Based on the coverage of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s SIHH releases, it’d be fair to assume the brand put out nothing but dressy Reversos this year. Well, that’s not true. One of the more under-the-radar releases was a handsome update to the Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic. Physically and functionally, the new version is unchanged from the 2014 original. It’s still the same imposing black ceramic 46mm case, paired with a technical-looking ‘Trieste’ calfskin strap and utilitarian dial layout. What’s new is the colour scheme. Previously the Master Compressor Chronograph ran with the ever popular black-on-black with red highlights, but JLC has softened this approach, replacing the red flashes with a navy blue, and adding contrast to the dial thanks to the pale grey chronograph subdials and minutes disc. And while a fresh coat of paint isn’t the biggest innovation in the world, it’s remarkable the difference it can make. The military feel of the watch is greatly toned down, making it feel lighter, and even more summery. More yacht, less attack helicopter. Aside from the new look, the Master Compressor Chronograph is still the same, quite impressive, piece of kit. In addition to the chronograph, the watch has a GMT and day/night indicator, located between the logo and the… Read More
This year Jaeger-LeCoultre’s SIHH showstopper was the stunning Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon, the latest evolution of their beautiful twin-axis tourbillon, first unveiled in 2004. Today, though, we’re having a look at an earlier version, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee – an amazing watch that also received a white gold diamond-set update this year. The platinum Jubilee edition was released in only 75 pieces, so when we had the opportunity to hold one in our hands we jumped at the chance (not literally, it’s not a good idea to jump while holding a watch like this in your hands). Unsurprisingly, given its name, the first thing you notice about this watch is the tourbillon. As I mentioned it’s a twin-axis tourbillon, but that doesn’t quite capture what makes it so special. It’s also suspended in a spherical cage and fitted with a spherical balance spring. The result is absolutely entrancing, and proof – if any were needed – that JLC can compete with the best of the haute horological set. But this watch has another impressive (if less showy) trick up its sleeve. You might think the subdial at nine is a big date and small seconds, but it’s actually… Read More
For the next twelve months Jaeger-LeCoultre will be celebrating the mighty Reverso – an 85-year-old bona-fide icon that deserves a place in any serious watch collection. JLC announced a range of Reversos at SIHH earlier this year, but more importantly they announced a restructure of the entire Reverso line. Their aim – to evolve the collection while staying true to their history. The Reverso has been distilled into three, established stylistic impressions: the Reverso Classic, the Reverso Tribute and the Reverso One. The Reverso Classic collection remains reassuringly seductive, staying true to the art deco styling that’s always defined the model. Available in three sizes, all are scaled using the Golden Ratio to ensure harmonious and comfortable proportions. Though the faces are familiar, the Classic collection sees updated cases with reworked lugs, making them slimmer and more subtle. As the name suggests, it truly is a classic design, looking great on both men and women. The Reverso One collection is designed with women in mind, with the more petite models revisiting the elongated case shapes of the 1930s. And last (but certainly not least), the Reverso Tribute collection draws inspiration from the original models of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s heritage, and will have… Read More
For Jaeger-LeCoultre, SIHH 2016 was all about the Reverso. Their gentrified sports watch turns 85 this year and, proving that you can indeed grow old gracefully, the brand released a series of very handsome tribute pieces. In fact, JLC have launched an entire new Tribute line, a collection that builds on the momentum of the extremely popular Ultra-Thin Tribute to 1931 models (initially released to commemorate the model’s 80th anniversary). The new Tribute line honours the spirit and the heritage of the original. The Reverso Tribute Calendar fits contemporary and classic into a very neat package. The pink gold case measuring 29.9 mm wide by 49.4mm tall is neither too petite nor too large for most, and it’s quite impressive how many complications JLC can fit in without the watch looking overly cluttered. The main dial, with a silver grained opaline finish shows a complete calendar with apertures for the day and month, and the date indicator around a stunning hammered moonphase. The reverse dial is treated in a contrasting grey Clous de Paris, showing a second timezone and a day/night indicator. Other notable upgrades are the clever lever hidden at the top of the case to adjust the second… Read More
The Geophysic True Second was a late entrant in our hypothetical ‘Best Watch of 2015’ list, after its release at Watches & Wonders in October, but gosh it’s an impressive piece of kit. We’ve already given you the blow-by-blow breakdown of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s latest expression of masculine elegance, but to truly appreciate the dissonance of that ticking second hand on a mechanical watch, you really need to see it in action. Lucky for you we’ve prepared this helpful video review.
For a brand like Jaeger-LeCoultre that’s renowned for slender and refined timepieces, this year’s focus on the utilitarian Geophysic represents a slight – but significant – change of course. Originally released in 1958 as an extremely precise scientific instrument, the Geophysic was first reissued in 2014, to unanimous acclaim. The latest version – the Geophysic True Second – honours this spirit and builds on it, marking an important evolution of the collection. Visually, it’s a simple, round, 39.6mm watch that sits a comfortable 11.7mm high, cased in brushed and satin steel. The dial is completely new; gone are the sword hands and Arabic numerals of the 2014 model, replaced with baton hands and long, mirror-finished hour markers, with small lume plots and a date at three. Many people would be happy enough with this well-finished, clean and versatile watch as is – but these days it’s not enough for a steel watch to be simple. It needs that little something extra to separate it from the pack. In this instance, that something extra is the second hand. Fine watch lovers will notice straightaway that this second hand lacks the smooth sweep that’s the hallmark of a mechanical movement, instead jumping… Read More
Last year Jaeger-LeCoultre revisited the Geophysic – a utilitarian scientific watch from 1958 that was designed to travel under the North Pole. The 2014 release was a limited edition, and a very faithful re-issue. Fast-forward to Watches & Wonders 2015 and the Geophysic is quickly becoming a growing line and an important focus for the brand. JLC has announced two new versions of the Geophysic in Hong Kong – the simple three handed True-Second and the much less simple Universal Time. But before we start talking about that beautiful dial or the worldtime complication, we need to explore some of the subtleties of this new Geophysic. Like its less complicated cousin the Universal Time features a True-Second movement, which is essentially JLC’s take on the classic dead-beat seconds. Rather than the usual sweeping second hand that is the hallmark of a mechanical watch the True-Second ‘ticks’ from second to second, much like a quartz movement. While it appears simple, this ticking hand – originally conceived to allow for precision timekeeping requires an additional 30 components including an additional hairspring. The ticking seconds isn’t the only mechanical innovation the Universal Time boasts, the Calibre 772 movement has a handsome new gold… Read More