The Swiss watchmaker JLC, the luxury brand that has its roots planted into the legendary ‘gentleman’s diver’ category even deeper than, say, Rolex or its sub-brand Tudor, will soon present a pair of new Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea limited edition alarm diving watches: one for Europe (Ref. Q2028470) and the other for the United States (Ref. Q2028440.)
I am not sure whether it is a crisis of ideas, or a true desire to pay homage to its first diving watch from the late 1950s.
Being almost exact reproductions of the original 1959 models, the watches nevertheless bear some differences.
The first of all, equipped with 40.5 mm stainless steel cases, they are slightly larger than the original.
Also, the original models were equipped with hand-wound movements, while the “tribute” versions come powered by JLC’s new caliber 956 automatic movement that we have already seen in their last year’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm watch. Accordingly, the new limited edition wristwatch sports the same signature two-part dial with a rotating disk that replaces the usual “second” central hour hand in similarly designed watches. In this version, however, the central disk seems to be even better blended into the overall styling of the timekeeper: the only thing that gives it up is, perhaps, the equilateral triangle that serves as the alarm module’s pointer.
Filled with beige-colored Superluminova (the luminous compound still glows a lighter shade of grey in darkness,) the triangle and the ‘extended trapezoid’ hour markers are bright enough to easily set the alarm without turning on the light. Well, perhaps the only problem that you can experience is that, if you plan to wake not a 6 in the morning, but at 6:15, you would have to guess correct position of the disk, since the minute markers are regrettably not luminous. Otherwise, I would have given it five stars out of five when it comes to overall legibility.
Beating at the speed of 28,800 vph, the JLC cal. 956 comprises 268 parts and sports a maximum power reserve of 45 hours.
While the 956 movement has a simple calendar complication, the version that comes with the Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea only displays standard three-hand layout in order to stay true to the original diver’s look.
Of course, there is also the signature timbre mechanical alarm function that will most definitely wake you up in case you fall asleep on a sea bed.
To further increase the timekeeper’s “vintage factor,” both versions of the watch will be equipped with convex Plexiglas watch glass.
The case back will be solid and will depict a diver with a spear-gun.
As I have already noted, there will be a European and a North American version of the watch.
The first one will be called Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea “Jaeger-LeCoultre Classique 1959,” will bear reference number Q2028470 and will be limited to 959 pieces.
The other one will be sold as Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea “LeCoultre Special Amerique 1959.” It is assigned the Q2028440 reference number and will be limited to only 359 pieces.
No info on pricing yet, but it surely won’t be cheap*.
Build quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
*UPDATE ON PRICE: In Europe, the watch will be available at a minimum recommended street price of €9500, which seems to be completely justified given the brand’s pedigree, the quality of the mechanism that animates it, and, of course, its relatively small production run with just 1318 pieces to be produced in total.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea (refs. Q2028470 & Q2028440) automatic alarm diving watch specification
Price: €9500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, JLC calibre 956, 23 jewels, 7.45 mm in height, 268 components, 28,800 vph, decorated and assembled by hand, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, alarm
Power reserve: 45 hours
Case material: Steel
Bezel material: Steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 40.50 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 14.50 mm
Dial: Matt black (European version, ref. Q2028470) or Matt black and grey (US version, ref. Q2028440)
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black calfskin leather strap with steel pin buckle
Crystal: Convex Plexiglas
Case back: Solid, engraved