Champagne toast at the JLC NYC Boutique on January 16th

Watch 101: Power Reserve Indicators
One of Horology’s Most Useful Complications

Katie Wudel

Watch 101: Power Reserve, Legacy Machine N°1 Xia Hang, MB&F Xia Hang

This article originally appeared in Our Minutes.

Today, we take a deeper look at one of the most important elements of a mechanical watch: its reserve of power. The mainspring (a metal coil) is what powers a watch movement: when it’s tightly coiled, a watch has reached peak power and, in fact, can’t be wound any further. Whether they’re hand-wound or automatic, watch movements run most accurately when fully wound, losing precision over time as the mainspring’s tension is released (or the coil “loosens”). In order to run at a regular rate, a watch should retain approximately 25-30% of its mainspring tension.

A variety of factors can impact how long it takes for a mainspring to unwind, slow down, and eventually stop a timepiece from running. The longer a mainspring is, the longer it will take to loosen and thus, the longer its power reserve. A standard mechanical watch will maintain power for about two days, or 40-50 hours. Many watches include something called a power reserve indicator, akin to a car’s gas gauge.

In general, it’s good practice to wind one’s hand-wound watch once a day, whether or not the timepiece has a power reserve indicator. Some might say that a power reserve indicator is more helpful on an automatic watch, though—in theory—it won’t stop running as long as it makes a frequent appearance on the wrist. However, we live in an era in which our most vigorous daily activity might involve typing out a heated email. This type of wrist movement isn’t necessarily enough to keep an automatic watch at optimal power. An indication of lower power reminds the wearer to get up from his or her desk and take a literal power walk.

Though power reserve indicators are among the most pragmatic watch complications, they’re also often very creatively executed. Below, we take a look at a few noteworthy examples.

JAEGER-LECOULTRE 481 CALIBRE

In 1948, only two years after adding an automatic movement to its collection, Jaeger-LeCoultre brought out the first watch in history to combine this function with a power-reserve indicator, the Jaeger-LeCoultre 481 Calibre. When the power gets low, the numerals in the window under the 12 turn red.

JAEGER-LECOULTRE 481 CALIBRE, JLC 481, Jaeger-LeCoultre first power reserve indicator, Watch 101 Power Reserve
First automatic watch with power-reserve indicator. Photo: Jaeger-LeCoultre

JAEGER-LECOULTRE 481 CALIBRE, JLC 481, Jaeger-LeCoultre first power reserve indicator, Watch 101 Power Reserve

PANERAI LUMINOR 1950 8 DAYS GMT

The iconic 233 is a highly coveted model for Panerai enthusiasts. Its in-house, hand-wound movement offers a variety of impressive features, including day/night and GMT indicators. Its ability to store power for eight days (or, for those keeping track, quadruple the standard) is remarkable—and justifies the appearance of that compelling linear power reserve.

PANERAI LUMINOR 1950 8 DAYS GMT, PAM233, Panerai 233, Watch 101 Power Reserve
Panerai 233. Photo: Martin Wilmsen

LANGE 31

A. Lange & Söhne refers to the Lange 31 as an unrivalled masterpiece, and as the first mechanical wristwatch with a power reserve of 31 days, it’s a spot-on description.

LANGE 31, A. Lange & Söhne 31, Watch 101 Power Reserve Indications
LANGE 31. Photo: A. Lange & Söhne

Featuring a patented constant-force escapement, the timepiece offers a high rate of stability and consistent accuracy for a month at a time. Though longer mainsprings offer larger reserves of power, there is also a more noticeable loss of torque as the spring relaxes (which affects the’s watch accuracy). This constant-force escapement re-tensions the spring by 60 degrees every ten seconds to assure that a uniform amount of torque is delivered for an entire month.

Calibre L034.1, LANGE 31, A. Lange & Söhne 31, Watch 101 Power Reserve Indications
Calibre L034.1. Photo: A. Lange & Söhne

Accompanying each Lange 31 is a stainless steel winding key, which generates much more torque than would be possible with a winding crown. Thus, fewer revolutions are needed to fully wind the watch.

Lange 31 Winding Key, LANGE 31, A. Lange & Söhne 31, Calibre L034.1, Watch 101 Power Reserve Indications
Lange 31′s winding key. Photo: A. Lange & Söhne

MB&F LEGACY MACHINE N°1 XIA HANG

By winding a mechanical watch, many would say you’re breathing life into it. In a clever touch, MB&F’s new Legacy Machine N°1 literally adds this metaphor to the watch’s dial. MB&F is known for its wild creativity, and maintains a collection of rebellious art on view and for sale in Geneva, Switzerland at its M.A.D. Gallery. Beijing sculpturist Xia Hang, whose work is on display there, tackled the design of the 45-hour power reserve. One of his so-called “comma men” sits straight up when fully wound. As power diminishes, the comma man bends his back and gradually slumps over.

Legacy Machine N°1 Xia Hang, MB&F Xia Hang, MB&F Legacy Machine N°1 Xia Hang, Watch 101 Power Reserve Indications
Legacy Machine N°1 Xia Hang. Photo: MB&F

Xia Hang comma man, Legacy Machine N°1 Xia Hang, MB&F Xia Hang, MB&F Legacy Machine N°1 Xia Hang, Watch 101 Power Reserve Indications
Xia Hang’s “comma man”

HUBLOT MP-05 LAFERRARI

The MP-05 “LaFerrari” takes the idea of the power reserve as gas gauge to an entirely new level. Its unprecedented 50-day (read it again: that’s days, not hours) power reserve appears on the left side of the dial.

Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari, Hublot LaFerrari
MP-05 LaFerrari. Photo: Hublot

With another exceptionally long power reserve (which would entail an unbearable amount of hand winding), Hublot provides an ingenious winding key, similar to the electric drills one might encounter on a speedway.

