By Harlan Chapman-Green
Some consider this to be the greatest watch company of all time and you’d definitely have to give it some credit. For me, Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of my personal favourites. So, here today I’m going to present you with my five favourite watches from JLC, there’s a couple that you might not see elsewhere as well, making this an insight into my personal tastes in watches. Without further ado, here’s my personal pick of the JLC bunch. Here are my Top 5 wristwatches from Jaeger-LeCoultre.
5. Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique Quantième Perpétuel
This is one that I’ve come across before in my travels around the various boutiques and authorised dealers. What impresses me with this piece is how everything fits well together on the dial, it looks like each subdial and indicator is just designed to be in that particular spot. It’s hard to describe one’s feelings about watches on some occasions, but this really speaks to me. The elegant rotor under the caseback serves to accentuate the Calibre 985 rather than obscure it. What I’m not so sure on is the stepped dial, yes there is a reason it’s there but it looks a little odd. Looking past that this watch comes in some cool metal and dial options, I particularly like the blue dial with white gold version.
4. Duomètre Quantième Lunaire
The Duomètre range of watches sets itself as a method of providing extraordinary details in their watches for very reasonable prices. They’re most known for their Lange 1 style dial spacing and the ‘dual wing’ style movement design using twin barrels. The watch uses a separate components to power the complications that are connected only by the escapement. German silver movements add in to the classy looks of this one. My favourite has to be the moonphase version, known as Quantième Lunaire because of the rotary date and the gorgeous moonphase. We all love the moonphase, it’s one of the most romantic complications out there and the Duomètre is one of the best watches to place it.
3. Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication Ref. JLQ5023402
This is one I’ve definitely had hands-on with before, I even wrote about eons ago on the website. I still remember that lovely tourbillon watch with minute repeater and celestial dial. Some would find the baguette diamonds on the bezel a little garish (if not, there’s a bracelet version covered in diamonds) but I think they work rather well here. With JLC’s theme for 2015-2016 being focused on the celestial bodies above us, I think they add a little romantic touch to the watch. Of course, 8 carats of diamonds on the watch don’t mean much if there’s nothing going on inside, so it’s lucky that this isn’t the case! The dial moves around as time passes on, the movement (made of 527 parts) itself also comprises of a clear minute repeater. If you happen to have the cash needed lying around down the end of the sofa or in a jar, you might just fall in love with this one.
2. Reverso Classic Large Duoface Stainless Steel
The Reverso is the absolute classic when it comes to watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre. You think of Bentley and imagine a big swoopy luxury machine with oodles of torque and more veneer than Blenheim Palace. You think of New Zealand and see Auckland and it’s amazing waterside views and very reasonable prices when you think about it. Look to Jaeger-LeCoultre and the reversible watch immediately springs to mind. It’s one of those that will get your friends into watches, hand it to them and show the reverse technique, exposing another dial in this case. Let them play around with it for five minutes or so and you’ll probably have a budding enthusiast. I love the twin dials of this one, while the original had a solid caseback the functionality of the Duoface is undeniable.
1. Master Compressor Extreme LAB II Ref. 203T541
The complete opposite of what you’d expect from Jaeger-LeCoultre is exactly the reason this one if my personal favourite watch from the company. It’s also one of the very few watches made of titanium that I like wearing, I feel it is usually too light but on this it’s really not. Aside from the movement which I’ll touch on in a minute, the aesthetics of the watch are pretty unique with black ceramic and blue dotted here and there on the watch, the diagonal grips on some parts coupled with the skeleton dial give it a sublime industrial look that’s definitely unique. The Calibre 780 movement inside is automatically powered, made of 569 parts with a 60 hour power reserve. The Extreme LAB II watch is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s foray into the science of advanced metallurgy and movement construction. For more info, please visit jaeger-lecoultre.com