MICRO MONDAYS: The Le Jour Delmare delivers a 1970s-inspired dive watch for a great priceFergus Nash
Le Jour aren’t what you would typically consider a microbrand. They weren’t funded through a Kickstarter campaign, nor were they founded by a young visionary who wanted to shake up the watch industry. In fact, if the Le Jour brand name is familiar to you, it may be because they were quite a popular brand during the 1960s through to the ’80s. While they mostly focused on 7750-powered chronographs, Le Jour has been resurrected as a Swiss powerhouse for affordable luxury divers. The latest addition to their catalogue is the Le Jour Delmare, oozing 1970s charm without falling into the realms of cliche.
Although a watch’s dial is the component we look at the most, I would say that the case has more power over the entire personality. A simple case can choose to let the dial speak for itself, but a characterful case can influence the overall vibe, dictating which dials work, and even which clothes you can pair it with. The Le Jour Delmare’s case carries its ’70s style with a great degree of class, opting for a rigid and angular profile that highlights the contrast between bushed surfaces and polished chamfers.
Le Jour have nailed the dimensions on this watch too, with a 41mm diameter maximising wrist presence and a 48mm lug-to-lug length giving good fitment to a smaller wrist. The bracelet attaches to the watch with traditional spring bars via a hidden channel on the case’s underside, giving the visual impression of integration but the versatility of changing 22mm straps around. The thickness is only 13mm including the domed sapphire crystal, which is quite forgiving for a dive watch with 200m of water resistance.
The theme of 1970s subtlety carries on throughout the Le Jour Delmare’s dial, keeping the watch versatile and rewarding closer inspection. The applied indices are formed with two metal batons filled with a centre of Super Lumi-Nova, with an extra luminous dot placed at their ends. The hands are a robust fencepost style with brushed finishing, and the centre seconds hand is bright red (on all but one reference) with an arrowhead and lollipop counterbalance. The real star of the dial however is the dazzling finish, featuring a radiant sunburst effect as well as a fumé gradient. Five colours are available, including a black, slightly lighter grey, apple green, pale blue, and a rosy red.
If you prefer to add a little bit of bling to your 1970s-inspired dive watch, the black, green, and blue models are also available with a rose gold IP coating on the bezel, dial details and the crown. This adds a lot of warmth to the watch, as well as making them feel a little more lighthearted. All of the bezel inserts are made of scratch-resistant ceramic, which is quite impressive considering how well Le Jour have managed to match their colours to the dials. The Le Jour logo is printed fairly large, and also carries a fair amount of whimsy. Symmetry is also an important element of the Le Jour Delmare, with the date display given a thick frame at 6 o’clock.
Powering the Le Jour Delmare is a Sellita SW-200, the latest industry standard for Swiss time-and-date movements. Originally a clone of the ETA 2824, the SW-200 focuses on affordability without compromise of accurate performance and reliability. Servicing is usually fast and affordable, and you or your watchmaker will have an easy time regulating it if you want to tighten up its timekeeping. The beat rate is a smooth 4Hz, and the power reserve is designed for a daily wearer at around 38 hours. There’s no sapphire on the caseback to see the movement, although we are treated to an incredibly intricate underwater-themed engraving that’s a joy to stare at.
The Le Jour Delmare pricing and availability:
The Le Jour Delmare is available now from their website here. Price: US$850