MP-05 LaFerrari winding key, Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari, Hublot LaFerrari
MP-05 LaFerrari winding key. Photo: Hublot

MP-05 LaFerrari 637 components, Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari, Hublot LaFerrari
MP-05 LaFerrari 637 components. The power reserve appears at center left. Image: Hublot

Katie Wudel is the Managing Editor of Our Minutes. Katie is a timepiece enthusiast and freelance writer contributing to such distinguished literary journals as McSweeney’s, Tin House, Prairie Schooner, and more.

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The Odd, the Unusual, and the Uncommon

Paul Delury

Here is an eclectic selection of timepieces that offer something different in design, technology, function or scarcity. Whatever the category, I venture that none are likely to be seen all too often.


THE ODD.

Wyler Incaflex demonstrater.

Here’s a somewhat odd one to start, a Wyler Incaflex demonstration or display piece. It’s quite large, 60mm in diameter, with a chromed case and large acrylic crystals back and front. A wristwatch-sized crown is provided at the 3 o’clock position for winding and setting the hands as per normal. I expect the piece originally fitted into a larger display, but I have yet to see an example.

Incaflex, Paul Wyler, shock-protecting balance

Paul Wyler invented the Incaflex shock-protecting balance in 1896 and it was patented in 1927. The brand name was apparently first applied in 1932 in Switzerland and registered as a US Trademark in 1949. In 1956 a public demonstration of the effectiveness of the Incaflex system was made when two Wyler watches were dropped 300 meters (almost 1000 feet) from the top of the Eiffel Tower and verified to be running afterward. A similar test took place in 1962 when six Wyler watches were dropped 318 feet from the Seattle tower in Washington USA and verified to be running afterward.

The 1957 newspaper ad below from The Star, Washington, refers to the Eiffel Tower demonstration.

Incaflex, Paul Wyler, shock-protecting balance
(Image via http://str.stparchive.com)

Here is the display back. The movement appears to be based on an ETA 12 ligne movement from the cal. 1100 family. You can find movements with Incaflex balances in many of Wyler’s watches, but I’ve yet to see another demonstration piece such as this.

Incaflex

The “Incaflex” name relates to the type of shock protected balance-wheel introduced by Wyler. Below you can see a close-up picture of the balance cock and balance-wheel area of the movement. Note that there is no shock protection unit, such as Incabloc, on the balance cock for the balance-wheel cap jewel as you would expect to find on a 1950/60s wristwatch movement. Wyler transferred the task of shock protection to the balance-wheel itself, and you can see the helical balance-wheel arms which were designed to flex and allow the wheel to move on the staff to a degree without damaging the pivots.

Incaflex

Omega Megasonic.

The oddest of the tuning fork movements – the Omega Megasonic 720 Hz. It’s really a mix of odd and uncommon – odd in its movement design and uncommon in that not all that many were produced. The watches were introduced in 1973 and the movement was designed by Max Hetzel of Accutron reknown. It differed from his previous tuning fork designs in a number of ways. Importantly, the index wheel mechanism has no physical connection to the rest of the movement. The index wheel is a disc of magnetically polarised material that is housed in a separate sealed “micromotor”. This is magnetically connected to a coupling wheel below and movement is thus transmitted to the gear train. The fork vibrated at 720Hz delivering an accuracy of 30 sec per month, twice that of the Accutrons.

Here’s a 1973 Geneve cal. 1220 example.

Geneva 1220
(Photo by Rob B).

I don’t think the Megasonic movement would win too many beauty contests but some very innovative thinking and technology went into this design. You can see the micromotor in the image below, indicated to the right of the movement.

Megasonic, Omega Megasonic, Omega tuning fork

The micromotor was innovative engineering on quite a small scale. Below you can see the micromotor (1) attached to one tine of the tuning fork. The asymmetric design of the tuning fork also used significantly less power than previous Accutron-derived models. That’s not a nail next to the micromotor at (2) in the pic below, it’s a normal size pin for comparison.

Megasonic, Omega Megasonic, Omega tuning fork

Rob B fitted this Geneve cal. 1230 (day/date) with a new old stock case of the correct style, the dial and movement already being in very clean condition. It presents as very close to how such a watch would have left the Omega factory in 1973.


(Photo by Rob B).


(Photo by Rob B).

Bulova Thermatron.

The Bulova Thermatron was a failed venture that used body heat to generate electricity to power a quartz movement. A thermatron is a small thermo-electric generator. As little as 1 degree difference between the body heat and the insulated portion of the movement produced power which was stored in a 1.1V Leclanche storage cell. Bulova touted the Thermatron to last almost indefinitely. Well, it doesn’t look like mine did. The watch is in New Old Stock condition cosmetically, but is not running.

The Thermatron movement was developed in the early 1970s and the watches were first marketed in 1982. This particular watch carries the Bulova date code “P2”, for 1982.

Bulova THermatron, Thermatron

My research indicates that the Thermatron watches proved to be unreliable and were not successful. I have read that the Thermatrons initially sold for $2,000. Bulova sold the technology and equipment to a company called STW who continued to issue the watches with their logo for some time. Power reserve seems to have been an issue with the original Bulova product as STW apparently modified them with the addition of a condenser to permit a longer power reserve and a new caseback with access to the condenser. Wearing the STW version for 6 hours was supposed to store sufficient power for 18 hours of running. Notwithstanding any improvement it apparently wasn’t enough to save the watches.

Seiko also later ventured into the thermoelectric field with their body-heat powered Thermic watches, introduced in 1998. It appears Seiko was more successful with the concept than Bulova.

Voumard 2000 and Bulova Accutron 214.

These watches both share a feature that has been played with by companies over the years but never really caught on – back setting – where the means of setting the hands is transferred from the conventional crown on the side of the wristwatch case to some form of device on the back of the case. There have been design and technological reasons for such placement, it having been used on mechanical as well as electric/electronic and quartz movement watches. It can allow for a cleaner shape to a watch, and there was the belief with the coming of the more consistently accurate technology that re-setting the hands would not be required so frequently and thus this function could be placed out of the way. Whatever the reasons it has been used only infrequently on wristwatches in any major way.

