Tag Archives: jaeger

Is Green The New Blue? No, And It Never Will Be

There are lots of green watches this year. For example JLC has launched a green Reverso, which retails at £7200 and has a green strap option too. Then there’s that weird Rolex palm tree thing. Hmmm, let’s move on.

Thing is, the green Reverso works well because this is a physically small watch, designed back in the days when gents wore little 32mm case things because you stood a good chance of being hit by a fascist/communist goon, industrial machinery etc so it made sense to keep an expensive Swiss watch up your sleeve. That is how wristwatches became popular, because getting a pocket watch out in the trenches of WW1 was a bad move.

So yes, we love the Reverso in its green colours. But it looks handsome in blue as well – and blue is THE most popular dial colour in gents watches.

Other green dial watches lauched recently include the 18ct gold Tudor Black Bay 58, the Patek Nautilus in olive green, plus three AP Royal Oak variants all featuring green. The tourbillon Royal Oak is actually very 1960S Time Tunnel, with its strange, almost psydelic swirling green pattern. Crazy ass watch as about $180,000 so we expect to see Floyd Maywether sporting this one very soon.

It’s no Submariner Hulk, is it?

But when you look at the Tudor 58 in green, it’s kinda in-your-face and although the Rolex Sub Hulk is a very collectable watch, we cannot think of another all-green wristwatch that carries the same cred when it comes to watch collecting, pre-owned shops and pawnbrokers. Seriously, when was the last time you stuck your nose onto a jewellers shop window and lusted after a green watch?

Yes, we can sympathise with fans of the IWC Big Pilot 43, because the 2021 model with green dial looks the part, no question. It’s probably fair to say that the blue version looks equally stunning but we bet you £50 that when it is time to sell you will get about £500 less for the green dial version, maybe £1000 less. They just don’t sell and as I worked in a pawnbrokers for two years and a jewellers for five years, I know what sells.

It’s this in a nutshell; blue dial gents watches, followed by black dials, and then maybe a white dial if the lume/hands/numbers combo is sharp and clean. Cheap Accurist or expensive Omega. Blue dials win, all day long.

 

Jaeger LeCoultre’s 21st Century Automaton

Let’s not hold back, Jaeger LeCoultre has pulled off a bit of technical tour-de-force with this new four fasces – yep  count `em – masterpiece of timekeeping. The Reverso is of course a legendary watch for the JLC brand, but they’ve definitely raised their game with this new model. You like complications right? Well this one has 11 complications, including a tiny pair of hammer repeaters, just for that authentic mantelpiece clock effect. There is a tourbillon too, naturally.

Inside the watch there are two faces showing the transit of the moon in Northern and Southern hemispheres, how close or distant it is from the earth and all that detailed astro tracking that stargazers love. It is a real showcase of watchmaking art and it should be for a cool 1.35m euros. Only 10 examples are being produced.

See the video below for more details on the story of this creation by Jaeger LeCoultre;

 

There is a great deal of inspiration from timepieces like the astrological clock in Prague at play here too, or perhaps the fabled automatons popular with European aristocrats back in the 18th century. The age of enlightment was a time when machines seem to offer mankind a chance to build new worlds, as well as observe and understand our planetery system in a new way, unfettered by religion. There is something of that radicalism in JLC’s new Reverso masterpiece, as it marries the balletic science of an orrery with a slimline, art-deco case that reminds me of a psalter. That was a medieval, decorated prayer book full of psalms by the way, a symbol of wealth and power in a less enlightened era.

There is a fascination with intricate, miniature engineering for its own sake writ large across this watch, despite its tiny proportions. What JLC are doing is gift-wrapping centuries of watchmaking craft into one handy portrait, a Mona Lisa that moves – and chimes. Clever stuff.

JLC has really created something wonderful for its own sake with the 4-faced Reverso Hybris Mecanica. At this price level it is the preserve of millionaires and princes yes, but just as Ferrari or Bugatti push the envelope in terms of engineering, watch brands sometimes need to produce a world first to excite the market, to make enthusiasts catch their breath now and then. If the new watch market consists of an endless remix of the technology of the past, then watch manufacturing begins to die, and consumers will drift away from mechanical watches in boredom.

