F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune

Angus Davies reviews the F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune

The F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune is presented with a new Havana dial which captivates onlookers with its capacity to change colour depending on how  it interacts with the light.

F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune with Havana dial

F. P. Journe, creators and purveyors of fine timepieces, has unveiled a version of its existing Octa Automatique Lune equipped with a new and very special ‘Havana dial’. The dial has been produced for the Genevan-based watch brand by Les Cadraniers de Genève and is composed of gold and ruthenium.

The resultant face of the watch transitions from pale milky chocolate tones to rich dark tobacco. This characteristic of changing appearance depends on the influence of the sun or other light source on the dial surface.

However, beyond the obvious beauty of its dial colour, this is a timepiece which deserves discussion, exhibiting an array of qualities which distinguish it as special.

The dial

The hour and minute hands are quite distinctive, sporting wonderfully curved surfaces which eschew any straight edges. They exhibit a graceful air which is most becoming. The central area of the dial is adorned with Clou de Paris, adding a touch of three dimensionality to the dialscape. The hour track is smooth and the periphery of the dial is delineated with a railroad track.

F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune with Havana dial

Positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock is a delightfully delicate small seconds display. It is presented on a subtly snailed subdial, framed with a chemin de fer and a features a seconds hands equipped with an open-worked counterweight.

A moon-phase indicator is located between 6 and 8 o’clock. This crescent shaped aperture reveals a depiction of the nocturnal sky, delicately adorned with a depiction of the moon and numerous stars.

The Octa Automatique Lune is equipped with a prodigious power reserve of 120 hours. This is displayed on a smooth power-reserve indicator with a small facsimile of the hour hand imparting the available energy. The graceful arcing trajectory of the hand seems congruent with the overall tasteful mien of the watch.

A big date display is positioned between 11 and 12 o’clock. The two discs, one for the ‘tens’ and one for the ‘units’, sit closely together with no discernible difference in height. The single aperture proclaims the two digits in seamless union with only the faintest line revealing that this display is composed of two discs not one.

F. P. Journe has produced an exquisite dial which is not only equipped with a beautiful skin tone but has an array of gorgeous features. The tobacco coloured dial readily evinces different shades depending on the angle the watch is held. Furthermore, the design of each dial element, together with the positioning of each indication, is truly beautiful.

The case

F. P. Journe has chosen the noblest of metals for the case, platinum 950. The 40mm case looks resplendent in this ultra-white metal, reinforcing the sense of luxury conferred.

F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune with Havana dial

Short, sharply tapering lugs entice the strap to envelope the wrist.

With its rope-style grip, the crown encourages inquisitive fingers to manipulate its form.

The dorsal flank of the case is equipped with a sapphire crystal, affording sight of the glorious self-winding movement within.

The movement

The self-winding movement is constructed of 18-carat pink gold, while the oscillating mass is formed of 22-carat gold. The oscillating mass is unidirectional and detailed with a guilloché motif.

F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune with Havana dial

The movement is equipped with a free sprung balance featuring four masselottes set in-board. The location of the masselottes lessens any disruption to the air-flow, helping to improve accuracy. The free sprung balance mitigates the variance in rate caused by holding the movement in different positions.

A mainspring measuring one-metre in length is one reason for the 120 hour power reserve. The movement also features two barrels in series, which again helps to deliver the impressive autonomy.

All indications are performed with the crown. In addition, a specific wheel train allows precise moon phase indications for the F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune.

F.P. Journe are renown for creating watches par excellence and the Octa Automatique Lune proves no exception. The finissage of the movement is exquisite. The bridges are adorned with circular Côtes de Genève, the anglage is faultless, with consistent bevelled edges, and the jewels are set in polished sinks. This is a horological tour de force.

Closing remarks

There is a danger that when presented with a beautiful face one fails to look deeper into the soul of the subject in question. The F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune has a gorgeous face which is simple to read, but beyond its aesthetic charms it also proffers many other virtues.

The platinum case exhibits a whiter hue than 18-carat white gold, feels heavier and evinces a supremely luxurious appearance. The case of this watch proves the perfect foil for the pulchritudinous dial.

Crafted in 18-carat pink gold and beautifully finished, the movement within the F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune is profoundly impressive. However, beyond its obvious visual prowess, the movement is equipped with many technical features which augment its appeal still further.

Once again, F.P. Journe has shown why it is revered and considered one of the finest names in haute horlogerie.

Technical specifications

  • Model: F. P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune with Havana dial
  • Case: Platinum; diameter 40mm; sapphire crystal to front and sapphire caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; moon-phase indicator; power-reserve indicator.
  • Movement: Self-winding movement; frequency 21,600 VpH (3Hz); power reserve 120 hours
  • Strap: Caramel alligator leather strap with platinum pin buckle

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