The watches shown are a 1970s Voumard 2000 cal. VM2500 at the top and a 1967 Bulova Accutron cal. 214 at the bottom.

Bulova Accutron 214, Accutron 214

The Accutron cal. 214 tuning fork electronic watches were a notable exception as they were all backset. The Voumard movement is not only backset but also backwound as it is a manual-wind mechanical. The Voumards were also produced in fairly limited numbers compared to watches from major companies.

Accutron, Accutron 214

The image below shows the Accutron crown flipped up for setting, and the screw battery hatch open.

Here you can see the inside portion of the winding and hand-setting mechanism in the rear portion of the Voumard’s case. In the normal position the crown winds the movement. Pulled-out it sets the hands. The 17 jewel cal. 2500 appears to have been of Voumard’s own design.


THE UNUSUAL.

Jaeger LeCoultre 8-day inline clock.

A vintage Jaeger LeCoultre 8-day clock with their interesting 16 jewel cal. 210 baguette inline movement. This movement was introduced in the mid-1930s and JLC made use good of it a wide range of clock designs into the 1990s. That’s an impressively long use for any movement. This clock measures around 10cm x 12cm, and is wound from the rear, (back of the mainspring barrel).

Jaeger LeCoultre 8-day inline clock, JLC inline clock, Jaeger-LeCoultre inline, JLC 210, baguette movement

Jaeger LeCoultre 8-day inline clock, JLC inline clock, Jaeger-LeCoultre inline, JLC 210, baguette movement

Jaeger LeCoultre 8-day inline clock, JLC inline clock, Jaeger-LeCoultre inline, JLC 210, baguette movement

Citizen Ana-Digi Temp.

Circa-1980 Citizen JG200-59E Aaa-Digi Temp, cal. 8980. The Ana-Digi Temp line were the first digital watches with an integrated electronic thermometer. They were made in a variety of models from 1978 up to the early-2000s. The measuring range of the theremometer is -9.9C to +59.9C or (14F to 139F). I don’t know about you, but that covers my climatic needs pretty well 🙂 The watch also features an automatic calender covering the years 1980 to 2019, dual time function, alarm and hourly chimes, 1/1000th sec stopwatch, 12/24 hour display switching, illumination lamp and battery life indicator, all in a case measuring 39mm x 33mm. Not bad for 1980. A geek’s delight.

Zenith 8-day dash clock.

Here’s a Zenith 8-day dashboard clock. These were made from around the mid-1920s up to as late as the 1960s and found service in cars, buses, and other forms of transport. The well-finished 11 jewel movement has a power reserve indicator that displays a red dot on the dial when the reserve has 24 hours left. Winding the clock is achieved by turning the bezel and to set the hands the bezel is pulled up and turned – a convenient method when mounted on a dashboard.

Zenith 8-day clock, Zenith dashboard clock, Zenith 8-day dash clock

Zenith 8-day clock, Zenith dashboard clock, Zenith 8-day dash clock
(Movement photo by TomG).

Seiko Nooka.

This unusual watch was released by Seiko in 1999 but the designer, Matthew Waldman, was apparently not pleased with Seiko’s interpretation of his design and Nooka watches are now offered by a separate company. Seiko didn’t market their Nookas very well and they were discontinued quite quickly. The novel LCD time display consists of a bar display for the hours, large window for minutes, and smaller window for seconds. In this photo the watch is displaying the time 10:12:40pm.

It is quite a large watch, with a stainless steel case measuring 38mm x 36mm, (less lugs and pushers), and is 12mm thick. The leather strap is a hefty 30mm wide with a double tang buckle.

Smiths Sectric tuning fork clock.

This clock had hung on the kitchen wall of my parents’ home for as long as I could remember. It was always there whilst I was growing up and I would occasionally replace the battery in it, and it shows the state of my horological awareness all that time that I never thought twice about it being anything but just another wall clock.

After replacing the battery one time I took a good look at the clock and realised that the seconds hand was moving smoothly, just like an electric clock. However, this was just a battery-powered quartz clock, or so I had thought, and I would have expected it to tick in one-second increments. Then the tuning fork symbol on the dial finally penetrated my thick skull and it dawned on me what this was – a tuning fork clock! Looking closer at the movement, covered in the dust of decades, sure enough there was a big tuning fork humming away. Smiths introduced these Sectric tuning fork clocks in 1971 and over the following years quite a range of different designs were issued. Whilst the movement uses a tuning fork it does not use an indexing system like the Bulova Accutron, but rather has a magnetic escapement.

In the picture below you can see the large tuning fork, the bottom curve indicated at (1). The lower tuning fork tine carries a cylindrical magnet that vibrates within a coil (2). The upper tine carries a horseshoe magnet at the right end that impulses the mu-metal escape wheel, driving it at 300Hz (3). Thus there is no mechanical connection between the magnet and the escapement. As they post-dated Bulova’s patenting of the Accutron there was the need to obtain licensing from Bulova. You can see “Lic. Bulova” on the regulator cover to the right (4).

The movements will not self start but require a slight the movement of the setting mechanism (indicated) to set them in motion. This spins the escape wheel into motion and thereafter it is locked to the vibration of the horseshoe magnet. Obviously, judging from this clock’s sterling performance over so many years (with no servicing), the system works very well.


THE UNCOMMON.

Vacheron Constantin 222.

A very uncommon watch as apparently only 120 of this steel/gold 34mm model of the Vacheron Constantin 222 were produced, (there were only approximately 720 examples of all 222 models made during their production period of 1977 to 1985). The 222 was VC’s entry in to the “sport luxury” market competing with AP’s Royal Oak, Patek’s Nautilus, and IWC’s Ingenieur SL. At the time (1977) VC had been in continuous operation for 222 years and thus they chose to commemorate this with the “222” model reference. The 222 lead to the VC “Overseas” line of watches.

