As a general rule luxury watch enthusiasts anticipate new releases of iconic models with great relish – but the reality doesn’t always live up to the hype. This, though, is not one of those occasions and the hype is well deserved. The 2014 release of Jaeger LeCoultre’s Geophysic 1958 as a modern limited edition is causing a considerable stir, and in this case deservedly so.
This masterpiece of timekeeping expertise was originally commissioned in 1958 to pay tribute to a number of important events.
The first was Jaeger LeCoultre’s own 125th anniversary, which coincided with the world’s first “International Geophysical Year.” Another significant date converged in the form of one of the most historic missions in US naval history – Operation Sunshine. The mission was ordered by President Eisenhower to counteract emerging nuclear threats by demonstrating the power of weapons transported and launched by submarine. USS Nautilus, the world’s first atomic-nuclear vessel, was charged with the gruelling task of traversing the North Pole entirely below the ice caps.
These scientific advances were the inspiration behind the original Geophysic Chronometer Reference E 168, featuring a movement entirely protected from magnetic fields, sub-zero and anti-shock resistance, and stop-seconds for ultimately accurate time setting. Now, one of the most desirable and intriguing chronometers of the last century has returned in limited edition form.
Make no mistake, this is an intricate re-working of the original that updates and indeed upgrades much of its innovation as well as its handsome profile. The new 38.5mm sizing conceals the JLC caliber 898/1 movement, propelled by ceramic ball bearings requiring no lubrication, and renowned for delivering unwavering precision and performance that exceeds standard chronometry. Add to that kif shock protection, a balance with micro-screws for superb regulation and Spyr gears for smooth gear train transition and you have a modernised classic - paying genuine homage to the original whilst maximising the potential of modern watchmaking technology.
Aesthetics-wise, this model offers the impeccable style you would expect, with its Geophysic globe case back, cross-hair dial and choice of stainless, steel, rose gold or platinum finish. For such a distinguished wrist-fellow the price tag isn’t too alarming either, but if you’re determined to make this your possession you should act now. Whilst the stainless steel version is likely to come in at less than US$10,000 and has 800 pieces available, as you climb the scale just 300 of the rose gold version will be issued (tipped to retail for just over US$20,000), and the platinum edition has only 58 pieces to offer worldwide, climbing to more than US$30,000.
If this is a watch you simply need to own, then we strongly recommend you stake your claim now. As dealers of pre-owned Jaeger LeCoultre watches, David Duggan can apply our 150 years’ combined experience to help you source your particluar Jaeger LeCoultre watch. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to start the search for you!