F.P. Journe, one of the most refined and innovative Swiss manufactures, has recently presented its new Octa UTC Automatic model that allows you to set secondary time by simply choosing one of 24 geographical zones.
The Octa UTC is now available both in platinum or 18-karat rose gold, but the choice is not only limited to a precious alloy that will house a hand-crafted movement: You can also choose your new timepiece either in compact 38-mm or in more modern 40-millimeter size, which increases the number of possible combinations to four: not so bad for such a unique time measuring accessory from a brand that is to the world of luxury watches as Bugatti is to the world of premium sports cars.
As usual for F.P. Journe, the case features a relatively thin profile, which is emphasized by the smooth lines of the bezel and two pairs of elegantly curved lugs. Their signature pinion-shaped winding/setting crown is also here. I still find it not ergonomic, but your experience will probably depend on the shape of your fingertips and the length of your nails.
The shape of the lugs, by the way, will probably make it more difficult to find a replacement bracelet in case you will feel the need to change something in a couple of years, but if your idea of a dressy timekeeper with a sporty character includes a leather strap, finding a spare one from a third-party manufacturer will be no problem.
F.P. Journe is a Manufacture in the true meaning of the word and it shows. This new gadget, for example, is equipped with a unique automatic movement, which is based on their Caliber 1300.3.
The movement operates in such a way that, pressing a small pusher at 4 o’clock you can rotate a colored disk with the Peirce quincuncial projection on it and choose one of 24 time zones with “0” for winter hours and +1 or -1 for summer hours.
It may sound complicated and even somewhat confusing, but in fact, it only requires a little getting used to the concept.
Oh, and you will also need a small stick crafted from some softer wood in order not to scratch the beautifully shaped case in case something goes wrong.
As you can see in the photos, the watch offers a series of off-centered dials, including the main hour and minute subdial at 3 o’clock (blue hands indicate time in the current zone, and the gold hour hand shows time in the second time zone in a 24-hour format;) a subsidiary seconds display between 4 and 5 o’clock; a 24-hour time zone indicator at 7 o’clock; a retrograde power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock and a big date indicator with an instant jump at 12 o’clock.
The way the main dial is finished makes it a bit more difficult to read than is usually the case with most timekeepers that feature a second time-zone display, but otherwise, I would say that the piece is fairly legible. On a scale of zero to five, I would give it a four if not for a lack of any sort of lume on its face, which makes reading it at night more than troublesome.
Still, it is a nice timepiece, but it looks like its price will be as stunning as its exterior. So far, the Swiss watchmaker wants impressive €42,000 for a version in a rose gold case. A version in platinum will set you back €6000 more.
Photos: F.P. Journe
F.P. Journe Octa UTC specification
Price: €42,000 (18-karat rose gold) / €48,000 (platinum)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 1300.3, 40 jewels, 30.40 mm in diameter, 5.85 mm in height, 21,600 vph, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, big date, power reserve, UTC (aka GMT)
Power reserve: 120 hours
Case: Platinum or Rose gold
Sizes: 38 mm or 40 mm
Case height: 10.60 mm
Dial: Platinum or Rose gold (pictured)
Water resistance: 20 meters
Strap: Black leather