The movement used in this 222 version is the VC cal. 1124, based on the JLC cal. 889. The rotor rim is in 21kt gold.


(Movement photo by TomG).

Although often thought to have been designed by Gérald Genta it has been ascertained that the 222 design was actually developed by Jorg Hysek, with a definite appreciation of Genta’s designs incorporated. Nevertheless, below I have pictured the 222 with stablemates of Genta design – an IWC Ingenieur ref. 3521 and an AP Royal Oak.

Audemars Piguet Jubiläumsuhr 1875 – 1995.

The AP Jubiläumsuhr (“anniversary watch”) 1875 – 1995 cal. 2121/3 was released in 1995 to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the manufacturer. A limited edition of only 120 examples were produced, this one being No. 110 as numbered on the caseback. The stainless steel case is 36 mm in diameter. A very elegant watch with a stunning guilloché work dial.

The cal. 2121/3 is based on an ebauche developed by JLC in 1967, (the cal. 920). It’s a very thin automatic movement, measuring only 3.05mm in this version with date display. The rotor rim is in 21kt gold. You can find an article on this excellent series of movements here.

International Watch Company “Jumbo” Ingenieur.

The 40mm “Jumbo” Ingenieur SL models were introduced in 1976. The “SL” stood for “Steel Line”, often later thought of as “Sport Line” as the watches fell into the sports luxury watch field. The design was by Gérald Genta. This example in steel and gold was manufactured in 1979.

Jumbo Ingenieur, IWC Ingenieur SL

Jumbo Ingenieur, IWC Ingenieur SL

An interesting aspect is that the ref. 3003 was a quartz version, but this particular one carries the cal. 8541ES automatic movement. The cases were the same for both the quartz and automatic versions and IWC converted a number of the quartz models to auto due to market demand.

Jumbo Ingenieur, IWC Ingenieur SL

Jumbo Ingenieur, IWC Ingenieur SL

Bulova Excellency.

What’s this 1973 Bulova Excellency doing here in the “Uncommon” section? Well, I though we needed some light relief 🙂 I have no idea how may of these they pumped out and it’s not an iconic model in any respect. It is, however, quite ugly. It’s also a new old stock example and I reckon you’d probably need to look long and hard to come up with another in this condition. I doubt too many have survived the decades. In fact, this one probably only survived in this state because it was so ugly, (even for the 1970s!) that it didn’t sell when new.

Bulova Excellency

The watch came complete with outer cardboard box (not shown) and this elegantly crafted plastic octagonal box proudly extolling this to be one of the “Excellency Collection”. This was a a long-lived line of watches for Bulova, many significantly more palatable in design than this one.

Inside sits the watch with its original leather strap permanently set into a curve from sitting like that over four decades. The hang tag indicates it the model reference is 11530-W and the price tag shows $70.00, which was around average for a Bulova steel watch of the time.

The cal. 11ANAC automatic movement is nicely finished. A very decent movement hidden away in that homely case for all those years.

Audemars Piguet Ultra-thin.

The cal. 2003 ultra-thin movement was developed by JLC in conjunction with AP and VC and was introduced in 1953. The movement had long usage with AP up to the early-2000s. Whilst there were many watches made using the movement the model shown here is quite uncommon.

Audemars Piguet Ultra-thin

The movement is only 1.65mm thick. The 10 cent piece is roughly the same size as a US dime.


Watches and clocks from the collections of Rob B, TomG, and myself.

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The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel Jubilee is fitted with the new JLC Calibre 985 automatic movement that combines a flying tourbillon with a cylindrical balance-spring. The new 42mm pink gold case frames a beautifully grained and layered silver-tone dial. The perpetual calendar indications are clear and balanced.

Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel Jubilee, Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel, Q504 25 20, Calibre 985

Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel Jubilee, Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel, Q504 25 20, Calibre 985
Flying tourbillon with a cylindrical balance-spring for optimal chronometry

Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel Jubilee, Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel, Q504 25 20, Calibre 985

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Swiss Watchmakers Dominate the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2014

Jessica

Le Mans not only celebrated a record crowd of over 260,000 spectators at the thrilling 82nd edition of the 24 Heures du Mans, it also celebrated a record year of Swiss watch sponsors. At least eight Swiss watchmakers partnered in the world’s most famous endurance race. Rolex has been the Le Mans Official Timepiece since 2001 and Swiss watchmakers supported teams in all categories, including:

Badollet
Independent Swiss luxury brand Badollet partnered with G-Drive Racing #26 Morgan-Nissan LM P2, and drivers Roman Rusinov, Olivier Pla, Julien Canal. The race ended in lap 120 for G-Drive Racing #26 after the car suffered substantial damage after a crash. The driver Olivier Pla is reportedly unharmed.

G-Drive Racing #26, Badollet Le Mans, Badollet 24 Heures du Mans

Chopard
As the Official Timing Partner Porsche Motorsport, Chopard returned to the 24 Heures du Mans in the LMP1 and GTE Pro categories. The No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid was shared by Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb. The No. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid, which looked strong early in the race, was driven by Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber. After a strong performance by both 919 Hybrids, the Porsche Team left empty handed after a dramatic final stage of the race.

Chopard also partnered with Porsche Team Manthey Nos. 91 and 92 Porsche 911 RSR GTE Pro. Porsche completed third with the No. 92 911 RSR and drivers Marco Holzer, Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz.

Chopard Porsche Team, #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid, Chopard 24 Heures du Mans
Porsche 919 Hybrid

Chopard Porsche Team, #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid, Chopard 24 Heures du Mans

Chopard Porsche Team, #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid, Chopard 24 Heures du Mans

Chopard Porsche Team, #92 Porsche 911 RSR, Chopard Le Mans, Chopard 24 Heures du Mans
Porsche 911 RSR #92 finished third in the GTE Pro category

Hublot
Hublot supported AF Corse to win the GTE Pro class with the No. 51 Ferrari F458 driven by Gimmi Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichell. A great day was completed by third position in the GTE Am category thanks to Luis Perez Companc, Marco Cioci and Mirko Venturi in their AF Corse Ferrari No. 61. The competion was very tight and they proved to be very competitive and fast.

