Duomètre - PART IV - " THIS IS THE END " - My feelings following the official launch - JLC master of recycling.



The rumors were that there would be a Duomètre (Chronograph + Moonphase), in steel with a white dial and in platinum with a salmon dial.

I added that, knowing the House that dreams of being Grande, there would be a “ One more thing " in the form of a very high-end Duomètre.

Today, we have a Duomètre " Chronomoon " (New Calibre 391), which is indeed in platinum (Ref.: Q622656J) BUT also in pink gold (Ref.: Q622252J), with open dial (Joker face), coppered on the platinum model and white on the pink gold model - Its complications are : Chronograph with tachometer (Scale specified: graduation based on 1000 meters indicating speed in kilometers per hour) with central hand, sub-counter (the one on the right) and “foudroyante” + Hours, minutes, day & night (Sub-counter on the left) and central seconds and moon phase (Sub-counter on the right) + Power reserves.





We also have a Duomètre "Quantième lunaire" (Calibre 381 - Old calibre from 2010 reworked) - Which is indeed in steel (Ref.: Q604848J) - With solid blue dial - Its complications are : Moon phase (left sub-counter) + Hours and minutes (right sub-counter - position reversed with respect to chronograph).



Finally, we have the inaccessible Heliotourbillon !!!! 20 pieces…



So, there are some "novelties" and... mostly reuses.


The new Duomètre line leaves behind its specific case... to be adorned with clothes inspired by the "Master Grande Tradition", which makes a change from the old case:



Personally, I've always found the shape of the "Master Grande Tradition" cases elegant and refined. I love this modern design, which has something timeless about it.

Using this design for the Duomètre line resolutely orients this model towards the top of the range, by linking it to the "Master Grande Tradition".





This move upmarket probably also helps to justify part of the anticipated price increase.

On the other hand, as Amanico pointed out in a recent discussion, this represents a break with the Jaeger LeCoultre tradition of "One product line - One case", which suggests that either the Manufacture's designers are unfamiliar with the Jaeger LeCoultre culture, or that the Duomètre line has been integrated into the "Master Grande Tradition" and will disappear as a separate product line.

Nevertheless, there are "similarities" between the old case and the new one, namely the alternation of polished and brushed parts.

Finally, there is one model in platinum, one in rose gold and one in steel (in addition to the Héliotourbillon): I don't know whether Jérôme Lambert validated the new models during a committee meeting, but I'm reminded that he said loud and clear that a Duomètre would never be made of steel!

So I'm of two minds on this one, because although I love the "more modern" design of the case, the reuse of an existing case and the absence of a new specific case for this model show a lack of creativity, not to mention a lack of respect for the brand's history (One line - One case), which is a particular shame.

Dimensions are as follows (Diameter: 42.5 mm - versus 40.0 mm on the previous-generation memory / Thickness: 14.2 mm for the chronograph and 13.05 mm for the moon phase - versus 14.0 mm on the previous-generation memory).


For me, this is THE big disappointment...

Here again, we're talking about design, so my point of view is necessarily subjective.

So I'll try to objectify it.

Here are the old and new crowns:




As much as the old crown shape was consistent with the case design, the new one is not at all, but not at all consistent...

The new "Master Grande Tradition" style case has sharp, modern lines, while the new crown is shaped like a pocket-watch winder.

I like to combine vintage and modern (in my apartment for example), but I consider that the case and the crown of the new Duomètre just doesn't "match".

The combination with the case gives the impression that another model's crown has been grafted onto the watch. The result is a feeling of Frankenwatch...

There's something of the anachronistic about it that bothers me (modern and old)... Too much inappropriate quirkiness...

It's a bit like seeing a 15-year-old on the arm of a 60-year-old...

It bothers me enormously, even if I'm waiting to see it in real life to make up my mind...

Finally, as soon as I saw the crown, it said something to me: I'm sure I've seen it before at the manufacture on another model... For me, there's here - again - a form of recycling that testifies to a lack of creativity on the part of the brand.





As rumors said partially there are three dials (excluding the Héliotourbillon) : a copper one for the platinum moon-phase chronograph, a white one for the rose gold version, and a white one for the moon-phase alone.

As these dials are different, I'll present them one by one:


Moon-phase chronograph (New Calibre 391)

The dial of the previous model (whose color has changed) was as follows:


 Here are the new ones (copper and white):



The two-part dial - which was the DNA of the Duomètre - is back, as is the openworked dial (Joker face) from 2010... What a novelty! Jaeger LeCoultre is definitely lacking in creativity: we've waited 14 years to find this dial, which still exists in the current line...


What's more, the choice of Joker faces for the line's new ambassador is a curious one, given that almost all Duomètres fans prefer models with solid dials, which testifies, as is often the case nowadays, to the brand's lack of consideration for original enthusiasts.


The new model retains the classic white dial of the rose gold version... so nothing has changed in that respect. The Duomètre - cuvée 2024 - also adopts a new color (Coppered - Personally, I hate this color, although I must admit that the contrast of the dial is a success compared to other models of this hue) ... This is ultimately consistent with the Manufacture's current policy, i.e. to preserve the existing (with slight retouching) or to change the frame color each year as a novelty...


