Thursday, 01 October 2015 12:24

Watches & Wonders 2015

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Clive Owen wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time Clive Owen wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time Picture by Marcel Hartman

Renowned for its horological mastery and its creative talent, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced an original collection at this year's fine watch fair in Hong Kong, Watches and Wonders. The Geophysic® collection has  a pure, uncluttered design, driven by a new Haute Horlogerie calibre encapsulating the inventive spirit of the Manufacture.

 The first glance reveals a clean-cut design that is the epitome of elegance and equilibrium. Each model in the Geophysic® line features several layers of meaning. It gradually unleashes a powerful and innovative horological content expressed through classic characteristics.This refined and contemporary creation asserts its masculine nature in a number of subtle ways.

The collection is named after a watch that belongs both to universal history and to the heritage of the Manufacture. In 1958, the International Geophysical Year, Jaeger-LeCoultre created a chronometer for scientists on mission. Capable of withstanding the magnetic fields of the North Pole while losing nothing of its formidable precision, its overriding characteristic wasextreme resistance.

The Grande Maison is now choosing to revive this legendary name in two models blending aesthetic elegance, technical sophistication and 21st century user friendliness: the Geophysic® True Second® and the Geophysic® Universal Time.

 Nothing that Jaeger-LeCoultre does is governed by exclusively external considerations. This is demonstrated by the case of the Geophysic® True Second®watch which measures exactly 39.6 millimetres, an elegant and reassuring diameter confirming its cultural roots in the field of Haute Horlogerie, and the choice of which was determined by a quest to find the perfect size enabling the watch to express perfect harmony.

Geophysic® explores the subtle nuances of contemporary classicism, reinforced by the traditional hands reflectingthe codes of the Vallée de Joux as well as the linear hour-markers.

The design of the case in turn reveals another facet of its personality through finishes worthy of the most precious Jaeger-LeCoultre models.

The lugs do not meet the case middle with a gentle curve, but rather with a decisive angle expressing strength and confidence. Their sides are polished to accentuate their sleek silhouette. In becoming better acquainted with the watch, the observer realises that its bezel slightly overlaps a tiny part of the case and lugs, thereby creating an extremely pure overall aesthetic.

The case-back is screwed in, like that of the 1958 model, so as to ensure greater water resistance. This flowing visual effect is enhanced by the fact that the eye does not linger on any screws, while the watch featuresthe inherent reliability of a system traditionally used to equip diver’s watches.

Finally, the case middle also echoes the inspirational original with its extremely dynamic Super-Luminova®*dots that enable easy read-off even in the dark. The balanced, refined and unostentatious tone is set in subtle touches, leaving plenty of scope for the reactions that this exceptional watch unfailingly provokes.

 The movements driving the Geophysic® collection, automaticJaeger-LeCoultre Calibres 770 and 772, are synonymous with high precision and mechanical beauty. These calibres called upon the talents of the most highly specialised engineers of the Research & Development division within the Manufacture. The strength of their expertise and their imagination drives their authentic capacity for innovation.

 The latter is in this instance expressed by an atypical balance wheel featuring a non-circular configuration that required lengthy research in order to reduce air friction. Named the Gyrolab®, this device was initially developed in a laboratory version back in 2007 to equip the Master Compressor Extreme Lab 1 watch. It took eight years to transition from this confidential version to one that could be incorporated into an entire watch line. Geophysic® is the first collection to enjoy the full benefits of this key breakthrough and its determining influence on the precision of the watch.

 This precision is also expressed by the true secondssystem that causes the seconds hand to move forwards while “beating the second”, meaning by performing a jump every second. This is no ordinary feat for a mechanical movement, and one that does not disturb the smooth running of the watch. True seconds mechanism involves an extremely sophisticated construction whose effectiveness is expressed on the dial by a pleasantly rhythmical reading of the seconds. This specific expertise, which has been mastered by the Maison since the 19th century, testifies to the authentic instrument-worthy nature of the Geophysic®.

 For Jaeger-LeCoultre, mechanical performance is meaningless if it is not matched by beauty. At first glance, the calibre reveals its relationship to the characteristic line of automatic movements from the Grande Maison. The gaze then becomes aware of the more generous volumes, and of the powerful proportions of the bridges. These broad surfaces provide ample space for a forceful interpretation of the Côtes de Genève motif. The infinite time, energy and patience devoted to the finishes of the Geophysic® collection are epitomised in the way this calibre catches the light.

 The remarkablecalibres driving the Geophysic® line are the first to feature an oscillating weight – crafted from a single block of solid gold – bearing the ‘anchor’ motif (itself echoing the shape of a escapement lever) that is also the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo. Strategically cut out and more open than a classic weight, it enables the eye to reconstruct the movement that it generously reveals in the course of its rotations.

 These calibres exude a resolutely technical aura, much like a car engine built to ensure optimal performance. They deliver a degree of reliability and precision certified by the rigorous “1000 Hours Control” that Jaeger-LeCoultre is the only Manufacture to implement. Despite the sophisticated nature of these mechanisms, they are both functional and easily adjustable by merely positioning the crown. Here, Jaeger-LeCoultre transposes the philosophy of the namesake historical model into a resolutely contemporary watch.

 The Geophysic®True Second® radiates the kind of stage presence that is the exclusive preserve of great classics.

Its finely grained dial lends added texture and further accentuates the readability of the information provided. The hands and hour-markers stand out clearly against their backdrop.

The vibrant, graphic Geophysic®True Second®watch comes in steel or pink gold versions, and is adjusted in an extremely intuitive manner. The crown in its neutral position winds the movement, while position 1 serves to set the jumping hours corresponding to the city where the wearer is currently located, as well as the date, and position 2 controls the hours and minutes. The Geophysic® is in all respects an ideal companion for those who are frequently on the move.

The world map on the face of the Geophysic® Universal Time, equipped with Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 772, exercises an almost hypnotic fascination. So distant and yet so close, the continents stretch out like an open travel invitation. The sea is depicted by subtly graded lacquered shades of blue, while the engraved continents are graced with a magnificent sunburst finish. The endlessly admirable planisphere remains in a fixed position, which means it can host the hour-markers. The compellingGeophysic® Universal Time enables simultaneous readings of the time in all 24 time zones by means of its mobile disc.

The city disc with its perfectly readable names is fixed so as to help users get their bearings. The eye soon becomes accustomed to seeing London at 6 o’clock and Hong Kong at 2 o’clock. Epitomising an absolute determination to promote simplification, the time is adjusted via the crown and no longer with a pushbutton. Oncethe universal time has been set, there is no need to adjust it while crisscrossing the world. Travellers need only adjust their own time. Local time is automatically adjusted simply by moving the hour hand forwards or backwards, independently of the minutes and seconds to as to avoid any loss of precision.

Both clever and functional, theGeophysic® Universal Time with its 41.6 mm case is available in steel or pink gold.

Whether in True Second® or Universal Time versions, the Geophysic®conveys aconstant intensity. It cultivates an attitude entirely in tune with the times. The message of the Geophysic® is one of simplicity and complexity co-existing in perfect harmony.

 Text: www.jaeger-lecoultre.com

Picture gallery: JohannSauty,-Jaeger-LeCoultre

 

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