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The drinks. The .50. The forced choice? Jaeger-LeCoultre

By on 7 August 2012 in Watches

The drinks. The .50. The forced choice? Jaeger-LeCoultre
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We love all manner of watches and brands. It would be foolish and short-sighted to wed oneself to a single watch brand, given the incredible diversity of design, mechanical innovation and the recent all-out assault by plucky newcomers on the ivory towers of Swiss stalwarts.

But if you gave us enough to drink, loosened our ties and jammed a .50 Desert Eagle against our left temple demanding we pick a single watch brand for the rest of our short lives, well, we might just say Jaeger-LeCoultre. Yeah, we probably would. And then we’d close our eyes and tell you to get on with it…

In extremis scenarios aside, the sheer breadth and depth of the Jaeger-LeCoultre catalogue, its graceful designs, the brand’s mechanical prowess and exquisitely maintained heritage and pedigree are, we humbly submit, without equal in the world of high-end watches.

Now, let us be clear: at present, there is no .50 pressed against our temple, and we have no intention of depriving ourselves of all the magnificence other brands offer (and we need their advertising euros…pronto!), as recent purchases by your editors so clearly show.

But we thought it might be helpful and fun to show you why we’d choose Jaeger-LeCoultre.

A recent trip to our good friends at Slaets in Antwerp saw us descend yet again into their cave of tick-tocking delights. And while we have a number of videos of the visit coming your way, we’d thought we’d warm you up with a few succulent pics.

You know, before we pull out the heater…


The drinks. The .50. The forced choice? Jaeger-LeCoultre

A recent trip to our good friends Slaets in Antwerp made a powerful case for why we love Jaeger-LeCoultre so much. Perhaps enough to marry the damned brand…?

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Straight-Six had a proper job as a journalist for Dow Jones before lowering himself gently into the warm, forgiving waters of The Guide. He’s our resident fanatic: he relished detailing his BMW M3 for two full days at a time before crashing it at Eau Rouge in the wet; he spends insane amounts on his home-cinema system and has thrown tens of thousands of euros at vintage Rolex sports watches. The little fool simply does not understand the concept of restraint or the meaning of excess. He also – following a legendary "heavy" lunch – once nibbled (yes, like little dogs do) a dear lady friend of ours.

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  • Belligero

    Hard to argue with that. JLC makes some of the most appealing watches currently manufactured, and they do so across a range at least as varied as any other maker.

    My only criticism that is that they’re part of the Richemont group, but I can’t fault their products.

    • The Prodigal Fool

      Why does being part of Richemont count against them in your eyes?

      • Belligero

        My main gripe is the group’s costly and restrictive service practices. On the plus side, it seems to let its subsidiaries operate more or less autonomously. As a result, Richemont-owned companies’ designs tend to be less lame-o than, say, those of Swatch Group’s.

        I would much prefer an independent Jaeger LeCoultre to a conglomerate-held one on principle, but I do realize that it’s a bit of a pipe dream given the current state of the industry. Maybe I’m just being too idealistic.

        • Pascal

          The leverage from which Jaeger benefits through its appartenance to Richemont makes the brand what it is today. Without this, a lot would be lost… or will never happen. Product portfolio, distribution network, etc.
          I agree for the service though, but it the same for any serious indepenant brand. this is not going in the right direction unfortunately…

  • Pascal

    Hey Editors!
    On this one there is no doubt. Faced with the same situation, even if it is a 44 Magnum, or any other credible gun, I will chose Jaeger LeCoultre…

    • Simon

      You can’t go wrong with Jaeger-LeCoultre (just look at that gorgeous Master Ultra Thin Moon timepiece above!), but I’m not sure I could narrow it down so easily. Hublot’s Big Bang has always been one of my favorites, which earns them a place on my list of top watchmakers, and don’t even get me started on AP and Rolex… So many to choose from!

  • Boris

    Hear, hear!

    I find it hard to disagree with you, as I just picked this 2 weeks ago.

    • The Prodigal Fool

      Boris, that’s a peach.

      • Boris

        Indeed PF, the Master Control range of the late 90’s early 00’s was fantastic. All 37mm-38mm, supremely elegant. I did not care much for it once they “upgraded” it to 40mm: the bezel and lugs became much too thick, and it lost most of its elegance. But they are moving back in the right direction again, since they launched their new Master Ultra Thin line 3 or 4 years ago. And, thanks God, they have always kept the MC Reserve de Marche untouched at 37mm.

  • Turkish

    When are these “number of videos” of your visit coming our way? Don’t make us wait too long, chaps!