Hublot Ferrari Team, AF Corse Le Mans, Hublot AF Corse, Ferrari F458, #51 Ferrari
Ferrari F458 #51 won the GTE Pro category

Hublot Ferrari Team, AF Corse Le Mans, Hublot AF Corse, Ferrari F458, #51 Ferrari

Hublot Ferrari Team, AF Corse Le Mans, Hublot AF Corse, Ferrari F458, #51 Ferrari

Hublot Ferrari Team, AF Corse Le Mans, Hublot AF Corse, Ferrari F458, #51 Ferrari

Hublot Ferrari Team, AF Corse Le Mans, Hublot AF Corse, Ferrari F458, #51 Ferrari

Jaeger-LeCoultre
JLC supported Aston Martin Racing. Aston Martin’s disappointing outcome in GTE Pro was balanced by a thorough win of the GTE Am field by Kristian Poulsen, David Heinemeier Hansson, and Nicki Thiim in the No. 95 Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin Racing, JLC Aston Martin Racing, V8 Vantage, #95 V8 Vantage
Aston Martin V8 Vantage #95 won the GTE Am category

Jaeger-LeCoultre Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin Racing, JLC Aston Martin Racing, V8 Vantage, #95 V8 Vantage

Jaeger-LeCoultre Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin Racing, JLC Aston Martin Racing, V8 Vantage, #98 V8 Vantage

Jaeger-LeCoultre Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin Racing, JLC Aston Martin Racing, V8 Vantage, #98 V8 Vantage

Jaeger-LeCoultre Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin Racing, JLC Aston Martin Racing, V8 Vantage, #97 V8 Vantage

Jaeger-LeCoultre Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin Racing, JLC Aston Martin Racing, V8 Vantage, #97 V8 Vantage

Oris
Oris supported the defending champions Audi Sport Team Joest to win Audi’s 13th Le Mans title. Despite a bad start in the qualifying, Audi prevailed against massive competition by Porsche and Toyota in an extremely tough race that was completely open for a long time. The decision in favor of the two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars was only made in the final phase. Ultimately, the No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer took the overall victory.

Oris Audi, Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, #2 Audi R18
Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2

Oris Audi, Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, #2 Audi R18

Oris Audi, Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, #2 Audi R18

Oris Audi, Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, #2 Audi R18

Oris Audi, Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, #2 Audi R18, #2 Audi Sport Team Joest
#2 Audi Sport Team Joest crossing the finish line followed by #1 Audi Sport Team Joest

Rebellion
The young, independent Swiss Rebellion Timepieces is a partner of the Swiss REBELLION Racing. With its new REBELLION R-One, designed and built with a Toyota engine by ORECA Technology, REBELLION Racing equalled its best result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Although the No. 13 driven by Andrea Belicchi, Dominik Kraihamer and Fabio Leimer was forced to retire, the No. 12 of Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Mathias Beche took fourth place overall. This is an impressive feat for a car that took to the track only two months ago.

Oris Audi, Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, #2 Audi R18
Rebellion R-One #12 took an impressive fourth place overall

Oris Audi, Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, #2 Audi R18

Richard Mille
Richard Mille sponsored IMSA Performance Matmut No. 67 in the GTE Am category. The No. 67 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was driven by Eric Hélary, winner at Le Mans in 1993, and his teammates Jean-Marc Merlin and Erik Maris. The Porsche was fully wrapped in a graphic of a Richard Mille watch movement.

Richard Mille also partnered with Sebastien Loeb Racing in the LM P2 class with car No. 24. With solid performances in the No. 24 Nissan Oreca 03R, Vincent Capillaire, Jan Charouz and René Rast finished the race with an impressive eighth place overall and fourth in class.

Richard Mille Le Mans, Richard Mille 24 Heures du Mans, Richard Mille Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Richard Mille #67 Porsche, Richard Mille Eric Hélary
#67 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR wrapped in a Richard Mille graphic

Richard Mille Le Mans, Richard Mille 24 Heures du Mans, Richard Mille Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Richard Mille #67 Porsche, Richard Mille Eric Hélary

Richard Mille Le Mans, Richard Mille 24 Heures du Mans, Richard Mille Sebastien Loeb, Richard Mille #24 Morgan-Nissan Oreca 03R, #24 Morgan-Nissan Oreca 03R
#67 Oreca 03R finished fourth place at the 24 Heures du Mans

Rolex
Rolex has been the 24 Heures du Mans Official Timepiece since 2001.

Rolex Le Mans, Le Mans Official Timepiece, Rolex Le Mans Daytona
Specially engraved 24 Heures du Mans Rolex Cosmograph Daytona awarded to the overall winning team

Rolex Le Mans, Le Mans Official Timepiece, Rolex Le Mans Daytona

Rolex Le Mans, Le Mans Official Timepiece, Rolex Le Mans Daytona

TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer supported Dempsey Racing and Proton Competition in the GTE Am class. Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long and Joe Foster drove the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR to finish fifth in the GTE Am class. Christian Ried, Klaus Bachler and Khalid Al Qubaisi drove the No. 88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR.