So hats off to JLC. You just launched the F40, the Hawker Harrier, the Fender Strat or the Saturn V rocket. It really is unique and it kind of makes the Rolex Datejust with its palm tree green dial look a bit….well, let’s be blunt, like a lazy marketing ploy.

New JLC Polaris Mariner Date & Memovox Launched: Prices & Specs

Jaeger le Coultre have updated their Polaris range with the Mariner Date & Memovox models, which retails for £9900 and £15,800 respectively in the UK.

There’s no shame in choosing the Date version of the Mariner at ten grand of course. It’s a class act, as you’d expect, with a 42mm steel case, housing the Cal 899 in-house movement. That in-house movement really is the USP with JLC, you are buying a watch that isn’t sharing its Valjoux 7750 or ETA 2824 engine with other watches – many of which may well be cheaper. Then there’s the beautiful dial, which is not just blue, but has a deep blue, sunray finish, lacquered dial, which looks stunning in the press photos. OK, it would look more stunning on my wrist, but I don’t have a spare 10K floating about right now.

Mariner Date variant has an orange line on the rehaut crown for safety.

Assuming you are flush, why should you buy this JLC rather than say a Rolex Sub? Good question. Firstly, because you want to be different from the crowd. Yes, the Rolex will probably make you money, and the JLC will not – pre-owned market demand is weak compared to Rolex Subs/GMTs. So it’s about the beauty of the piece, its luxury feel and the unmistakeable Swiss style. This is a very fine dress watch, with a classic two-crown case design, so you can use the top winder to set the dive time, assuming you wish to dive with the Polaris Mariner. Yes, it can dive to 300m and the markers and hands have super-lume for extra visibility – but is this a rival to a Blancpain 50 Fathoms? Nope, we don’t think so.

Why? Just look at it. It’s a sleek, polished and elegant evening out type of watch. The steel bracelet gives it that dress watch vibe, and it also lacks the big, two-colour bezel ring that many dive watches have. This looks like a watch you would wear with a designer label suit, rather that a wetsuit.

Need to upgrade? Then try the Polaris Mariner Memovox, which has the Cal 956 movement inside, 300m depth, plus the alarm function which means an extra crown on the case. It’s also extra cash at £15,800 and has 45 hours of reserve compared to 70 hours on the Mariner Date, 2-crown model.

If you love the style of the Polaris, and want to save money because you ARE on the GMT II waiting list, then the standard Automatic model has 100m depth rating, same blue dial, twin crown case design and its £7000, so a bit of a bragain by comparison. Just saying.

More at the JLC website.

 

Sir Stirling Moss JLC Watch & Automobilia Sale

Silverstone Auctions are proud to introduce a unique and exceptional collection of personal items belonging to the late Sir Stirling Moss OBE, complemented by a selection of limited-edition collectables and automobilia from the British racing icon.

The collection forms part of Silverstone Auctions final sale of 2020, The NEC Classic Live Online Auction, which will take place on the 13 and 14 November. It features a number of significant, personal items which are offered from a close personal friend of the motorsport legend, and amazingly, are all offered without reserve.

The solid gold, twin bar watch band that Stirling personally designed and had made in 1954 is perhaps one of the most recognisable items in the collection. Engraved with his initials S.M, it was designed to be interchangeable with different watches and to be easily cleaned after each race. Worn constantly over a 38-year period, it was on Stirling’s wrist for so many memorable moments including three victories in the Monaco Grand Prix and his victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia. The watch that was fitted to the band at the time of gifting to the vendor is a 1956 Gold Jaeger LeCoultre alarm watch and is simply a wonderful piece of Sir Stirling Moss history.

In the 1970’s Stirling parted with most of his trophies to an American collector. However, in 2010 the vendor of this collection discovered one of them at Pebble Beach, the 1951 Daily Express Tourist Trophy which Stirling had won at Silverstone, and as such brought it home. The trophy has been hand-signed by Stirling and included as part of the sale is a photo of him doing so, as is a race programme from the day he won it.

