Welcome to our series highlighting the exceptional watches available through PERPETUAL, Phillips’ boutique service offering immediate access to the world’s rarest and most desirable timepieces. You can view all currently available watches by stopping in at our London headquarters at 30 Berkeley Square, or by visiting Phillips PERPETUAL online. Our new "Buy Now" button makes acquiring the watch of your dreams easier than ever.
– By Logan Baker
Almost exactly one year ago, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo hosted its first auction of 2023: Le Concours de Complexité, a single-owner online sale dedicated exclusively to F.P. Journe timepieces.
While there's no dedicated F.P. Journe sale at Phillips this January, we do have a deeply impressive trio of F.P. Journe wristwatches that recently became available for immediate purchase via Phillips PERPETUAL.
The first Octa caliber was publicly released by F.P. Journe in 2001. It was the company’s third collection, following the Chronomètre á Résonance and Tourbillon à Remontoir d’Égalité – and it featured Journe’s first automatic movement, the Octa caliber 1300.
The Octa has always lived in the shadow of its two older siblings, but it remains a deeply impressive collection, one that carries a lot of weight in the world of Journe for the remarkable adaptability of the self-winding caliber 1300.
That’s right, since the Octa was first introduced, the caliber 1300 has been outfitted with all sorts of complications, including power reserves, chronographs, annual calendars, perpetual calendars, moon-phases – and even a dual-time display.
Journe was able to accomplish these different additions due to the Octa’s unusual movement architecture that incorporates an extra millimeter of space between the movement and the dial – all the room Journe required to go wild with new complications.
The Octa UTC is F.P. Journe's interpretation of a travel-time wristwatch. It was introduced in 2011, a decade after the Octa movement family was born. It features an eye-catching laser-engraved, hand-painted Azimuthal projection of the Earth at the traditional eight o'clock position on the dial, with the 24 major time zones delineated via a sapphire disc situated on top of the map.
The primary timekeeping display on the right side of the dial features an additional 24-hour hand and 24-hour scale (both executed in gold) within the main register; the blued hour and minute hand indicate the local 12-hour time.
The eight o'clock map disc can then be synced to the 24-hour hand, or it can be set independently by using an inline pusher at four o’clock on the caseband. If you look closely at the map projection above, you'll notice the zero marker is flanked by symbols for +1 / -1, revealing that the second time-zone of choice (at the zero marker) can actually be adjusted to account for daylight saving time.
The Octa caliber 1300.3 inside is crafted from solid 18k pink gold and features an off-centered rotor powering the impressive 120-hour, five-day power reserve and big-date mechanism. The Octa UTC was only produced by F. P. Journe between 2011 and 2018. It was the only F.P. Journe watch to be equipped with a second time-zone display until the Astronomic Souveraine was introduced, in 2019.
The Octa UTC is a relatively uncommon timepiece compared to other models in the Octa family. Phillips has only previously sold one example of an Octa UTC at auction – a Black Label example in a platinum case, which achieved CHF 81,900 at Phillips Geneva, in November 2020.
The Octa UTC isn't suddenly more common outside of the Phillips rostrum, either: Only eight examples have sold at auction to date, at an average price point of USD $96,102.
Phillips PERPETUAL recently sourced a lovely example that potentially dates from the model's first year of production, circa 2011, and is cased in 18k pink gold with a grey/gold dial. The watch is in superb condition and comes with its original F.P. Journe wooden box, warranty card, stylus, booklet, and a recording of the factory service history. Price: £94,500
As the first member of the Octa family, the Octa Réserve de Marche counts itself as part of F.P. Journe's three foundational wristwatch creations, alongside the Chronomètre à Résonance and Tourbillon Souverain.
The Octa Réserve de Marche was Journe's first self-winding wristwatch, introduced shortly after his brand debut, in 2001. All early Octa Réserve de Marche movements were crafted out of brass until 2004, when Journe implemented his now-famous philosophy of constructing his movements solely out of 18k pink gold.
Interestingly, the Octa Réserve de Marche was offered exclusively in a 38mm case diameter until the end of 2005, when it was completely replaced by a 40mm-diameter case design. A very small number of transitional Octa Réserve de Marche models were produced in the single year between the complete transition of the movement material and the case diameter. The few "transitional" models produced in this period with 18k pink gold movements inside 38mm cases have movements labeled as the caliber 1300.2 instead of the caliber 1300 or caliber 1300.3.