TAG Heuer Le Mans, Dempsey Le Mans, TAG Heuer Dempsey, Dempsey Racing, #77 Porsche 911 RSR
Patrick Dempsey wearing his TAG Heuer Monaco chronograph at Le Mans

TAG Heuer Le Mans, Dempsey Le Mans, TAG Heuer Dempsey, Dempsey Racing, #77 Porsche 911 RSR
#77 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 RSR finishes fifth in the GTE Am class

TAG Heuer Le Mans, Dempsey Le Mans, TAG Heuer Dempsey, Dempsey Racing, #77 Porsche 911 RSR

TAG Heuer Le Mans, TAG Heuer Proton Competition, Proton Competition, #88 Porsche 911 RSR
Khaled Al Qubaisi driving #88 Porsche 911 RSR

TAG Heuer Le Mans, TAG Heuer Proton Competition, Proton Competition, #88 Porsche 911 RSR

See also Rolex Forum Scenes from 24 Heures du Mans 2014
Photos: Rolex and 24 Heures du Mans

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PHOTO REPORT: Jaeger-LeCoultre Novelties at SIHH 2014 by HOWARD PARR

The 2014 additions to the Jaeger-LeCoultre collection were once again received with much applause, as they continue to
showcase the design and technology that is their true forte

The most complex of the new pieces was the Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon

The watch is a mere 7.9mm in overall height, carries 8 patents, has 471 components, and includes such features as a retractable push-button actuator, a peripheral rotor, a flying tourbillon with inverted hairspring, and the brand’s patented attachment of the repeater gongs to the sapphire crystal itself. Most interesting is the mechanism, which eliminates the usual delay between the hours->quarter hours->minutes chiming segments, thereby reducing the overall actuation to a fraction of the typical duration.

This piece was in the display case only, so unfortunately we’ll have to wait until later in the year to get some live pics.
In the meantime, this video offers a display of this masterpiece

Since the 80th anniversary of the Reverso in 2011, Jaeger-LeCoultre has produced a number of Reverso models in Tribute to some of its earliest versions. This year we see the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin “Chocolate”, a rose gold homage to a Reverso from 1934.

And shown with its vintage inspiration

The Reverso “Chocolate” ($18,800) comes with both a dark brown crocodile strap, as well as a handmade cordovan strap from the famed Argentine polo boot maker, Casa Fagliano.

Continuing with the Reverso Ultra Thin, new for this year is a remarkable Grande Reverso Night & Day

Housed in the same case dimensions as the other Ultra Thin models (27.4mm by 46.8mm), JLC has incorporated its 967B caliber automatic movement into this classic design. Even with the automatic movement, the watch is only 9.14mm thick.

Available in both stainless steel ($9,750) and pink gold ($19,200)

With solid case back for personalization

The Master series also has several Ultra Thin models introduced this year, including the
Master Ultra Thin 1907, which was previously released as the Limited Edition Jubilee model
The 39mm watch was not available to be photographed, so here is the press pic of this “knife-edged” ultra thin marvel,
which measures all of 4.05mm in overall height

And a wrist shot of the Jubilee version in platinum

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The Master Ultra Thin “Grand Feu” with enamel dial
is also 39mm, houses the caliber 849, and will be photographed live in the coming months. It is only slightly thicker
than the 1907, at 5.04mm

The Master Ultra Thin Date ($16,700) comes in pink gold only, and measures 40mm x 7.4mm

The Master Ultra Thin is a stunning automatic with the caliber 896, and measures 38.5mm x 7.6mm

It too is available in both SS ($8500)

and pink gold ($15,200)

The sport segment of the Jaeger-LeCoultre collection receives one new addition in the
Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic ($15,600)

This piece is water resistant to 100m and has a power reserve of 65 hours.
It features a second time zone and Day/Night indicator

Finally, a couple of expansions in the Duometre line

The Unique Travel Time ($46,300), which was introduced last year as a Limited Edition in white gold, and now available in pink gold

The 42mm Duometre UTT showcases a jumping hour for the second time zone, a map of the world, and a dimensional globe with relation-to-GMT indication

With patented dual wing winding system

The Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire–previous winner of Timezone Watch of the Year–was introduced last year in a smaller, 40.5mm case size

This year, that same watch is now available in white gold, and with “grand feu” enamel dial ($62,500)

Thank you for reading the Jaeger-LeCoultre Novelties at SIHH 2014 photo report!

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The story of a watch: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Batman Forever

I thought I´d share a story of a watch I´d recently managed to acquire… It´s a bit of a rambling but just to show how much a watch can circulate among watch collectors…

It started its life as a limited edition nr 10 of 35 Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso watches produced to promote the movie «Batman Forever» starring Val Kilmer, back in 1995. There´s a nice summary of this limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Batman Forever earlier on Timezone by Richard Paige http://people.timezone.com/mdisher/RichardsFeature/jlcBatman/jlcBatman.html

 photo JLCbatman_zps955530dc.jpeg

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Batman Forever then surfaced in 1998 and was auctioned off at the charity of hope ball in Los Angeles, for Childhood Diabetes. It was then bought by actor Joe Pantoliano «Joey Pants» known for Ralph in «the Sopranos», the movie Matrix and many others.

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Joe turns out to be a true WIS and he and his Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Batman Forever watch was featured in WatchTime back in 2009 «Wiseguy, Watch guy» http://www.watchtime.at/archive/wt_2009_03/WT_2009_03_130.pdf

 photo watchtime2009_zps63556e11.jpg

Again the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Batman Forever was sold in 2009 at an charity auction, this time to support actor Pantoliano´s foundation «No kidding? Me too!» fighting the stigma of mental disease. It was bought by the editor of the Norwegian watch collectors forum «tidssonen»

… then the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Batman Forever as up for sale again in 2010 and although I was a keen buyer it was snapped up before me by another collector. This collector passed away this year, leaving the watch for his two sons and wife who then offered it to a vintage watch seller in Oslo who in his turn put it up for sale….

finally it was my turn…

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Last year, we saw the release of the Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph and Deep Sea Auto Chronograph

This year’s releases include two versions of a larger 44mm Deep Sea Chronograph (the Vintage is 40.5mm, the Auto is 42mm), with a case in Cermet, a ceramic alloy that makes the watch exceptionally light, while being more shock resistant and less prone to scratching.

The Boutique version of the watch (not shown here) has a patina’d look to the hands and indices, while this is the standard production model

The circular window below the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo turns half red/half white while the chronograph is running, fully red when it is stopped, and fully white when returned to zero.

