Someone mentioned to me a while ago that F.P. Journe
watches were all starting to look the same. I tacitly agreed and then began to give the idea some thought. A watch company (especially one that does not release many models) has a tough task of keeping a brand identity secure, while at the same time delivering innovation in terms of design and function. F.P Journe watches each have a distinct character to them, which is important to preserve in each new watch. Though I do agree that many of the their models were starting to look the same with just the subdials doing new things. This new Octa Perpetual Titanium is a different matter because I sincerely get the feeling that this is a brand new model, but still characteristically a F.P. Journe timepiece.
The dial here features an off-center watch face and emphasis on the perpetual calendar with the retrograde date display taking up most of the dial. There are also windows for the day and month an an almost hidden leap year indicator located inside of the month window. Notice in the image the lower window that reads "BFE." The "B" is actually on a separate disc and is the leap year indicator. "B" stands for "bissextile," which indicators the 4th, and thus leap year (other years simply read "1, 2, or 3"). The time is easy to read in the functional watch dial that is applied over the face and features some light, but tasteful decoration. I further like how the subsidiary seconds dial is built into the design.
Titanium is the metal of choice for the 40mm wide case of the Octa Perpetual Titanium watch, a metal I am not sure that F.P. Journe has used before for cases. Inside the watch is an automatic OCTA Calibre FPJ 1300-3 movement made from 18k rose gold (nice). Having an all gold movement is rather sexy, and you are able to view it through he caseback window. I think that having a heavy gold movement rather defeats the purpose of having a light titanium case, but I am sure that F.P. Journe had their reasons. The watch is also quite thin at about 10mm thick. Overall a very classic looking timepiece that is undeniably F.P. Journe in character with a lot of luxury appointments. It does of course include its quirks, which makes for a well-natured luxury watch.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review