Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph
A professional instrument of legendary origin
In scuba diving, the precise and accurate measurement of time is a vital necessity, and any mistake in counting off the minutes spent under water or any sudden stoppage of the watch mechanism could have dire consequences. Since the appearance of the first diver’s watch bearing the Jaeger-LeCoultre signature, watchmakers have always sought to achieve absolute security.
The Replica Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph has an operating indicator for the chronograph which contributes to divers’ safety by enabling them to check at a glance that the chronograph is indeed measuring a certain time interval, that it is ready to be activated, or that the measured time is displayed on the various counters. This specific feature is inspired by a historical Jaeger-LeCoultre model: the Chronoflight. This onboard chronograph was invented in 1930 to equip civil and military aviation. It further enriched the range of onboard instruments made by Jaeger since the 1910s. The Chronoflight featured a number of subdials and totalisers, serving in particular to calculate total flight times while deducting stopovers. Used for over 30 years, its sturdiness and its precision also made it a favourite among motor-racing drivers.
Today’s FAKE Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph is inspired by a technical device featured in the Chronoflight in order to make it available to divers. Appearing on the watch dial above the Jaeger-LeCoultre signature, a round aperture reveals the chronograph operating indicator. The latter is composed of two discs – one white and the other red – which provide the required information regarding the state of the chronograph, without any risk of error. When the display is white, the chronograph is ready to be activated in order to begin measuring a time interval. Once the chronograph has started, the indicator window simultaneously shows both colours – red and white – in order to signal that a measurement is in progress. Finally, when the chronograph has stopped, the red disc appears on its own in the window to indicate that the measurement performed may be consulted, before resetting the chronograph.
The Copy Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph is an instrument designed for professionals and therefore complies with all the criteria imposed on diver’s watches by the ISO 6425 standard. It features a unidirectional rotating bezel, is water-resistant to 10 bar (100 metres), readable in the dark, and also meets the corresponding demands in terms of magnetism and resistance to shocks. The operating indicator takes the form of a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. This model is driven by the new automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 758 featuring a balance oscillating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour and endowed with a 65-hour power reserve. Its chronograph comprises two counters (one each for the hours and minutes) along with a central sweep seconds hand. The watch dial is distinguished by the clarity of the indications provided by the luminescent hands and hour-markers. Two push-pieces positioned at 2 and 4 o’clock on either side of the crown serve to start, stop and reset the chronograph. The 42 mm-diameter stainless steel case is fitted with a black leather strap.
Thus in 2012, the Replica Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea epic continues with a model that will make its mark on its time and join its legendary predecessors thanks to the precision, reliability and inventiveness that have consistently characterised the Grande Maison in the Vallée de Joux since its creation and which, today more than ever, meet the full range of demands expressed by devotees of professional and elegant instruments.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph in tribute to a legendary watch.
The Memovox Deep Sea needs no introduction. More than any other, this avant-garde achievement wrote one of the first chapters in the history of scuba diving. Right from the appearance of this new sports discipline in the 1950s, Jaeger-LeCoultre provided the first explorers of the ocean depths – whether driven by scientific goals or by a thirst for discovery – with a timepiece that exceeded their demands. Through the different versions introduced until the early 1970s, the Memovox Deep Sea became one of the rare watchmaking creations to leave an indelible imprint on its era. Eager to offer an audience of devotees and connoisseurs the opportunity to strap to their wrist one of the symbols of its inexhaustible inventiveness, the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre offers some remarkable reinterpretations of this legendary watch. The impressive success of the model unveiled in 2011 encouraged the Grande Maison in the Vallée de Joux to pursue this path.
2012 sees the introduction of a new water-resistant watch inspired by the Memovox Deep Sea: the Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph.
Its lines express great historical loyalty and testify to its proud sporting heritage. Featuring a 40.5 mm case size similar to that of the Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea, this model is endowed with a range of characteristics that are bound to thrill connoisseurs.
A fixed bezel surrounds a classic black dial face, protected by a Plexiglas watch glass. The hour-markers as well as the central hour and minute hands are covered by a Superluminova coating with a warm orange-tinted shade subtly reminiscent of the luminescent coating on the 1959 Memovox Deep Sea. The time intervals measured by the two-button chronograph are indicated by two counters for the hours and minutes, positioned at 9 and 3 o’clock, as well as by the central seconds hand. The back of the stainless steel case also bears the same engraved motif as the historical model, depicting a frogman surrounded by bubbles. Finally, the embossed black calfskin leather strap looks exactly like the one fitted on the original.
While the case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph is inspired by the design codes of an iconic creation, this watch driven by Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 751G incorporates the latest developments stemming from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ongoing research, such as the large variable-inertia balance, or the ceramic ball bearings ensuring lubricant-free long-term operation. The performance, the endurance and the reliability of the Jaeger-LeCoultre mechanism have proven their worth over the years, and are combined with qualities highlighting the historical legitimacy of a watch that is water-resistant to 100 metres. The latest creation from the Grande Maison in the Vallée de Joux is thus bound to thrill devotees of legendary models wishing to pay tribute to a longstanding tradition of innovation in the most diverse disciplines, yet without foregoing the comfort and reliability ensured by the latest generation of Jaeger-LeCoultre calibres.
Deep Sea – a legendary watch
In the 1950s, no standard had yet been established, laying down the criteria to be met by diver’s watches. There was not yet any question of unidirectional rotating bezels, of resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, nor of 100-metre guaranteed watertightness. The field was still wide open. It was nonetheless quite obvious that the hands and hour-markers should be coated with a luminescent substance, which meant radium at the time, in order to facilitate reading the indications in dim light, but there were no legal terms protecting the use of the term “diver’s watch”.
This lack of regulation nonetheless harboured many dangers, since an exceptionally reliable timepiece was in fact indispensable for the practise of this activity. Divers had to be able to ensure at all times that they had a sufficient oxygen supply in their bottles in order to programme the various decompression stages involved in returning to the surface. The readability of the information was thus of crucial importance, and the Memovox Deep Sea already featured such an extremely clear dial that its intuitively obvious layout continues to meet divers’ most stringent demands. However, since the notion of time is sometimes relative for those gliding through the heart of the amazing underwater world, Jaeger-LeCoultre watchmakers already conceived the idea, in the very infancy of diver’s watches, of equipping the Memovox Deep Sea with the emblematic Memovox alarm function. They offered enthusiasts of this new sport an additional safety feature in the form of a complementary audible alarm in order to signal to divers that it was time to begin their progress return to the surface. This distinctive characteristic and its extraordinary reliability sealed the triumph of the Memovox Deep Sea, and its original edition was soon sold out. After that, only a few collectors could enjoy the privilege of contemplating this legendary watch.
Nonetheless, the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre, always keen to ensure that its creations do not remain confined within the walls of a museum, and to give contemporary watch enthusiasts access to the countless inventions punctuating its long history, succumbed to the appeals emanating from circles of aficionados calling for a rebirth of this historical timepiece. In 2008, Jaeger-LeCoultre thus unveiled a faithful re-edition of the original Memovox Polaris 1968. This journey back to its roots continued in 2011 with the re-edition of the legendary 1959 Memovox Deep Sea, the first diver’s watch to feature an alarm.
This creation brilliantly interpreted the aesthetic purity of the historical model into order to convey through a contemporary design language entirely in harmony with the exceptional technical performances of its movement. Its launch in 2011 was unanimously well received by passionate enthusiasts of the timepieces that have written a chapter in the history of horology and of human adventure.