There are, however, some notable novelties:


- First of all, the relief of the different parts of the frame changes. You either like it or you don't, but I think it's consistent with the overall look of the new model.


- Secondly, the "Duomètre" and "Chronographe" complication markings have been removed (they no longer appeared on Joker faces);


- Moreover, a tachymeter has been added (Scale specified  graduation based on 1000 meters, indicating speed in kilometers per hour), which is cool for me (I love chronos and their variants);


- What's more ? On the chronograph sub-counter (the one on the right), the minute-recall aperture has been definitively abandoned (this was already the case on some models from memory);

- Last : in addition to the hours and minutes, the left sub-counter now has a day & night aperture, and the right sub-counter a moon-phase aperture: as I love these complications for their poetic side, I like these additions. Of course, some will question the coherence of their presence with a chronograph, but at least - and this is rare - we have a day/night and moon-phase watch that has a "living" dial thanks to the chronograph hands and the lightning bolt when it's engaged (with the central second too).


The overall rendering is balanced and pleasing to the eye (for those for whom the Joker face isn't prohibitive), but there are BUT:


- On the one hand, while the central chronograph hand and the power reserve hand are in blued steel, the sub-counter hand (the one on the right) and the “Foudroyante” hand (which has been retained - Phew !!!!) have not the same shade on the copper version (which is not the case on the version with the white dial);


- On the other hand, the addition of the moon-phase aperture of the chronograph sub-counter means that these two functions are visually mixed.


Personally, I find these observations detrimental to the Dual Wing concept and the model's DNA.


The result is a lack of coherence, a muddled look and less "Duo" legibility, especially with the new copper dial (it's less palpable with the white dial)...


Of course, the pretentious will be able to say: "Look at all the complications I've got in my X k€ watch "... Of course, the brand will be able to pride itself on having created a complex watch - apart from the Heliotourbillon (which also raises mechanical questions - see below). On the other hand - but this is just a purist's view - by adding so many things, we lose the essential meaning of the concept.


Personally, I prefer the fact that there are several Duometers with two main complications, rather than one incoherent DuoQuadrimeter.


Quantième lunaire (Calibre 381 - Reworked calibre)

The dial of the previous model (whose color has changed) was as follows:


Here's the new one:


Once again, we find - and this is to be welcomed - a dial separated into two parts, which on this model is not openworked but solid; as well as the "Foudroyante", which here becomes a "Diablotine".

But what's new??? With this model, Jaeger LeCoultre's creativity crisis is obvious: Making something new out of something old is good for profit margins, but it only appeals to the uneducated who don't know the history of the brand and the models it has created in the past.

Admittedly, the Duomètre - cuvée 2024 - adopts a new color (a curious bluish hue)... which is, once again, typical of the Manufacture's current policy of changing the frame color every year as a novelty...

Nonetheless, there are a few "slight" new features, some of which - you can judge for yourself - are a sign of regression:

 First of all, as on the "Chronomoongraph", the relief of the different parts of the frame changes. Like it or not, but for me it's consistent with the overall line of the new model.

 Next, the "Duomètre" and "Quantième Lunaire" complication labels have been removed, which is a shame;

 Furthermore, the details of the moon-phase sub-counter are less detailed, so that, setting this complication will probably be more approximate (barring an explanation from the brand - which I doubt, as the caliber bears the same number as the old model, and I've found no information in this regard): this certainly requires less work during manufacture (and therefore less time and money - another plus for the profit margin), but it's far less practical for fine-setting the moon-phase. It's also inconsistent with the "Precision Maket" message, since fine adjustment of the moon phase is made more difficult/imprecise for customers:

             none   none

Finally, arcs of circles have been drawn above the power reserves, giving them greater visibility and changing the overall look of the watch, without altering it too much (changing an icon like a Duomètre is not an easy thing to do).

Once again, the overall look is balanced and pleasing to the eye, but there's a big BUT for me: the fact that all the hands are the same color goes against the Dual Wing concept and the model's DNA: you can't distinguish each of the two complications as you could on the historical models...



Contrary to rumors and teasers showing only a reworked Calibre 381, a "new" movement is born: Calibre 391.

New Calibre 391 :

No photos of this new caliber had been leaked, so it was impossible to know its characteristics.

What was certain, however, was that it was the engine for :

 A Chronograph with tachymeter, central hand, sub-counter (the one on the right) and lightning ;

Hours, minutes, central seconds but also - and this is the novelty - a day & night function (left sub-counter) and a moon phase (right sub-counter).

As it is unlikely and illogical that the new complications would be powered by the barrel dedicated to the chronograph, this suggested that all complications would be powered by the hour and minute barrels...

It was therefore conceivable that the architecture of the existing caliber 380 would be retained, with or without improvements:


Finally, looking at the new calibre - while Jaeger LeCoultre tells the press "In 2024, for the Calibre 391, Jaeger-LeCoultre engineers started from scratch to develop a fully integrated movement that combines a hand-wound single-pusher chronograph with moon-phase and day/night complications, as well as two power reserve indicators and a lightning second", this new calibre appears to be very much inspired by the old one - a bit like they did with the Reverso Chronographe in 2013 :



It's worth noting that, as in the past, the openwork of the caliber is present with a dual aspect: aesthetics, but also a technical function, since it allows watchmakers to assemble certain parts more easily (a point highlighted to the press but which already existed in part).

