Watches: F.P. Journe Octa Automatique Lune (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on March 6, 2015

Very few brands have the same horological legitimacy as F.P. Journe. The talented watchmaker behind this true manufacture is held in high esteem by seasoned watch collectors all around the globe and his creations count among the finest example of modern watchmaking at its best.

What is undoubtedly the brand’s strength, though, can easily become a headache: François-Paul’s creations are meant to be timeless and destined to become collectors. Their design should appeal to tomorrow’s owners with the same emotional force as they do to today’s customers. Away from the latest fads, they cannot rely on marketing tricks and easy design trends to reinvent themselves.

All timepieces are meant to be classics, conveying the brand’s inimitable style as much as they respect all the codes of Fine Watchmaking. New interpretations of emblematic collections will therefore not involve design upheavals: it does not mean, however, that their creation requires less effort. To the contrary, revamping a true icon, being able to make it even more appealing through tiny, sometimes imperceptible changes is the most challenging task a designer can face.

Despite the difficulty, this is what François-Paul Journe has achieved once again with the new renditions of the “Octa Automatique Lune” in red gold or platinum. Whether purely aesthetic or with an ulterior purpose, all the subtle alterations have changed this timekeeper for the better. With no further delay, let me then explain to you why this “Octa Automatique Lune” is more desirable than ever!

For the sake of comparison: the previous Octa Lune in red gold and the new Octa Automatique Lune

The background dial of the watch is always in white or red gold, sanded to perfection as it was before. A quick glance at the watch reveals small changes in the layout mainly related to the presence of an enlarged date aperture and a bigger sub-dial for the off-centred time indication. In both cases, the new dimensions will make the reading easier. The moon phase window is now slightly tilted and the sectorial power reserve indication, while always on the left-hand side, has been imperceptibly moved to fit the overall design.

Fans of F.P. Journe’s design codes will immediately note the major changes that appear on the two overlapping sub-dials for the hours and minutes and the small seconds. The flame-blued characteristic hands of the brand have now been replaced by white or red gold hands (respectively for the platinum and red gold models) and the usual guilloché has vanished. Indeed, the new sub-dials are now in gold with an applied layer of silver and embossed hour numerals. These numerals are then polished with a diamond tool to reveal the white or red gold. Very sober, extremely elegant, they are perfectly in line with the new gold dials of the rest of the collection that I discussed last summerFlash News: F.P. Journe New Models with Gold Dials when they were introduced.

The new “Octa Automatique Lune” is always equipped with the exclusive 1300.3 calibre. This in-house movement entirely crafted in 18-karat rose gold with a beautiful off-centred unidirectional 22-karat oscillating weight with guilloché decorations can be admired through the exhibition crystal on the back of the watch. When fully wound, it offers 5 days of efficient power reserve (total autonomy of 12 days).

As usual, the red gold and platinum versions of the “Octa Automatique Lune” are available with the red gold or white gold background dial and either mounted on black alligator straps with pin buckles or with a bracelet in the same metal as the case. Unlike previous renditions, though, the new watch is only available in 40 mm or 42 mm: the smaller 38 mm version has now been abandoned.

The evolution of the platinum model

It is really difficult not to like every aspect of the new “Octa Automatique Lune” timepieces. The time and date indications are now easier to read and the larger size also allows you to better appreciate the refinement of the dial finishing. No doubt that these improvements will help maintain the iconic status of the “Octa Automatique Lune” for many years to come…

For more information please visit the F.P. Journe web site.

For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures:

Additional timepieces mentioned in this article: