In modern times, early-production Journes of any guise are far and few between. Despite being relatively recent by watchmaking standards (1999), FP Journe’s early watches have become modern classics. From 1999 and 2004, all FP Journes used brass movements. Since 2004, every piece Journe has introduced uses the now-signature gold. The very earliest brass iterations are set apart by their style of Côtes de Genève finishing, which uses a straight-line decoration pattern. FP Journes are special and limited by nature, but this early Resérve de March and its brass caliber take that uniqueness to another level altogether.
It is estimated that around 100 of these straight-line pieces were produced before the finishing style switched over. The early production pieces also featured a thicker counterweight on the seconds hand. Its yellow gold dial sports a fantastic patina which has developed in its two-decade life so far. The gold has taken on a grainy, shimmering tone. The tones range from dark brown, to bronze and gold. While this could be refinished in service, I’d advise to leave that beautiful hue.
The movement, a 120-hour power reserve, is powered by a one meter, torquey mainspring. That high-torque mainspring means that no more that 25% of the escapement’s amplitude is diminished over its 120-hour length for precise timing with endurance. This is Journe’s first automatic caliber and the unique movement made it a real splash in 2001. The brass Caliber 1300 is truly something worth pouring over at any opportunity.
This example is what I call perfectly imperfect. It has been worn but only with care. The watch shows age honestly with no observable serious flaws. I am particularly fond of the dial on this early piece. The bronzy tones its yellow-gold dial has achieved make it all the more attractive. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this Straight-Line Resérve de Marche here from Watch 4 Moi for 170000 USD.