It’s become formulaic: an haute horlogerie brand hosts a splashy dinner to celebrate a timepiece launch. Jaeger-LeCoultre, however, took a most unconventional approach to showcase its new Geophysic collection: a seated supper that preceded a 9pm reveal that—cue drumroll—coincided with the 9am global launch at Watches & Wonders in Hong Kong.
Hosted by Jaeger-LeCoultre North American President Philippe Bonay at of-the-moment restaurant The Clocktower in lower Manhattan (translation: south of 34th Street), guests, following dessert, watched, in synchronicity, an introductory video on customized iPads placed at each seat before the collection of four timepieces were displayed. The results were well worth the wait.
The Geophysic has long been one of the most revered models in the Jaeger-LeCoultre family; ever since its introduction in 1958. To visually express its emphasis on performance, a new True Second mechanism, complete with its own customized automatic caliber, was introduced that marks the passing of every second, or “tick.” Unlike most mechanical watches, however, whose seconds hand run continuously, this dead-beat function, as its known in its most primitive form, harkens back to the ultimate in precision.
Utilizing the balance in the original Extreme LAB model, engineers introduced it in the Geophysic in a refined form, resulting in the exquisite Gyrolab. The benefits are two-fold: if you have less friction on the balance, the balance will oscillate freely better than a classic balance. And if you don’t waste the energy for powering the balance, you can use the energy to reach a better precision.
In terms of the dial, most noticeable are the baton-shaped hands that replace the 2014 re-introduction model’s sword-shaped hands and seconds markers—all part of the desire, according to Bonay, to elevate the aesthetic. Carrying that notion further also sees the entire side of the case now with a satin finish that, when coupled with the polished lugs, offers a more polished presentation.
The watch also features a mechanism that allows the wearer to adjust the hours separate from the minutes and seconds. Without stopping the watch, the hands can travel through the time zone forwards and backwards, with the date following in tow. Once the desire hour has been reached, a simple push back on the crown sets the new time—with not one iota of precision lost.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic True Second is available from $9,050 in stainless steel and $17,500 in pink gold at boutiques and select authorized retailers.