Nick Whale, Silverstone Auctions Managing Director commented, “It is an honour to offer such a unique and remarkable selection of items that were part of the late, great Sir Stirling Moss’ life. He was a true racing icon, having participated in over 500 races, these personal items represent a significant piece of his history. Accompanying the personal articles are a number of limited-edition and signed memorabilia items which complement the collection, with there being 50 Lots overall”.

The completely unique items in the collection also include one of just four race helmets that Sir Stirling wore during his professional racing drive career. Of those four helmets, two were manufactured by Herbert Johnson Ltd. and this is one of two helmets that were built for him by Patey Helmets. Circa 1958, it was worn both in period and occasionally until 2007, totalling a phenomenal 49 years ownership.

An item that was from the very end of Sir Stirling’s career is the race suit he wore on the day he retired. Worn in 2011 at Le Mans whilst racing his newly restored Porsche, it was after qualifying that he announced his retirement from 60 years of incredible racing. A book with images of him wearing the suit will accompany it as part of the sale.

The Sir Stirling Moss OBE Collection will be offered on Saturday 14 November at 12:00 GMT, you can view the collection in full on the Silverstone Auctions website here. To register to bid in the sale, contact Silverstone Auctions on 01926 691141 or email bid@silverstoneauctions.com. Bidding will be available by phone, online or via commission on the day.

New JLC Reverso One Is an Art Deco Masterpiece

The Reverso is a true classic watch design. The novelty of flipping the watch had a practical aspect back in the 30s of course, when it was wise to protect a beautiful watch from the smog, dirt and general hard knocks of an analogue era. Here’s the latest from the Jaeger le Coultre press office;

The new Reverso One ladies’ watch. Inspired by the first elongated models that were so popular in the 1930s, this new feminine expression of the Reverso One reveals itself. With its rectangular case, iconic gadroons, (nope, we don’t know what gadroons are either – Ed) elegant Arabic numerals, Dauphine hands, and two rows of brilliant-cut diamonds surrounding its lacquered dial, it offers signature Jaeger-LeCoultre Art Deco style.

Inside there is a battery powered, quartz movement, which also features 43 jewels. You don’t need them in a battery movement, but JLC are giving you them anyway. It’s a beautifully made piece of jewellery as much as it is a watch of course. The perfect gift for some ladies costs just under £4800 and frankly, we advise that you check that your beloved has actually heard of JLC before buying one. She may well prefer a Rolex.

Why? Because she can show off a Rolex, or a Cartier, to her friends. But a JLC sadly means very little to most dedicated followers of fashion, it is instead, a watch brand for watch movement aficianados. Different thing altogether.

More here.

 

Sheer Luxury: New JLC Polaris Mariner & Memovox

Jaeger le Coultre launched two new models this week, the Polaris Mariner and Polaris Memovox. Both feature stunning blue dials and old school diving ability at 300 metres.

The Memovox is the more expensive of the pair, at just under 16K UK RRP. You get a beautiful build quality, unique movement, Super Luminova markings, plus that dazzling see-thru caseback. The movement rotor is a skeleton type, with two cut-out sections, so you can see more detail on the in-house Cal 956AA movement, housed inside a 42mm case. That is arguably the perfect sized case for many watch fans, not too big, not too small.

The lume is a bright, light blue by the way, so Rolex have really started a trend with their pastel shade lume hands and hour markers.

The Polaris Mariner is cheaper at a fraction under ten grand sterling, again with a 42mm case, see-thru caseback and chrono functions. Inside there is the Cal899, 32 jewel movement, running at 28,800vph. The date window sets this one apart and we love the orange arrow at the 12 noon position, plus the orange warning strip of colour on the Rehaut bezel button at 2pm. So if you do go diving, you use this bezel ring to click stop a given number of minutes underwater, including the time taken to decompress as you rise up slowly.

Most buyers won’t go diving with this JLC watch, or the Polaris Memovox  on their wrist and who can blame them? Both are too perfect in all their details, showpiece watches – like  a Rolex Submariner – that says to the world, `Hey, I’ve made it.’

Go diving in a Baltic, Zelos, Seiko Prospex, Draken, Enosken or Oris Sixty-Five instead. Save your JLC for a day at the races or a wedding reception

 

Jaeger le Coultre Master Ultra Thin – Kingsman Edition

The Kingsman movie franchise has proved fairly successful, although your writer finds it a bit too comic book. But there’s no denying that the Kingsman ballet-level fights are enlivened by some dashing fashion details.

