Tuesday, June 26, 2012

FP Journe Aluminium Watch "Not the Kitchen Kind"

"Not the kitchen kind." Mr. Francois Paul Journe, Founder-CEO of F.P. Journe said with a rueful smile in regard to a question about material of "The Aluminum Watch" at the "Steel Time" book signing and cocktail event, which I attended at the Forbes Gallery last month, thanks to Micheal Clerizo, writer for the Wall Street Journal and author of, “Masters of Contemporary Watchmaking" and "George Daniels A Master Watchmaker and his Art" set to be released November 2012.   Although the focus of the event was on the large selection of intriguing gun metal watches on display until September 2012, which I highly recommend, and the signing of the exceptional "Steel Time" book,  the allure of The Aluminum Watch" played a large part.

"Not the Kitchen Kind", indeed. This aluminum alloy is similar to that used in aeronautical  aeronautics.  Mr Journe was addressing the dwindling few who are still skeptical about a timepiece crafted entirely of a metal used in roasting chicken or smoking fish, but to compare this aluminum to that which is used in the kitchen would be to compare coal to diamonds. 
The aluminum alloy used in crafting this watch is a highly innovative cutting edge material, which required years of r & d.  The aluminum is incredibly light, scratch resistant and resistant to corrosion.  This new Octo Sport Watch in the "lineSport" Collection is known as THE ALUMINUM WATCH, because it is completely crafted in aluminum.  Not only is the case and bracelet aluminum, but the movement too. 
Last year, FP Journe unveiled a watch where the case and bracelet was aluminum, but the movement 18k rose gold, as with most of FP Journe's movement.  This year it is all Aluminum through and through, except of course, for the rubber bumpers which serve to protect possible dents in the aluminum and the option of a rubber strap. The watch is powered by an in-house made Calibre FPJ 1300-3 automatic movement equipped with an aluminum rotor weighted with a tungsten strip. (Tungsten in Swedish is "heavy stone" and has a remarkably high density).  The watch is equipped with 120 hour power reserve - requiring much research and development since torque changes with the properties of a material. 
Since the watch is all aluminum,  it weighs a mere 53 grams, which is not due to a diminutive size, but rather lightness of material.  The watch is a gracious 42 mm in diameter and a comfortable 11.6mm thick.  The intriguing reflectivity of the aluminum creates a sleek allure to the watch accentuated by the red indices on the gray aluminum alloy dial. The applied Arabic hour markers and  hands are highly distinctive by day and by night.  By day due to their boldness and by night due to an application of  Superluminova.  A big date indicator is situated below the large red S.  Beneath the 10 and 11, lies a power reserve indicator.  Discretely placed at the 9 'o'clock position is a bean shaped day night indicator, which serves its purpose just fine without unduly cluttering up the dial.
A subsidiary seconds dial seals the look by adding a distinct vintage flavor to an otherwise ultra modern design.
The Octa Sport Watch retails for $25,790 with a rubber strap and $31,050 with an aluminum bracelet - pricey, but not exorbitant.

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