Working from the dial inferences of the Reverso Tribute to 1931 model in WG (which shares this same rectangular sub-seconds subdial we see for this year a new Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface

Over 1mm thinner than the previous Duo, with new dial design elements, this is a stunning piece offered in pink gold

…as well as in stainless steel

With second time zone featured on the reverse side, this watch features two robust calibers running in opposite directions.

Notice also how the case pusher (for second time zone) is now rounded so it better integrates into the case.

The 200-piece boutique-only edition of the Duoface features a rich blue dial that must be seen in person. The reverse face is in white and the case is also in stainless steel. The watch comes with both a crocodile and a Casa Fagliano strap.

With the simplest purity, we find the new Master Ultra Thin 41

…as in 41mm Ultra Thin automatic

A face-lifted Master Calendar, the biggest selling model in the Master Control line

Sharing the same movement as the Tourbillon that won which won the first “International Chronometry Competition” in 2009, here is the new Master Dualtime Tourbillon

Which jumps from the 15th to 16th of the month so the view of the tourbillon is never obscured.

Setting the record for longest model name is the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique a Quantieme Perpetuel Jubilee

In honor of the 180th Anniversary of Jaeger-LeCoultre, we see the Jubilee celebrated in this Limited Edition of 180 pieces.

And for the live pics!

The rotor carries the image of the 1889 Gold Medal won by the brand in Paris

One of my favorites from the entire show, the Ladies Rendez-Vous Celestial, with rotating celestial sky, and personal “rendez-vous” alarm

With new caliber 809

37.5mm, White Gold

And one of the most exciting releases in years…the world’s thinnest manual wind wristwatch in terms of overall height – the Master Ultra Thin Jubilee

Thin enough?

A Limited Edition of 880 pieces, 39mm case, in Extra White Platinum. Price anticipated at around 13500 Euros, but your retailer or JLC Boutique will confirm. The movement is only 1.85mm thin!

Also assembled in the Grande Complications department, due to the difficulty in the task. This Ultra Thin is rated to 50mm water resistance, which necessitated the solid caseback, as the parts are so thin. In fact you’re looking at a knife edge case, which is misleading because the bezel mates directly with the caseback. In other words, there is no case!

Stunning piece!

And finally, the newest edition to the Gyrotourbillon line, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3, a flying tourbillon with a single-pusher, chronograph digital minute counter

Which can be purchased as a 3-watch Jubilee set

Which comes with a uniquely designed deployment with slider, in order to gain that perfect fit on the wrist

With Jaeger-LeCoultre logo on the clasp

The dial has two distinct axis planes, with the vertical line drawing the timekeeping and tourbillon points of center slightly to the right of middle

Truly a breathtaking masterpiece!

Hope you enjoyed these, and a big thank you to everyone at Jaeger-LeCoultre for providing the novelties and the information to go with them!

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I think I could live with this:

Edwin

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A Video Conversation with Jérôme Lambert, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre

A video conversation in November 2012 by Jessica

Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Jérôme Lambert sat down with TimeZone to discuss the new JLC boutiques opening this year in the U.S., including South Coast Plaza that opened this week, along with other topics specific to watchmaking. Amongst the subjects covered are the Golden Rule of design, the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon, the impact of innovation on affordability, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s manufacturing of movements for other brands, as well as some comments about the watch on his wrist.


Jerome Lambert, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre


The third U.S. Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique opened this week at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California

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Viva México: the 2012 SIAR Watch Fair

Howard Parr

7 October 2012

Earlier this week, I went to the SIAR (Salon Internacional Alta Relojeria) in Mexico City. This was the 6th Edition of the watch fair, and included the most exhibitors yet…44 brands!

Most of the brands had scheduled presentations throughout the show, and I was asked to moderate the presentation from Audemars Piguet. Company board member (and founding family descendant) Olivier Audemars came from Switzerland along with Chief Artistic Director (a/k/a head of AP’s watch and branding design) Octavio Garcia. Rather than give a talk, they preferred a more relaxed and informal open interview, as it were, so I was asked to facilitate this. More on the presentation can be found on the AP forum HERE

First off, let me just say that anyone who can attend the SIAR Watch Fair really ought to go. The intimate Salon is held on two floors of the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City. Stay there, enjoy the overwhelming hospitality of the staff, and some of the world’s finest watch browsing is literally an elevator ride from your room.


The brand executives at the opening of the Salon

I made a point of visiting every manufacturer several times, and they were universally jubilant about the SIAR, with one brand exec going so far as to say it is one of his favorite watch fairs in the world. Why? “Because every request in terms of our setup is accommodated. And because the public is so knowledgeable and engaged.”

*And it should be noted that all entrance fees for the fair are donated to the Red Cross.

Some brands shared suites, others created a virtual brand boutique on their own. Two entire floors of the hotel were transformed into one very intimate setting. Want to speak with Richard Mille? Right through that door. Mssr. DeWitt himself? Why not? Olivier Audemars? He’s here too. The worldwide head of Marketing for Jaeger-LeCoultre? For Vacheron Constantin? For MB&F? Yes, yes, and yes…all were in attendance. And all primed for a conversation.

And with the extraordinary history and culture of Mexico City surrounding you, a full week’s visit is a must!

The press came from all over Latin America, and were nothing short of voracious in their approach to the many interviews conducted throughout the week. Numerous interviews a day with the various brands, and you couldn’t tell the writer from the WIS, because whether from Vogue, Esquire or a watch-specific magazine, they were first and foremost passionate about watches.

I had the wonderful opportunity to dine with quite a few of the press, and none appeared to be there for a job. Sure, they were working. All day, every day. But what came through most is that they were simply head over heels for watches.

In fact, after dinner I watched as six journalists had their 40th Anniversary Royal Oak books autographed by AP’s lead designer Octavio Garcia, who sketched a Royal Oak in each of their books. Octavio’s parents hailed from Mexico, so he was welcomed at the fair as a star returning home.

