Sunday, 2 November 2008

A tale of acquisition of a FP Journe invention

Black Mother of Pearl Chronometre Resonance in Rose Gold
and no... this isn't the one I got...although one can dream of it :)

If you were to ask me, when did you first fall in love with a FP Journe timepiece?

I would say that it was the day I met Brad aka bs22fly, the FP Journe moderator on watchprosite who is passionate about Journe and in possession of a number of amazing Journe timepieces. Prior to meeting Brad, I had liked Journe's Octa series a lot, more so than the CS range, as I found them to have a distinctive look, identity and flair.

Post the meetup with Brad, my favorite Journe watch bar none was the Chronometre Resonance. The one that caught my eye that night though was the lovely Black Mother of Pearl one. This watch is just breath taking. It stood above every other watch I saw at that dinner gathering for me personally, meaning it overshadowed the Tourbillon Souveraines, the Lange Datos, the Vagabondage, the other Octas, the Pateks etc etc etc...


one more photo from that fateful night...
sorry for the bad shot but i had to show the watch


I had not thought more about FP Journe time pieces since that day as I believed them to be out of my reach having a tight budget for this expensive hobby of ours and chose to close myself off to learning and knowing more about the man and his creations as I knew that it would drive me crazy and likely to result in a foolish acquisition decision made that would not please the wifey. In Singapore as there is no Journe boutique as yet it is easier to close yourself off to it.

However this week, a for sale ad popped up and as i had liquidated a few in my collection, i had funds available to secure it and after a little hesitation (due to the troubling market) i jumped on it and have had no regrets since. (Note: I did not strike the lottery and there has been no change in my current or projected income flows :)

I would like to introduce you then to the latest addition to my small family...

FP Journe Octa Reserve de Marche in Platinum with White Gold dial









What has it got going for it? Its an FP Journe should suffice :) but just to expand a little...

- its got the brass movement with 22k gold rotor. the 18k rose gold movement has no added benefit from a technical perspective as far as i know. the brass movement is no longer made and will be rarer in time. All in less than 2,000 made across all models. some say it has a less refined and more hand finished appeal about it and an understated charm compared to the rose gold movement... but I love both and would take a Journe I like regardless of the movement material. I do find that the RG movement suit the rose gold cases more though.

- its 38mm. somehow a fair number prefer this size stating that its more balanced. whatever the case, i like the way this 38mm sits on my 7ish" wrist. I've got to try more 40mm Journes to see if i have any real preference from one size to another but that may prove to be highly dangerous ;)

- the Octa movement invented by Journe means something. Monsieur Journe didn't go out to purchase a mass produced base ebauche, which many others do to shortcut the time to release, for his watches and created this movement that has been a solid base for others in the Octa range.

- its got power reserve indicator, big date and the hours, mins, seconds, clean uncluttered dial... all one really needs :)

As noted earlier, the Resonance is my favorite of the range, but after the Resonance, the Reserve de Marche is probably my next favored piece. Just from a personal view, I find the simple uncluttered dial of the RdM better and more elegant than most of the other Octas and it being a bit less pricier helps a lot too :)

Some interesting information gathered in this post from trawling through the forums:

(1) The first 2 digits of the 4 digit movement number are the lignes of the movement and the last 2 digits are for the year the movement was developed, so 1300 = 13 lignes, developed in 2000.

(2) Movements are either rhodium plated brass (no longer used), ruthenium coated brass (dark grey, ruthenium is from the platinum family and these movements are found in the ruthenium dialed models) or 18k pink gold that are harder than brass and therefore more difficult to work with (from 2004).

(3) Mr Journe likes platinum as a case material. He does not like yellow or white gold for cases, does like steel but has not worked with it so far. So if its a white metal Journe, it will only be in Platinum. The other case materials used are Rose Gold and Titanium(for LEs I believe).

(4) All timepieces leaving FP Journe are tested to be better than COSC and are all deserving of the chronometer label.

(5) Its called Octa because Octa means perpetual in Latin. Automatic was not a term used back in the day and perpetual is therefore an appropriate label for a watch with an auto winding movement, especially if you wear it daily and it has a 5 day power reserve :)

(6) The "Black Label" limited production series is available exclusively through F.P. Journe Boutiques (Tokyo, HK, Geneva, Boca Raton). I believe only 12 pieces are manufactured for each boutique per year. The dial is 18K gold galvanized into a deep mat black color.

(7) FPJ time pieces are individually hand assembled by one watch maker from parts to casing in Montres Journe.

(8) 'Invenit et Fecit' is a latin term that was inscribed on 18th Century pocket watches made by French horologers, once their movements were recognized as original and recorded by the Royal Academy of Sciences. Journe's movements which are completely original are deserving of this inscription.

(9) FP Journe designs the dial of the watch first and then its movement. No wonder so many look so damn good ;)

(10) He's got a Resonance clock made by one Antide Janvier, who is also admired by another great watchmaker and artist, Vianney Halter. I believe they were friends in their younger days but don't know much about their history together.

and thats all i've got. Hope you enjoyed the post :) Cheers, Raph


Anonymous said...

A post with no pictures of lovely models? What's happening? :-) The watch more than makes up for it though, very nice acquisition, many congratulations!

I honestly think you have ended up acquiring a more elegant and classic watch than a Chronometre Resonance, it's one of the most beautiful watches I know of. Personally I doubt I will ever be able to (or is the more accrute statement to say choose to?) afford one, my wish list watches are more at the Grand Seiko and Blancpain level, but I can still dream, and enjoy the posts and pictures. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy!

Cheers from Canada

raphael too said...

Hi Harry

Thanks for dropping a line. Do you just come by my blog for the pics of the ladies??? :) haha.

Thanks for your affirmation on the beauty of the RDM. I love it.

I hope that you will cross that line someday perhaps? It is something else owning the fine works of artists and living horology greats like Journe and Halter and I will enjoy these watches for a long time to come.


Anonymous said...

This RĂ©sonance is very nice indeed!! Where did you get the chance to see it?!
Thank you for sharing this nice experience!!

raphael too said...

The Resonance belongs to an ex-colleague and we met during a watch function for company mates.


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