It took JLC exactly a year to introduce yet another model that pays homage to their original 1959 Deep Sea. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Automatic Chronograph (ref. Q207857J) speaks the same design tongue, but lacks the alarm functionality being less true to the original, but also available at a lot less mind-numbing price, which is great if you are not a purist and simply want a vintage-styled watch from a reputable manufacturer.
There is possibly no need for a lengthy piece here since the new model almost exactly reproduces the last year’s Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea Automatic Alarm Diver.
It comes in the same stainless steel case that measures only 40.5 millimeters in diameter (a nice touch compared to most currently available divers that rarely measure less than 42 millimeters in width and are mostly “inspired” by iconic models from Rolex) and features the same fixed bezel that makes it easier reading time.
Since the alarm functionality is gone, there is only one winding/setting crown, which is accompanied by a pair of standard chronograph push-pieces that are placed at 2 and 4 hours. The first one is for starting and stopping the chrono and the second is for resetting its readings.
It is interesting to note that, being a faithful tribute to the legendary watch, the new Deep Sea is protected from salty water not with the usual sapphire glass, but with a more “historic” Plexiglas material. Also not as scratch-resistant as normal sapphire crystal, the organic material is at the same time a lot more difficult to shatter.
The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph is animated by a version of their well-known cal. 751 automatic movement (we have seen it, for example, in the beautiful Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX2 Racing Paris limited edition chronograph watch that was released back in 2009) that was first introduced eight years ago back in 2004. In this particular case it is the new JLC Caliber 751G.
Sporting 37 jewels and comprising 235 components, the movement beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph and has a guaranteed power reserve of 65 hours thanks to its double-barrel design. As usual, it is assembled and decorated by hand and tested for full 1000 hours at JLC’s own production facilities. Being the least sophisticated member of the family, the mechanism will probably be the most dependable among them, which is certainly a plus when you have to deal with such an expensive item.
I am not sure how much money JLC plans to ask for this one, but you should better prepare to pay from $12,000 to $15,000 for this beautiful piece*.
UPDATE ON PRICE: After publishing this brief review, I received confirmation that the Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph will retail at an even more interesting price of just over $11,000 USD. Although still far from being ‘affordable’ (whatever it means to you,) it doesn’t seem too overpriced if you consider the quality of the movement and the watch itself.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph (ref. Q207857J) specification
Price: $11,100 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, JLC Caliber 751G, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 37
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Decorated by hand
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Power reserve: 65 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 40.50 mm
Dial: Black, sand-blasted
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black embossed calfskin leather with stainless steel pin buckle
Back: Solid, engraved (a frogman surrounded by bubbles)