable 120-hour/5-day energy reserve. The Octa would quickly develop into the bottom motion of a whole assortment discovering its manner into fashions of better complexity just like the Octa Zodiaque or Perpetual Calendar and barely much less complicated fashions with Moon Phases, similar to the elegant Octa Lune, and the opposite lunar watch, the Automatique Lune. Refreshed in 2019, we determined to take a brief journey down reminiscence lane and admire the F.P. Journe Automatique Lune in a 42mm gleaming platinum case. A powerful balancing act of various geometries, the result’s an eccentric but balanced murals powered by Journe’s impeccable calibre 1300.3 in rose gold.
After commencement from the Ecole d’Horlogerie de Paris (1976) and having honed his expertise at his uncle’s watch restoration workshop in Paris, F.P. Journe created his first tourbillon pocket watch from scratch in 1978. This was adopted by more and more complicated commissions just like the mechanism for a planetarium he conceived for Asprey and a planetary pocket watch he made for a collector of scientific objects. His first two wristwatches wowed the watch neighborhood and paved the best way for the astronomical profession as an unbiased watchmaker that lay forward. In 1999 he introduced the Tourbillon Souverain with a remontoir (fixed pressure) gadget to extend the accuracy. Fascinated by the science of horology, Journe launched the Chronomètre à Résonance in 2000, which included the phenomenon of resonance contained in the restricted confines of a wristwatch.
The Moon watches from FPJ
In 2001, Journe introduced his first computerized motion: the Octa. Not solely was it his first self-winding motion, but it surely additionally delivered a formidable 120-hour or 5-day energy reserve with out compromising chronometry. Designed as a base calibre to host future issues, one in all these was the moon section showing on the Octa Lune of 2003 that took residence the GPHG’s Males’s Watch Prize that very same yr. Like Picasso’s totally different inventive durations, the F.P. Journe Octa Lune, produced from 2003 to 2005, belongs to his ‘brass motion period’.
Though MONOCHROME wasn’t round to cowl the primary Octa Lune (we had been based in 2006), you will get a really feel for the structure of the dial and the rhodium-plated brass motion on this 20th-anniversary Octa Automatique version, albeit with out the moon section complication.
The primary Octa Lune, like each subsequent Octa Lune mannequin, together with this newest Journe Automatique Lune, is powered by calibre 1300.3. There’s one thing reassuring a couple of motion that has not been overhauled for 18 years and the rationale why the case top of 10.6mm by no means varies, though, to be truthful, Journe did change the bidirectional winding system for a unidirectional one mounted on ceramic ball bearings. One other change was the substitute of the rhodium-plated brass elements with strong gold in 2004 to up the luxurious issue of the watches and make them much more sturdy.
Naturally, there have been modifications to the habillage, and the unique 38mm was joined by a 40mm diameter from 2004 to 2015. Nonetheless, essentially the most vital change was operated when FPJ launched the Automatique Lune in 2007, revealing a dial that also used the moon as the principle complication, nonetheless with a totally totally different structure. In comparison with the Octa Lune and its off-centred indications, the Automatique Lune is cleaner, sharper, much less busy, extra legible and infinitely extra classical. Whereas the massive date window, moon section aperture and small seconds retained their authentic positions on the dial, the off-centred hours and minutes sub-dial was eradicated, and the ability reserve indicator was neatly positioned inside a fan-shaped space on the left aspect of the dial. The Arabic hours had been centralised with minutes on a peripheral railroad monitor learn by traditional blued arms with pointy ideas.
Greater is best
The 2019 Automatique Lune replaces the abovementioned mannequin and is available in 40 and 42mm platinum or crimson gold circumstances with strong gold galvanised silver dials. Though it respects the structure of the previous version, there are some BIG modifications, and we’re not simply referring to the brand new 42mm case dimension. For one, the patented giant date aperture has been enlarged and now measures 4.7mm x 2.6mm. Sadly, we don’t have an earlier mannequin to gauge what this implies by way of mm, but it surely definitely seems greater and extra legible. As Journe followers will know, the large date is patented and depends on two concentric discs carrying the numerals on the identical aircraft. A bevelled body provides depth to the date aperture positioned at 11 o’clock.
One among my favorite crown designs is Journe’s crown, which I erroneously known as a garland crown, however is formally described as a silk-rope motif. Whichever manner, it’s now bigger and clearly simpler to govern. The three-position crown can be utilized to wind the watch in place 0 by turning it clockwise; to right the date in place 2 by winding it anticlockwise; to right the moon in place 2 clockwise; and eventually, to right the time in place 3.
Sweeping throughout the decrease left quarter of the dial is the moon section aperture that’s bigger and now incorporates a tinted sapphire disc. The remaining components on the dial are much like the 2018 version, though the stunning Arabic numerals are blue to match the railroad minutes monitor and the sharp blued metal hour and minute arms and the small seconds hand with its round counterweight. Talking of which, have you ever seen how the numerals at 4 and 9 are diminished – not truncated – in dimension to accommodate the ability reserve and small seconds? It’s these sorts of element that give the watch its partaking persona. Regardless of the totally different shapes on the dial – the oblong date window, the fan-shaped energy reserve, the bosom-shaped moon section, and the spherical small seconds – the general impact is one in all nice steadiness, the signature of nice design.
The central a part of the dial incorporates a crisp Clous de Paris guilloché sample contrasting with the elegant snailed inside of the small seconds counter and energy reserve (0 to 120) together with the raised F.P.Journe Invenit et Fecit at 3 o’clock.
Gold octa calibre 1300.3
The attractive computerized motion, crafted in 18k rose gold, harnesses power produced by the slightest wrist motion with its unidirectional 22k rose gold rotor embellished with a barleycorn guilloché motif. The rotor is mounted on ball bearings and is barely off centred. The motion, which is simply 5.95mm thick, beats at a frequency of 21,600vph and delivers an autonomy of 160 ± 10 hours. The finishings are superlative with round Geneva stripes, hand-polished bevel, round graining on the bottom plate, polished screw heads with chamfered slots, polished and chamfered metal elements…you get the image.
Availability and worth
As talked about, the F.P. Journe Automatique Lune is on the market in 40mm and 42mm in both platinum or 18k crimson gold with a alternative of bracelet or leather-based strap. The mannequin we lined right here is the 42mm platinum Automatique Lune which presently retails for CHF 48,100.
Extra info at FPJourne.com.