Pre-Owned Picks — 3 Contemporary Watches By Jaeger-LeCoultre Three masterful JLCs for week 23 by Ben Hodges June 05, 2020 MIN READPre-Owned Picks — 3 Contemporary Watches By Jaeger-LeCoultre
This is now my fifth article in the Pre-owned Picks column, and I thoroughly enjoy scouring Chrono24 for inspiration. This week I am looking back in the not too distant past at three modern timepieces from Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Readers may notice I often side-step the likes of the Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi” or the Rolex Daytona Cerachrom. That is not to say these are not worth the time to seek out. Quite the opposite, these watches are in such demand that secondary market price is typically double the asking price brand new.
Instead, I select the rare and perhaps unloved darlings in the deep, dark corners of watch collecting. Watches such as the Breitling Emergency Orbiter 3, or IWC Aquatimer Cousteau Divers. While these models may be out of production, they are not yet considered vintage. They served a specific purpose or ideology in a not too distant past. Sure, the value has not increased dramatically, but they deserve appreciation, especially from those entering the hobby. With such limited niche appeal, the slim chances of finding an example in excellent condition with a full set make the hunt all the more rewarding.
Master Compressor and AMVOX collection
My selection in this week’s Pre-owned Picks certainly reflects a quirky era in a brand’s otherwise classic line-up. Jaeger-LeCoultre seemingly defines the “watchmaker’s watchmaker”. This stems from JLC’s unwavering ability to develop new and exciting calibers on a whim. Any complication you can think of — and those you never did — has been produced under the roof of JLC’s Vallée de Joux factory.
What’s on the menu today is not the “steak and potatoes” Reverso, however. More like the bacon and egg ice cream of the experimental AMVOX and Master Compressor range. These collections are sadly no longer in regular production, which makes Chrono24 a great platform to seek them out.
All watches are pre-owned and picked from Chrono24. Every week we pick a few pre-owned watches from Chrono24, the largest market place for wristwatches in the world — watches that we love ourselves, or think they will be interesting to you. So, to be clear, we picked the watches, Chrono24 only send us the images without their watermark and in a proper resolution.
Jaeger Le-Coultre AMVOX7 Chronograph
The chronograph. You get the gist. Start and stop the timer with the 2 o’clock pusher and reset with the 4 o’clock pusher. Just as Breitling devised it. And why change it? It is a tried-and-tested solution that forms the backbone of the quintessential chronograph. JLC thought differently — pushers add another element to a watch that can spoil the silhouette of the case shape. Yet the crystal just sits there protecting the dial and remaining transparent.
…then again, the Apple Watch is smudge-magnet, and that watch is pretty popular.
The AMVOX7 uses a rocker system on the sapphire crystal that activates the chronograph. Pushing on the 12 o’clock side is the start/stop with the reset function at 6 o’clock. You don’t often see this ingenuity with chronographs these days, possibly due to oily fingers leaving smudge marks on the pristine glass. Then again, the Apple Watch is smudge-magnet, and that watch is pretty popular. The locking feature on the case side avoids any timing when pressure is accidentally exerted. Additionally, a radial power indicator and grill-like dial take inspiration from the 2012 Aston Martin Vanquish released the same year. Here is an excellent example on Chrono24. Just maybe give the dial a quick micro-fiber wipe.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme Lab 2
Never underestimate a good name. A lot of the more contemporary pieces from JLC suffered from long-winded labels. This watch was no exception. Describing a watch as Extreme and Master both in the same breath might have been pushing it a bit. Even so, the Extreme Lab 2 watch a mighty machine. Its immediately arresting power reserve indicator (the blue/white/gray arch that frames the dial) lives long in the memory. The chronograph uses a digital display for a minute counter and stenciled numerals for that rugged military look.
…the bridges form a balance despite the differing GMT and chronograph functions on each side
Readers who checked out my article on the Arnold & Son Nebula might have picked up that I am a bit of a sucker for symmetry. On the skeletonized dial of the Extreme Lab 2, the bridges form a balance despite the differing GMT and chronograph functions on each side. The Extreme Lab 2 was short-lived and only released in two dial variations for the titanium case. Blue and red both appear on Chrono24, but I prefer the smooth ceramic bezel of the blue version that was limited to 300 pieces — you can find this on Chrono24 here.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic
Easily confused for a pressure cooker, the Diving Pro features a depth gauge indication. That big door wedge on the side of the case contains a membrane that reacts to the slightest variation in pressure. Similar to the temperature-sensitive capsule on the ATMOS clock. A combination of gears from the pressure chamber drives the depth indicator on the circumference on the dial. With such a standout feature, you may not even realize there is a dual-time sub-dial with a cities display.
…the wing-nut crown locking system ensures a tight seal with only a single 180° turn.
While the Geographic function is seen in a multitude of Jaeger’s collection, it somehow takes the backseat here with so much eyeball attention demanded by the case and rehaut. I particularly like the wing-nut crown locking system, that ensures a tight seal with only a single 180° turn. You can find some good examples of the Diving Pro Geo on Chrono24, but I have settled for the full titanium model with matching bracelet here.
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About the author
Ben has been working in central London for 7 years. In that time, Ben has developed an interest in watches after being gifted his father’s Breitling at 25. He explores the weird and wonderful in horology at all price ranges,… read more
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