Blog Details

The F.P. Journe Octa Divine

December 8, 2023

featuredblog_248225.jpg

A complicated dress watch from one of the greatest independent watchmakers

In the 20 or so years of his eponymous brand's operation, François-Paul Journe has cemented his place in the upper echelons of independent watchmaking. This status can be attributed to exceptional quality, unparalleled individual ingenuity, and extreme exclusivity. Journe, known for his obstinate and slightly curmudgeonly character, is one of the least likely watchmakers to sacrifice quality for greater output; despite the brand's growing following and high demand, production is estimated to be less than 1000 units per year.

The Octa Divine was one the first timepieces the brand debuted following its 1999 founding. Introduced in 2003, the model has undergone several redesigns, the first of which took place in 2016. In 2023, the Octa Divine received yet another makeover. The focus of this article is an example of the 2016 redesign (pictured above).

At 40 millimeters in diameter, the compact, 18 karat rose gold case functions well as a modern dress watch. Like all F.P. Journe timepieces, the Octa Divine does not sacrifice thinness to achieve its impressive list of complications; the case is an impressive 10.6 millimeters thick. Another detail of note is the curved spring bars of the crocodile leather strap which eliminate any space between the case and the band. Unlike most exotic leather watch straps, the band is lined with crocodile leather, offering greater longevity and a more expensive feel.

Perhaps the most visually striking element of the watch, the dial is rendered in whitened silver and pink gold. The blued steel hands feature the brand's recognizable teardrop shape. The stylized Arabic numerals are similarly characteristic of Journe timepieces. The numerals sit atop a contrasting silver hour and minute circle screwed into the central portion of the dial. This recessed portion hosts three complications: a moon phase at seven, a big date between 11 and 12, and a retrograde power reserve at 10. The small seconds aperture, which displays seconds with a rotating disc in place of a hand, ticks away between four and six.

Although the aesthetics of the Octa Divine are impressive in and of themselves, where F.P. Journe timepieces really shine is the movement. This model houses the Caliber 1300.3. The original Caliber 1300 upon which this movement was based was the third caliber produced by F.P. Journe and the first automatic. The 1300 was the product of three years of research and development and serves as the base for many of Journe's automatic watches. To accommodate complications such as those featured in the Octa Divine, Journe left one millimeter of space on the dial side. Consequently, all watches which use the caliber retain a consistent thinness of 10.6 millimeters no matter their complication.

Like the dial, the Caliber 1300 underwent several improvements. In 2004, the brand began using 18 karat gold instead of brass in its movements. Even in high horology, this practice is hard to find. Three years later, the caliber was again updated, this time trading its original bi-directional winding mechanism for a unidirectional system more sensitive to movement.

As can be expected from F.P. Journe, the caliber is finished to the highest degree; the off-center rotor is decorated with a guilloché pattern, the plates are finished with Côtes de Genève, perlage, and anglage, and rest assured that the screw heads are polished and chamfered. Technically, the movement is equally impressive. Due to a meter-long mainspring, chronometric precision is guaranteed for an impressive five days in which amplitude loss is limited to 25%. Conveniently, the phase of the moon can be adjusted via the crown rather than a pusher on the side of the case.

The F.P. Journe Octa Divine leaves little to be desired from a complicated dress watch. Both technically and aesthetically, the model excels. Moreover, the exclusivity of F.P. Journe watches is nearly unparalleled in the world of high horology. This inaccessibility means most models retain their values well or appreciate over time. Through a combination of these factors, the Octa Divine offers compelling value that's hard to find in other luxury dress watches.

Write a Comment

0 Comments

Recent Posts

thumbblog_445879.jpg

The F.P. Journe Octa Divine

December 8, 2023

thumbblog_982434.jpg

A Guide to Leather Watch Straps

September 22, 2023

thumbblog_403166.jpg

The Biggest Tudor News in 2023

September 22, 2023

thumbblog_153260.jpg

The Best of High-End Quartz

February 21, 2023

thumbblog_779996.jpg

Rolex Explorer Watches

October 8, 2015

thumbblog_277720.jpg

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph

October 7, 2015

thumbblog_747536.jpg

Rolex Air King Watches

September 8, 2015