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20th Anniversary
Jaeger-LeCoultre - One Year, One Watch

Jaeger-LeCoultre One Year, One Watch

2013 : Deep Sea Chrononograph Cermet*

West

When I arrived in LA with my family that September, we officially became immigrants. So what can be said about this all-American year? If you start thinking about California, it won’t be long before startups come to mind. In 2013, Pebble, a so-called ‘smartwatch’, hit the headlines. While there was no lack of interest, many wondered whether the smartwatch concept had any future. The mighty Apple would soon answer that question. California simply loves its Big Tech companies. Take Google – when it crashed for five minutes, there was a 40% drop in internet traffic worldwide. Its Google Glasses were supposed to revolutionise the world. The future was to reveal whether Apple watches or Google glasses would win the day… Meanwhile, the California auto industry saw some upsets, too: in Southern California, all-electric luxury car inventors Fisker shut up shop, while in Northern California, the first Tesla Model S cars started to roll off the production line. A few years later, Fisker became Karma, and moved its headquarters from Anaheim to Irvine, not far from where we live.

One Year, One Watch

Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet © Jaeger-LeCoultre

Anaheim is home to two legends: Disneyland; and the Ducks, the NHL team famous for its ‘angry duck’ logo. At the movies, Disney scored full marks with Frozen, while the NHL had been frozen in a rather different way. In January, a labour dispute that had led to half of the season’s matches being cancelled finally came to an end; the return to work allowed the Ducks to take to the ice again. What a relief! California is often synonymous with fires, too. In 2013, the worst was the Rim Fire, the third most serious in the State’s history – though sadly not the last. As well as the fires here, there are the waters of the Pacific. As an America’s Cup fan, I was captivated by the 34th edition’s yacht races, held in San Francisco Bay – and won by the Oracle team.

In December that year, we had a bad dose of homesickness, and were desperate to find a little corner of Switzerland in a California baking in Christmas sunshine. So we headed for the Basilic, renowned for its raclettes – and bumped into Scarlett Johansson, who’d just been named the sexiest woman in the world by Esquire magazine. GQ, meanwhile, awarded the trophy for the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ to Californian Adam Levine. And a few weeks earlier, in Newport Beach, I’d tried on a Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Cermet – so what better piece than this sexy, sporty diving watch to be my watch for 2013?

One Year, One Watch

Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet © Jaeger-LeCoultre

Why Jaeger-LeCoultre?

For many, Jaeger-LeCoultre refers to the Reverso, period. That watch takes up so much space it’s sometimes difficult to imagine the brand any other way than through the lens of its all-pervasive icon. Which is a pity, because it has a whole lot more to offer. I’ve always had a soft spot for sporty models. I just loved the Tribute to Polaris and Tribute to Deep Sea. I was a fan right from the outset of the Navy SEALs watches, too – among the most badass timepieces I’ve ever worn. Not to mention the globe-trotting Master Compressor Extreme that vanished all too soon. All of them have graced my collection – and the Cermet is no exception. At the end of 2013, it was on my wrist.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep sea chronograph cermet

Here we have a magnificent tricompax chronograph that’s essentially a solid classic: a new version of the model presented in 2012. This version did however see the case material change to ceramic-covered aluminium, as well as an enlarged diameter of 44mm. The piece kept the ingenious chronograph indicator that shows when the pushers are activated, so as to avoid its water-resistance being compromised. The black version of the timepiece has more personality than its steel counterpart. Its pushers have been left in steel, with the black reserved for the case, producing a highly successful contrast. And best of all, the “automatic” legend cluttering up the steel version has been done away with. I’m so glad about that!

The Take from The Devil’s Advocate

California, complete with its fires and the town of Hell, near Riverside, sounds like just my thing. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Cermet is a magnificent watch that deserves a more original strap. But my deepest regret is that it’s no longer part of the brand’s collections. Jaeger-LeCoultre was ahead of its time with this watch, anticipating the neo-vintage wave. It had everything it needed to last!

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English.

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Ever since the brand was established in 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been enchanting lovers of beautiful objects. Its craftsmen and craftswomen, the guardians of the inventive spirit of company founder Antoine LeCoultre, pool their expertise to create collections that are as surprising as they are sophisticated: Reverso, Master, Rendez-Vous, Duomètre, Geophysic® and Atmos. This great brand continues to be inspired by its rich heritage and...

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