With its new F.P. Journe Octa Sport Automatic, the Swiss watchmaking brand doubles the number of sporty, full-aluminum models that it has in its LineSport collection. The all-aluminum craze was started last year, when F.P. Journe introduced its bizarre Centigraphe Sport chronograph.
Although some of our readers may argue that F.P. Journe is not the first watchmaker to offer an aluminum watch, that it was preceded years ago by the famous Porsche Design fashion brand.
However, the point is that the LineSport models are not simply packed into aluminum bodies: they have their movements crafted from the same lightweight metal!
Of course, since your ordinary aluminum easily scratches and oxidizes like mad, the brand had to use a special, more resistant to corrosion, aluminum alloy, which is mostly used in the aerospace industry.
As a result, we have an expensive watch that, including an 11-gram automatic movement, tips the scales at mere 53 grams! To get you the idea, how light the watch is, I can only say that even the light-weight Casio Sea Pathfinder in titanium (Ref. SPF-60D-7AVER) that I have reviewed back in October, 2011, weighs whole 107 grams, even despite being powered by a lighter quartz mechanism.
Like the aforementioned Centigraphe, the new F.P. Journe Octa Sport is offered in an almost the same body, which is equipped with the same rubber-wrapped setting crown at 4 o’clock and is attached to the wrist either with a black rubber strap or with an aluminum bracelet.
The latter is, too, equipped with rubber parts that protect it from scratches and make it more comfortable to wear.
As usual for the brand, the new Octa Sport features a simple dial, which is quite easy to read even despite the numerous counters and displays that occupy its matte-grey face.
Besides the predictable small seconds sub-dial at 6 hours, the watch also features a big date indicator at 1 o’clock, a power reserve gauge between 10 and 11 o’clock, as well as a day/night indicator at 9 hours (I don’t really understand its purpose in a watch that doesn’t have a GMT function.)
It is also a pleasure to note that all major elements of the watch including hands, hour markers and dots on the minute track, are covered with white Superluminova that makes it especially easy to read the watch at night.
As I have already noted, the in-house Caliber FP 1300-3 self-winding movement is built from aluminum parts. Well, to be more precise, some of its elements are crafted from something that looks like brass (the balance wheel and at least some gears of the going train) and tungsten (parts of the oscillating weight,) but, from where I sit, that doesn’t spoil the things.
The downer here is the price. Although the Swiss brand doesn’t say a word about the MSRP, it is clear that the timekeeper won’t be cheap.
The last year’s F.P. Journe Centigraphe Sport, for example, was offered at more than $55,000 and I don’t really see any particular reason for the new piece to be significantly less expensive.
See also: F.P. Journe Octa UTC Automatic
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: F.P. Journe
F.P. Journe Octa Sport Full-Aluminum Automatic specification
Price: $28,200 (MSRP, version on a rubber band) / $34,000 (MSRP, version on an aluminum-rubber bracelet)
Movement: Automatic, caliber FP 1300-3, all-aluminum, in-house Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 40
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Movement decoration: Circular Geneva stripes, skeletonized oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, big date, power reserve, day/night indicator
Power reserve: 120 hours (5 days)
Case and Bezel material: Aluminum
Crown material: Black rubber
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 11.60 mm
Dial: Dark Grey
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap or aluminum-rubber bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire, antireflective