We often talk about the complicated or the sports... But I would like to put a light on some of the core criterion’s of a modern wrist watch: Time, Date, Automatic, Water resistant, Shock resistant and Accuracy.
This is what a big part of the watch buying customers wants.
Yes, is this order, at least if you look at most of the big Manufactures and their main part of watch production each year. The two Water resistant and Shock resistant are so accepted as standard nowadays so most of the times they are not even mentioned as a sales argument.
I guess many of us here may not agree on the importance of the above stated core functions or the order.
Let me guess, the date window…? And of course preferably a manual movement…!
But let’s take off our “Purists hat” and look from “Average Joe’s” point of view for a second. He or she don’t have a dozen watches to rotate on the wrist, most people probably often have only one watch that accompany them each day, through thick and thin, for better or worse…
And that watch they want to show time, to show date, not have to wind each day, not be afraid of getting some water on the watch or smash it and it should be accurate enough so that they doesn’t notice any abbreviations within a too short period of time.
Am I prejudiced? Maybe a bit, but let’s face it, we are a very picky bunch when it comes to our watches…!
OK, I should stop rambling and get to the point!
There is a way to meet all the core functions stated above in a beautiful way that even hardcore Purists may approve...
JLC did it already back in 1961 with the Geomatic!
A watch that is: Water resistant, Shock resistant, Automatic, Date and Chronometer.
This example is the Ref 399/1 with the automatic caliber 883 S, hack second, inside. Adjusted in five positions and temperatures. Certified Chronometer. Case 36.5 mm.
I think many of us see this watch as a very pure and classic looking watch. The essence of a dress watch!
But, if you look closer you see “AUTOMATIC” printed in big capital letters very close to the logo.
Automatic, something to be proud of!
The date window - yes, it is there, eating the index at three.
Chronometer is only the third thing stated and last is the name of the watch.
Water resistant, yes according to the ad.
Shock resistant, yes as stated in the ad.
To me the Geomatic is pure beauty! I love the long curved tapered lugs, the thin bezel, the slightly doomed sun-burst silver dial, the long thin steel hands, the also long and thin applied indexes and the doomed crystal.
Do I get disturbed by the “AUTOMATIC” on the dial? No. Would I love it even more if the date window would not be there? No.
Here I think the perfect balance is achieved.
And the cherry on the cake: The Golden medallion on the back holding the Planet sphere!
OK, fast forward 31 years… Back in 1992 the Le Grand Maison introduced the Master Control 1000 Hours. Case 37.5 mm.
This is not a chronometer since it has not been COSC tested. Instead JLC used the 1000 hours control.
Still the same virtues, Time, Date, Automatic, Water resistant, Shock resistant and Accuracy.
This example is the Ref 140.8.89 with the automatic caliber 889, hack second, inside. Master Control 1000 Hours.
The lugs are still curved tapered lugs but not as long. The bezel is a bit bigger and flatter. The slightly doomed sun-burst silver dial is not as doomed as on the Geomatic. The steel hands are shorter and dauphin shaped. The applied indexes are also shorter and pointed. The doomed crystal is replaced with an almost flat sapphire glass. All these “tweaks” are signs of the time, IMO. 1992 was not the “romantic design” era compared to the 1960’s…
The Golden medallion on the back is still there but replaced with a Master Control symbol.
OK, again fast forward 21 years… Back in 2012 the Le Grand Maison introduced a new version of the Master Control 1000 Hours. Smaller case, 39 mm (there were an 40 mm version for a few years but I have lost track of that versions specifics and honestly, it was not my taste, the extra mm was all on the bezel).
Still the same functions...
This example is the Ref 176.8.40.S Jubilé 1833 with the same automatic caliber 889, hack second, inside. Master Control 1000 Hours.
The lugs are short, a bit wider, but still curved and tapered. The bezel is even bigger and flatter. The slightly doomed sun-burst silver dial is almost flat. The steel hands are still dauphin shaped (the 40 mm version had “spear head” shaped hands). The applied indexes are still pointed. The sapphire glass is almost flat. Again, I think these alterations from the 1992 version are signs of today. Maybe not the development I would prefer but...
The Golden medallion on the back is gone; instead there is an open case back to allow you to see the movement. This is definitely a change made due to today’s technic and fashion. The good part is that the opening is quite large to reveal almost the movement in whole. One detail I like is the rounded shape of the metal part on the back. Compared with the 1992 version which had straight angle from the center to the sides.
So, after a long rambling – now to my question:
Can a Purists watch meet all the core criterion’s of a modern wrist watch?
Time, Date, Automatic, Water resistant, Shock resistant and Accuracy.
In my opinion, YES!
Then it is a matter of personal taste which one you prefer…
Would love to hear your opinion…
BlommanThis message has been edited by blomman on 2015-01-04 16:05:14
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