Jaeger-LeCoultre have teamed up with the studio to create a watch that is very much old school, Savile Row suit. The sort of timepiece that Colin Firth would recommend you purchase over a single malt down at the club perhaps.

It’s powered by the JLC calibre 849 hand-wound movement, housed in an 18-karat rose gold case – notice the etchings on the back, signifying this is a limited run of 100 pieces. Part of the ‘Master Ultra Thin’ collection, this ‘Knife’ edition features a relocated crown nestled between the top lugs, and has a discreet cutout in the alligator strap.

Having the winding crown at 12 o’clock sets this watch apart, but is it that practical? Price is just under £27,000, so yeah…definitely one for the gentleman spy with an Amex Gold Card and MI6 luncheon vouchers. More at the official JLC site here.

JLC 101 Jewellery Watch is A Technical Masterpiece

Why does it matter that JLC has released two extra models to its Cal 101 range? Simple really, it shows that technological brilliance for its own sake, still holds sway at the Swiss horologist, and long may it continue we say.

Originally conceived and developed for jewellery watches and introduced in 1929 by La Grande Maison, Calibre 101 revolutionised feminine watchmaking – its minuscule size and baguette shape offering new realms of aesthetic freedom to designers.

At 14mm long, less than 5mm wide and weighing barely one gram, the tiny, hand-wound calibre remains the smallest mechanical movement in the world to this day.

Yes we are talking watches that blend into high end jewellery, like sparkling chameleons and some might say it’s just bling for the sake of it, and others may point out that is difficult to tell the actual time. Fair point, but there is something – dare we say it – Japanese about this devotion to making something so small and precise, for its own sake.

cal 101 JLC movement
Undeniably a work of genius, imagine trying to re-assemble this movement after a clean.

The watch is housed inside a torque style, twisted bangle and a more conventional clip-on cuff type bangle, packed with diamonds in both cases. This is millionaire stuff of course, with 904 diamonds, 20m carat weight in total. Price? Come on, why bother asking – most of us will never afford it.

It’s jewellery first and a watch second, but a tech tour-de-force for all that.

 

JLC Master Grande Tradition Cal 945 is The Sky At Night

We always have time here for genius engineering in watchmaking. That’s why we can’t stop looking at the detail photos of the latest Jaeger le Coultre. Complications, are like mountains – they’re just there. Here’s the word from JLC;

The new Master Grande Tradition Calibre 945 embodies Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s mastery of astronomical complications in its celestial vault complication. In order to depicts a stunning sky-chart of the Northern Hemisphere night sky as seen from the 46th parallel – the latitude of Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s home, Jaeger‑LeCoultre talented watchmakers have invented a complex mechanism based on the sidereal day.

Slightly shorter than a solar day (on which we base civil timekeeping), a sidereal day is based on Earth’s rotation measured relative to the ‘fixed’ stars, which takes precisely 23 h, 56 min and 4.1 seconds. The sidereal day is used by astronomers to follow the apparent movement of the stars across the night sky.

Ensuring the utmost precision of the watch, the Orbital Flying Tourbillon makes a complete, anti-clockwise circuit of the dial in one sidereal day.

Check the video out;

What’s On: Gardiner Houlgate Watch Auction, Wednesday June 24th

Gardiner Houlgate have another watch auction coming up this week. Lots include the ever popular Omega Seamaster and Constellation models, Rolex Oyster, Breitling Navitimer models, plus a pair of JLC bumper automatics, one of which has an 18ct gold case. We love the steel case example with the red power reserve indicator though – more wearable watch some might say.

We spotted a very nice example of the Panerai Luminor with PVD coated case, estimate about 4K on that one. If you like military watches the Navy issue Lemania, with stopwatch button/flyback on the case at the 2pm position is an interesting watch, that looks very genuine with patina, and fading on the original radiactive lume too. Estimate is about 1500-1800 on that one.

Military royal navy 1940s lemania watch

There’s an RAF Hamilton watch as well, classic looks, very clean movement inside the signed case and you probably won’t lose money if you can buy that one for £700 or so.
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