Complication Made Simple:
The Jaeger LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time

Article By: Logan Hannen

WATCH101 | August 14, 2019

Source: Theo & Harris

Jaeger LeCoultre are frequently referred to as the “watchmaker’s watchmaker,” noting their impressive skills and incredible attention to detail in everything from the most simple time and date models to the most complex grand complication pieces.

Nestled rather sweetly in the middle of those two extremes is the Geophysic Universal Time, a unique take on the world time complication that makes its use dynamically simple to engage with all through a single crown.

Source: Theo & Harris

The Specs
Case Material: 18k Pink Gold
Case Diameter: 41.6mm
Lug Width: 21mm
Strap Material: Dark Brown Alligator
Movement: JLC Caliber 770
Price: $25,000

The Geophysic Universal Time is a substantial watch, make no mistake. A nearly 42mm pink gold case is hefty enough on its own, but it’s the design of the case, which is blocky without being bulbous or uncomfortable, that truly drives home the heft and presence. Its lugs are short, and the overall depth is under 12mm, making for one of the most wearable 42ish-mm watches on the market.

The dark brown alligator leather strap secures the watch to your wrist, and is more substantial than it might appear head on. It features sheer cut sides and a generally thick profile at the lugs that tapers down towards the ends. There’s a slight gloss, which highlights the dressy elements of the watch without making it too shiny or bold (as if pink gold is necessarily subtle).

Source: Theo & Harris

The watch’s dial is undoubtedly the show stealer. While the world map aesthetic makes a ton of sense given the piece’s complication, its execution is still absolutely superb. Golden continents against a granular blue backdrop really help sell the dial as the work of art it is. Add to it the highly legible time zone track, and the end result is a watch that is equally a work of art and a proper instrument.

Source: Theo & Harris

The JLC Caliber 772 is a variant of their True Second caliber 770, an interesting movement in its own right. In addition to the world time addition, the caliber 772 features a dead beat second complication which, no, does not refer to your college roommate who lives on your couch and doesn’t pay rent, but rather to what essentially amounts to a quartz-like ticking seconds hand rather than the smooth sweep we have come to expect from a mechanical movement. Despite the association with typically cheaper quartz watches, the dead seconds complication is truly a feat of high horology in terms of how it must be achieved mechanically.

When it comes to the world time, we have a mechanism that is controlled exclusively via the crown. The world time is all set independent of the local time, which is controlled by exclusively advancing the main hour hand to reflect whatever time zone you’re in at the time (and yes, I am fully aware of how often “time” appears in this sentence). It’s a truly impressive complication and execution, and one which really has to be seen in motion to fully appreciate.

All in all, for $25,000 for the pink gold version seen here, and $15,000 for the steel version, you get some serious watch for your money. While brands like Frederique Constant offer some definite value in the world time department, it’s hard to argue with a world time that also features a storied and fascinating complication in the form of a dead beat second hand, which, when coupled with the immense history and prestige carried by Jaeger LeCoultre, makes for a package that is impressively easy to help you keep it classy, watchfam.

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