Buying Time: 5 Time-Only Dress Watches Under $10k

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin - for sale - Govberg via Perpetuelle

There’s something about owning a time-only watch.  For some, the simplicity of such watches is not appealing.  But for most, an elegant and uncomplicated watch is a must have for any well-rounded collection…or the occasional black-tie event.  When it comes right down to it, the term “dress watch” is of course a highly subjective term.  Here’s the criteria with which I define it:  any watch that is simple and classical in its styling, sized between 34mm and 42mm and on the thinner side of the spectrum case-wise (I am highly partial to “ultra-thin”), elegant leather strap or bracelet, and uncomplicated save for a small seconds or date window.  Generally speaking!  Other defining criteria such as movement type (automatic or manual wind), age (vintage or new), case metal (steel or precious) are generally fungible for me when it comes to these types of watches.  But yes, defining a “dress watch” is clearly a subjective exercise!

However, in today’s edition of “Buying Time”, I think you’ll get the essence of what I’m talking about.  This week I went to great pains to select just five superb time-only dress watches, all of which are available now from the pre-owned vault of my partner in this weekly endeavor, Govberg Watches.  I’ve also taken care to select pieces all priced under $10,000 ($3,200 on the low end), and all at a meaningful discount to the current retail price for a new piece.  Certainly not play money, but as most of you know Perpetuelle is about luxury not economy, and so I hope you’ll find something that suit’s your tastes.

Follow along as I walk through this week’s lineup.

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Introducing the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 London Flagship Special Edition (Ref. 278853L)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 London Green Dial Edition - Perpetuelle

Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrates its new London flagship boutique with a very, very limited, special edition of the Reverso Ultra Thin 1931.  The lacquered dial defines the watch — so distinguished in British racing green!  Reverso enthusiasts love a well colored dial — since 2012 JLC has introduced four such models in the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin case: a chocolate brown dial (2014), a white dial with blue indications (2014), a blue dial (2013) and a red dial (2012). All inspired by original models from the 1930s.  The green model is a welcome addition to the palette.

Click through for more pics and a look at the specially engraved caseback

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2 blue dial detail - Perpetuelle

A new reference joins the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB series.  The main news here is the new blue color, which joins the red-accented ref 203T540 (US $55,500) which debuted in 2010.  The ceramic bezel is styled slightly different, among other minor tweaks.

For those new to the Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2, I will quickly run down its features.  It is a targeted at the adventurer/explorer (in body or spirit) in form and function.  It has a titanium alloy case, black ceramic bezel, openworked dial, a patented digital counter to indicate the chronograph jumping seconds, a manual stop seconds device, and a patented radial power-reserve indication (the white & blue segments around the periphery of the dial).  The functions of winding/time setting/date & dual-time adjustment handled via are crown-integrated function selector.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2

ref 203T540

46.8mm x 16.5mm TiVan15 (a JLC-exclusive titanium alloy) case, openworked dial, automatic mechanical JLC Caliber 780 (column-wheel chronograph, black PVD-coated bridges

 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2 blue - PerpetuelleThe Master Compressor Extreme LAB also has a GMT function. The second time zone, which displays the time in the owner’s usual place of residence, is shown by a second central hours hand, complete with a 24-hour display at 6 o’clock.   The time zone is adjusted via a crown-integrated function selector and also drives the date in both forwards or backwards directions.  A large “instant jump” double-digit counter situated at 12 o’clock indicates the chronograph minutes; the chronograph hours totalizer is located at 9 o’clock, coaxially with the movement seconds.

Price will likely be same as the red reference ($55,500).  You can get the full specs over at JLC>>>

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon Moon

SIHH 2015  first look…

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon Moon dark background

After my recent preview of the new meteorite-dial Master Calendars from Jaeger-LeCoultre coming in 2015, here’s a sneak peek at something a bit more complicated.  This is not an entirely new model from JLC, but rather an extension of the Duometre / Spherotourbillon series — now with an added moon-phase indicator.   This watch carries on with its two namesake innovations, the Duometre and the Spherotourbillon, a masterfully executed bi-axial tourbillon.

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