Throughout the week, the SIAR Watch Fair showed why it is such a powerful fair, and why Latin America has become so important to the many brands in attendance. First and foremost, watches sell BIG in Latin America. And big watches–and we’re talking perpetuals and Grande Complications–sell BIG in Latin America. From Mexico to Argentina, and all countries in between, watches are extremely popular.

Second–and this is why you ought to think about attending next year–the SIAR shined specifically because of what was missing from the week. It took me a couple of days to figure out what it was.

There was absolutely no sign of “been there, done that” jadedness that is an almost guaranteed foe if you’re in this hobby long enough. At some point, something is bound to trip you up. A brand is too fashion-y, you hit a blip in service, fancy events and ambassadors leave you wary of the value of the watches, too few independent brands, they’re only in it for the money, watches are too big and gaudy, and so on.

These truths aren’t universal. Hell, they aren’t even truths. But they live like truths for us. Potentially insurmountable walls, when suddenly the purity of our endeavor is gone, watches are no longer the person we married, and we fight cynicism with everything we’ve got. We change brands, we buy a new watch, we take a break…whatever we can muster to try and regain the love for the tic-toc we so deeply fell in love with years earlier. Just what can we do when we become resigned with all of this?

2013, you go to Mexico. That’s what you do. Because if you want to be fully immersed in everything you fell in love with over watches, the SIAR Salon is for you.


The Courtyard (image by Four Seasons, Mexico D.F.)

Collectors and watch enthusiasts came from all over Latin America to enjoy this intimate experience. They were curious, almost anxiously so. They couldn’t get enough of the watches and the conversation about them.

More good news for the future: if you’re one who fears the cell phone will kill any chance of the next generation wearing watches, the SIAR is for you. Many children came to the Fair, sporting a vintage Tag or Omega, or standing eye-level with the watchmaker’s bench as they were shown the inner workings of a Minute Repeater

…or a loupe view of a skeleton.

There were young company execs looking for the next tourbillon, others attending a Master watchmaking class from Jaeger-LeCoultre, and many of them women.

If anything was clear this past week, it was that service and family come first in Mexico. And that was the prevailing feeling at the SIAR. You weren’t coming to a watch fair. You were attending a family reunion, and the theme was watches.

So, let’s get to them.

Despite having taken well over 1000 watch images of every brand present, some of the suites were just too problematic for pictures. So I’ve spared the glare, and dumped those too harsh to post.

That said, here you are…

AP’s suite re-created the theme of its 40th Anniversary Royal Oak Exhibition, which makes the final stop of its world tour this week in Singapore.

And an original Royal Oak from the AP Museum

Cartier

Vacheron Constantin

Montblanc

MB&F

De Bethune

A. Lange & Sohne

Urwerk

Richard Mille

Franc Vila

Jaeger-LeCoultre

LUNCH TIME!

Hop in the sponsor’s car…

Or maybe just take the elevator downstairs for some fresh tacos…

Will you look what time it is?!

Back to it…

Concord

Dewitt

Piaget

Zenith

One of my favorites from the show. A new ladies, cushion watch from Zenith. Diamonds so elegantly tucked into the corners of the case only.

Hublot

Girard-Perregaux

I visited with Mike Margolis for quite a while. Thanks for opening the cases, Mike. It’s trouble trying to shoot all of these pieces from outside the glass.

Beautifully adorning Mr. Margolis’s wrist…

And so it is written…

Mexico and the 2013 Salon Internacional Alta Relojeria…VAMOS!!!

Congratulations to AP on their award for the 40th Anniversary Royal Oak.

And thank you for including me this week at the amazing SIAR Watch Fair.

Hope you all enjoyed the Fair!

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At this year’s SIHH watch fair in January, we were introduced to the Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph, a 2-register chrono with the heirloom details we’ve come to see on the Deep Sea Alarm models, as well as the Grande Reverso Tribute to 1931 US Edition.

40.5mm case–like the Deep Sea Alarm–plexi crystal, a patina’d tone…a yesteryear look in a watch of today.

The watch was announced to a bevy of rave comments, along with a smattering of suggestions for those “nearly there”: a rotating bezel, a sapphire crystal, and the trappings of a true diver. Little did they know, it was just around the corner.

Just last month, Jaeger-LeCoultre announced the Deep Sea Auto Chronograph, and this week I had the chance to spend some time with one.

The Deep Sea Auto is a 3-register chrono, complies with all ISO 6425 standards for Dive watches, is at 42mm slightly larger than the Vintage Chrono, has a sapphire crystal, and a bezel that turns with the eminent sensation of hand winding a buttery smooth movement.

Beautifully curved lugs that wrap the wrist for an all-day comfort

The clarity of the diver is accentuated by the lumed hands and markers. It shares some of the vintage aesthetic of its counterpart, but stands firmly as a forward launch in design.

The hands, the case, they’re as classic as the brand comes.

And the 758 movement with its 65-hour power reserve as contemporary as you would expect. The bonus feature? A chrono indicator window which at half red/half white indicates the chronograph is activated.

When the chronograph is inactive, the window will read all white. When the chrono is stopped, the window is fully red, as a visual trigger to read the time elapsed. Stop the chrono and start it again, and the indicator jumps once more to half red/half white. Pretty trick when you see it in action.

The watch is frankly as versatile as any, and will certainly become the daily wearer for many.

With a suit? Why not?

42mm is a reserved confidence for today’s sport watch.

Simple from the back, the engraved diver signaling the limits of use.

Vintage?

Modern?

Why not a dash of both?

The Deep Sea Auto Chronograph will be available this fall, and at $10,800 Jaeger-LeCoultre has done it again. Exquisite movement manufacturing powering a veritable tool watch that can be worn proudly at the office.

It’s a staple timepiece that will gratify many a watch lover at the next step in their collector path.

A special thank you to JLC for making the watch available so I could bring it to you.

Hope you enjoyed that!

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