Phillips PERPETUAL sourced an Octa Réserve De Marche example from right after the big transitional period, 2007, featuring a 40mm case in 18k pink gold with a flat grey dial. It comes with the original wooden box and warranty card from F.P. Journe. Price: £75,000
The Chronomètre à Résonance has had a rather eventful production history. From the brass movement era that began with the souscription series and ended with the Ruthenium Collection, the Chronomètre à Résonance then moved to its second official generation, known as the “RN” series, in two different case sizes (38mm and 40mm), featuring 18k rose gold movements inside.
The third generation is the “RT” series, which came about on the model’s 10th anniversary in 2010. It featured two different dials: one indicating 12 hours, the other indicating 24 hours, allowing for easier tracking of “home” and “local” time over the dials. In fact, this series (identified by the “RT” code) is unique in the Résonance panorama as it features a 24 hours disc indication on the left subdial.
The present example is cased in 18k pink gold and was found by our team in superb condition. The watch was updated by F.P. Journe in 2019 at the owner's request with a matching 18k pink gold dial that contrsts nicely with the silvered dials for hours and minutes. The watch comes in its original F.P. Journe wooden presentation box and is available for immediate purchase at Phillips PERPETUAL for £150,000.
Though the brand officially launched more than 20 years ago, in 1999, scholarship on FP Journe's earliest creations has evolved greatly over the last few years. Even then, collector focus has primarily remained on the Tourbillon Souverain, but one should not discount the Résonance.
As the world's first wristwatch to utilize the resonance phenomenon, the movement is composed of two independent balances, alternatively serving as an “exciter” and a “resonator.” This phenomenon was first documented in watchmaking by French Royal clockmaker Antide Janvier in the 18th century, but it was François-Paul Journe who successfully created the world's first wristwatch using the resonance phenomenon – with the Chronomètre à Résonance wristwatch that was officially introduced to the world in 2000, at the very beginning of the new millennium.
For accuracy, however, we can organize FP Journe's earliest Chronomètre à Résonance wristwatches into three distinct categories.
Case Numbers 001 - 020: These are the "Souscription" watches. They are the watches that were famously offered to the same 20 clients that had purchased Journe's first Tourbillon Souverains, effectively funding his brand. They bear the suffix ~00R, indicating a production year of 2000. These watches were not necessarily delivered in their precise order, something that's contrary to previous schools of thought. These were also the first Résonance examples with noticeably deeper caseback engravings, due to Journe's use of laser-etching on this series.
Case Numbers 021 - 03X: These are the "Pre-Production" watches, with suffix ~99R. These are actually the first approximately 10 Résonances created by F.P. Journe. They are numbered after the Souscription watches but were produced and sometimes delivered before the actual Souscription pieces. Approximately 10 examples are included here, all initially ordered in 1999 (as indicated by suffix ~99R). These all feature shallow caseback engravings.
Case Numbers 03X - 06X: These are the "Pre-Souscription" Résonances, featuring suffix ~00R. An estimated 30-40 examples can be included here. These watches were ordered prior to the official Souscription Résonance pieces and feature shallow caseback engravings and "shiny" dials that are typical of the earliest references "R" and "T."
After the initial two years of Résonance case production (~99R and ~00R), the Résonance design was effectively standardized (until the use of brass movements was discontinued in 2004).
A small number of "pre-Souscription" Résonances have appeared at auction over the past few years, including an example in December 2023, at Phillips New York, that sold for USD $800,100.
We believe the specific example recently sourced and sold by the Phillips PERPETUAL team is the first to come to market in an 18k pink gold case (~06X/00R).
You can learn more about the above watches and see all the currently in-stock watches online at Phillips PERPETUAL.
Phillips PERPETUAL offers a boutique experience to clients for both the sale and purchase of fine and rare watches, in London’s Berkeley Square and the Gstaad Palace, in Switzerland.
About Logan Baker
Logan has spent the past decade reporting on every aspect of the watch business. He joined Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo at the start of 2023 as the department's Senior Editorial Manager. He splits his time between New York and Geneva.
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