The Deep Sea line has become an historical and renowned range now at Jaeger-LeCoultre. In the late 1950’s JLC created their iconic Memovox Deep Sea model which was in fact the first diving watch equipped with an alarm. It was intended to indicate the end of the divers immersion time as set to the amount of oxygen left in the tank. This complication was very useful at a time when diving equipment was rudimentary, and it was this watch that brought the name Deep Sea name into existence.
Gradually forgotten over time, the Deep Sea line was brought up to date by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 2011 with two limited edition reissues particularly successful being the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea. Building on the success of these new standards, the range was subsequently expanded in 2012 with a steel version with chronograph function the Deep Sea Chronograph.
Now the Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet unveiled by Jaeger-LeCoultre at SIHH 2013 successfully combines vintage-inspired design and high-tech materials and a slightly larger size of 44mm. So the SIHH 2013 in Geneva was used a good opportunity for Jaeger-LeCoultre, which this year celebrates 180 years to unveil a chronograph version with a titanium and Cermet case.
It should be noted here that the chronograph versions, unlike the Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea, are not strictly speaking reissues of vintage models. There has in fact never been a Deep Sea Chronograph in the past in JLC’s collection.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet – Case
We find vintage inspiration in the lines and the construction of the new housing of this Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet. Although its dimensions have gradually been revised upwards – 39.5 mm for the Deep Sea 1959 and 44mm for this new model its general aesthetics have remained very faithful to that of the vintage models.
While the base and bezel of the watch are made of titanium, the middle section is made of cermet – the name a contraction of ceramic and metal – a very innovative alloy material supposed to bring several significant advantages. The metal part of this high tech material prevents the case against impacts while the ceramic layer provides almost perfect resistance to scratches.
In addition to its strength, Cermet is also very light – weighs 66% less than titanium and is used in aeronautics and on Formula 1 racing-car engines. Its extremely low weight (the watch only weighs 81 grams) allows therefore for the Deep Sea Chronograph to provide excellent comfort a significant advantage given the size of the watch. The use of cermet also gives it a very masculine chronograph matte black / titanium gray two-tone look that is sure to arouse the enthusiasm of watch lovers.
Its sandwich construction reduces the visually perceived thickness: the watch looks more slender than its actual thickness of 14.5 mm.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet – Dial and Movement
The dial is using the codes of the original Deep Sea with its baton hands and indexes, a simple dial making for an efficient diving watch and somewhat reminiscent of the dial of the Omega Speedmaster.
Its matte black finish is highlighted by a grainy texture look – which is also reminiscent of the dials of Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre. Now we come to its very unusual feature; the circular aperture cut in the upper middle of the dial. This feature was inspired by an instrument panel made by Jaeger-LeCoultre, called the “Chronoflight”, that was found on the dashboards of airplanes in the 1930s.
This display serves as an indicator for the chronograph and is either all white, half white and half red, or all red and these indicate whether the chronograph is stopped, paused, or running so you can at a quick glance see what is happening with the chronograph. You can also choose to use either the unidirectional rotating bezel for calculating your dive time, or you use the chronograph – which Jaeger-LeCoultre says can operable underwater.
Finally, the readability is excellent, both for reading the time or the chronograph.
The movement is the Jaeger-LeCoultre’s in-house caliber 758, an automatic movement with a column-wheel based chronograph. The movement has been subjected to the brand’s traditional “1000 Hours tests” with the goal of improving reliability and accuracy by subjecting the watch to a series of six tests lasting 1000 hours, or nearly six weeks. It offers a power reserve of 65h with two barrels and is water -resistant to 100m.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet – Conclusion and Price
Jaeger-LeCoultre offers us with this Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet a retro-modern watch that stays true to the brand’s look and heritage while simultaneously showing us a vision of the past while freshening up the line.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet is also available from Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques in a tropical hands and hour-markers version (ref. 208A57J) called the “Deep Sea Chronograph Vintage Cermet” and both versions retail for $18,000.