After more than 40 years in business, there’s not a lot Humbertown Jewellers owner Ferit Tecimer doesn’t know when it comes to luxury watches. For this edition of Ask an Insider, Tecimer answers all of our questions about one of his favourite Swiss watch brands, Jaeger-LeCoultre.
What makes Jaeger-LeCoultre such a unique watch brand, in your opinion?
Many things make this brand unique, from its long heritage in Switzerland to its innovations in watchmaking to its exceptional movement designs. More than anything, though, I would say that Jaeger-LeCoultre’s watches look unlike those from any other brand, and the closer you look, the more unique differences you will find.
If there’s one model that most people are familiar with, it’s the Reverso. What makes this such a special timepiece?
It’s a perfect example of how this brand has always embraced new ideas and technologies in watchmaking. The Reverso was created in 1931 as a sports watch for polo players. If a watch got hit by a ball or a mallet during the game, it could shatter the glass and damage the dial, so Jaeger-LeCoultre came up with the first watch with a reversible face. What is really amazing is how little the design has changed since the 1930s, with the exception of upgrades to the movement and components. That is a sign of a truly iconic watch.
For the Reverso’s 90th anniversary last year, the brand released a special watch, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Quadriptyque. What do you think was the most interesting thing about that piece?
Everything about it is exceptional, but there are a few things that stand out. For one, it is the first watch ever made with four working faces. For another, it’s the first-ever watch to display the synodic, draconic, and anomalistic cycles of the solar system. To do these things requires incredible watchmaking skill, and it serves as a reminder: Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of very few brands in the world capable of doing something completely new with a mechanical watch.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is also famous for its Memovox line of chiming watches. What is the appeal of owning a mechanical alarm watch in the smartphone era?
Chiming mechanical watches are a specialty for Jaeger-LeCoultre, and the Memovox is a technology they’ve been working on for more than 70 years. Anyone can set an alarm on their phone, of course, but for someone who is passionate about mechanical watches, there is truly something special about a watch that can do it completely mechanically.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control watches come with the impressive 1,000 Hour Control certification. What does that say about the attention that Jaeger-LeCoultre pays to quality and accuracy in these watches?
It indicates that the watch movement has been through Jaeger-LeCoultre’s program of internal certification tests for temperature resistance, changes in atmospheric pressure, shock resistance, and waterproofing, among many others. The 1,000 Hour Control certification is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s way of reminding the world that each and every piece it produces is made to the absolute highest standards for quality and accuracy.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of few Swiss watch brands still making a table clock: the Atmos. What makes this such a fascinating creation?
Jaeger-LeCoultre has always been dedicated to innovation, whether it’s creating very thin watch movements or inventing a clock that can run almost indefinitely without winding. The Atmos was invented in the 1920s, and it works by using a gas-filled capsule to convert small changes in ambient temperature into power for its mechanical movement. Not only is this still an impressive achievement almost a century later, but it’s also beautiful to look at.