Jaeger LeCoultre Swiss Luxury Watches Complete Review-Guide
High-End Swiss Brand
Jaeger LeCoultre is an elite Swiss watchmaking company with a complex, almost 200 year long history. Since its inception, the company relied on invention to secure its high-end status, earning over 200 patents in various fields of the watchmaking craft. The company is known to collaborate with such Swiss luxury watchmakers as Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, cooperating in either marketing or manufacture. Jaeger LeCoultre's achievements in micro-engineering can perhaps only be matched by its design innovations.
Jaeger-LeCoultre make complications look easy like no other Swiss luxury brand. They make a point out of causing the most complex mechanisms appear effortless and smooth. It's as if the class vaguely implied by the French sounding name becomes embodied in the timepieces. Though I admire the complications and the movements (in whole over a 1000 produced), for me the real achievement lies in this effortless presentation – the Jaeger LeCoultre style.
Jaeger-LeCoultre stand out for an additional reason. Unlike any other Swiss luxury brand, JLC introduce a certain Gallic spirit of nonchalance and playful disorderliness. There is something charmingly clumsy and naïve about the watchmaker's products, a sense that must ensue from an unshakable conviction in one's self-worth. Of course, the charming disorder only accentuates the overall impression of quality and design of the highest achievable caliber.
Jaeger LeCoultre website embodies this philosophy. For instance, the brand's history is presented in a map reminiscent of a Dungeon and Dragon chart – the next step is often unpredictable, and always a surprise. Browsing this map is not unlike playing a game. Other than that, JLC website is very clear and to the point. Each collection and model receive a detailed attention, the images and specifications being presented in a relaxed, confident manner.
Jaeger LeCoultre manufacture six main collections of wrist watches: Reverso, Duometre, Master Control, Master Compressor, AMVOX, and Haute Joaillerie. Some of these collections contain design or engineering oriented lines which essentially become independent subsidiary collections. Each collection usually includes an out of the ordinary characteristic – complication, visuals, materials – brought to a level of unprecedented evolution. Let's take a closer look:
Reverso is a master collection that includes several lines and is immediately recognized by its rectangular shape. It's rare for a major company to deviate from the circle shape when creating such an extensive and encompassing collection – but the choice appears natural for Jaeger LeCoultre. The name Reverso discloses the collection's chief distinction: the mechanical capacity to reverse the case and set the back as the front – intended for Polo players.
Classique – Reverso Classique is the collection's basic line. Made for men and women, it lacks complications; some models dispose of even the seconds hand. The goal of Reverso Classique is to demonstrate the ingenuity of the reversal mechanism in its full, unhindered form.
Reverso Squadra departs from the rectangular form and opts for the more distinctive square. These watches display a more avant-garde and energetic spirit – more modernity, less classicism. Reverso Squadra watches are made for ladies and men.
Reverso Complication hosts the collection's complicated watches: GMT, date, sun/moon indicators, and dual time. Complication introduces automatic movements (most Reverso models use hand-wound calibers) and uses the back of the case to display a second time zone.
Reverso Duetto Jewellery is a luxury collection that incorporates elements from other Reverso watches and adds some diamonds glitter.
Duometre is a single-watch collection that pushes the art and craft of making mechanical chronographs to its limits. The timepiece is notable, among other specifications, for its symmetrical dial composition – a rare feature, as Jaeger LeCoultre often disregard conventional design principles. On the other hand, the use of color, the watchmaker's preferred method of marking dial components, plays an important role in offsetting the symmetry.
Jaeger LeCoultre's Master Control is the watchmaker's ultimate classical collection – the counterpart of Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars, and Blancpain Villeret. Clean lines, white dials, and a wide scope of complications – from virtually none to an entire set inside one piece – distinguish Master Control as Jaeger LeCoultre's tribute to traditional watchmaking.
Master Control is a specialized collection in a sense that it offers few complications, but which provide deeper functionality. JLC don't strive to include as many complications as possible inside one watch; instead they push the limits of one. For instance, JLC explore the possibilities of extra long power reserve (eight days), and measuring time in various geographical locations.
Master Compressor collections consists of two lines, sports&complication, and diving. These are technologically advanced watches backed up by apt futuristic designs. The collection derives its name from the intensive safety feature of making the crowns and push buttons extra air-tight; cases outfitted with a shock absorber system is another safety addition.
Sport and Complication Master Compressor is the tamer line, although it does contain some space-age visual characteristics. The line introduces mechanical and quartz movements in addition to the automatic calibers that include chronograph, world time, alarm and GMT complications.
Master Compressor Diving collection offers bulky impressive watches, some featuring unconditional futuristic design. This collection has some aesthetic elements akin to the famous Blancpain Fifty Fathoms divers: a certain undercurrent of threat and explosive power.
AMVOX watches provide Jaeger LeCoultre with a share of public relations and advertisement by association with another luxury brand – Aston Martin. Aston Martin cars need to be seen (and also heard) in order to fully understand the benefits JLC derive from this association. The car maker has a website that's worth a visit, if only to discover what kind of vehicles AMVOX2 Transponder wrist watch control.
AMVOX watches incorporate a special antenna that can open the owner's car doors, and a pushpiece-free chronograph – in order to operate it you need to press the sapphire crystal cover at six and twelve o'clock. Visually, this is another ultra-modern sports oriented collection, one that doesn't shun traditional watchmaking complications such as the tourbillon.
Haute Joaillerie is a feminine collection of exceptional wrist watches where mechanisms compete with diamonds for attention. Some of these pieces were set with hundreds of diamonds, others were worn by monarchs. The three lines, Riviere 101, 101 Etrier, and Master Twinkling Diamonds, combine straps, bracelets, gold and precious stones to create jewelry designs that coexist with extremely small mechanical movements.
More by this Author
Longines La Grande Classique watch in-depth review: design, movements, materials, functions; ladies' and mens'; prices, comparisons to other Swiss collections, and more...
In-depth reviews of Casio watches: collections, functions, materials; men's and ladies; atomic watch, solar, analog, digital, alarm; straps, bracelets; comparisons, prices, and more...
A complete guide to Swiss Army watches: in-depth reviews of Victorinox and Wenger models; functions, materials, complications and design; men's and ladies timepieces; comparison, prices and more...