Nonetheless, notable changes have been made on the technical and mechanical fronts, with the addition of new complications.

An aesthetic change is also to be noted, with a switch from a "maillechort" finish to a "german silver" rhodium finish.

Given the expected addition of complications, I was still waiting for technical explanations. 

Indeed, as I've already indicated in previous posts, the addition of complication worried me.

Let me explain again.

Logic dictates that there should be :

 a barrel whose energy will be used for the chronograph - this is unchanged from the historical model, so it's not much of a problem;

 a barrel whose energy will be used for the hours, minutes, seconds AND the day/night function AND the moon-phase function, which is quite a lot and therefore generates more friction...

 Now, let me remind you:

 Duo A Chronograph: 1 Barrel for hours and minutes + 1 Barrel for the chronograph;

 Duo Quantième lunaire: 1 barrel for QL hours + 1 barrel for regulator;

 Duo Universal travel time: 1 barrel for hours and minutes + 1 barrel for world hours and minutes (travel time).

 And this architecture has been sold for years by the Manufacture as a perfect balance of Energy / Complication / Precision.

 The result is that :

 Either this new Duomètre will be unbalanced, since there will be many more complications on a single barrel than the balance put forward until now;

 - Either Jaeger LeCoultre has succeeded in a “tour de force” allowing the addition of these multiple complications on a single barrel ALL without affecting the pre-existing balance, in which case I'd be curious to know how.

 In other words, if there's no explanation of the improvements and the whys and wherefores of these non-disruptive additions... well :

 Either Christian Laurent, JLC Master Watchmaker, will have told us a lot of garbage when presenting the Duomètres to the Manufacture (Impossibility of adding certain complications, notably the chrono, without altering the balance obtained)... which I doubt, given this gentleman's great skill/knowledge... 

 Either the Grande Maison is now telling us a bunch of nonsense that's well-wrapped in marketing terms... but technically incoherent because it runs counter to the laws of physics...

 Well, I've waited to see...

 In the press documentation, there are a few generalities on "the resolution of the complications dilemma", but this only concerns the period up to 2007... There's also a paragraph on the "all-new caliber 391", but it's totally hollow, since it's mainly the aesthetics that are dealt with, not the technical aspects:  It's totally appropriate for image and narcissism enthusiasts... a little less so for those of us who love watchmaking, engineering and are interested in how watches work...

 I'll have to wait and talk to someone who knows, as I'm not interested in marketing blah blah blah.


Calibre 381 - Reworked calibre

 Unlike Calibre 391, which was a discovery, photos of Calibre 381 (version 2024) have been leaked.

 The old caliber :


The "new" caliber :



 Differences are notable:

- 42 jewels instead of 40 jewels;

 - German silver" rhodium finish instead of "nickel silver" as on previous models. 

 In short... more of the same... more of the same... more of the same lack of creativity... more of the same lack of work...



Despite some nice "novelties"/improvements... I'm VERY VERY VERY disappointed, because after many, many years of waiting and dreaming, I didn't fall in love… not at all... not at all...

Jaeger LeCoultre, through lack of creativity and/or work, has become a recycling brand.

Worse still, this new Duomètre shows a lack of understanding of the history of the concept, of the specific characteristics of each product line, and is cruelly lacking in terms of coherence. 

And worst of all - until it's clearly explained to me - the addition of new complications seems to me - given the laws of physics - to run counter to the "Precision Maker" slogan… 

 It's also sad to see the extent to which the Manufacture is silent on the technological advances of the new caliber 391, in stark contrast to the communication that was made at the birth of the Duomètre in 2007...

The price (€96,000 for the platinum chronograph - €78,000 for the pink gold version - €48,000 for the steel lunar calendar) borders on the indecent.

For example... yesterday a Duomètre lunar calendar in rose gold was worth 52,000 €uro new... and, only 41,000 €uro (This is the Chrono24 posted price, so in reality you have to deduct 10 to 30%) on second-hand market (model never worn from 2023):


I would have so much liked an innovative Duomètre (Split true second for example), I would have sincerely appreciated being surprised by a Manufacture that has a special place in my heart, especially with the Duomètre, which is a model I have appreciated since the beginning.

Like any enthusiast, I have a strong liking for it, and so I react strongly to it. Despite my disappointment, I've tried to remain as objective as possible, although a little demanding: intransigent with certain values...

In the end, it's up to you to make up your own mind... 

I'll leave it to you to make your own opinion, in the hope that the few keys and understanding provided will help you in your future decisions.

Best Ø

This message has been edited by amanico on 2024-04-09 15:05:36

SayNo2Babies April 9th, 2024-14:16
With so much time to think and so many personal hopes for the model, maybe it was impossible for JLC to release something that wouldn't have disappointed you. I need to sit with them before any final conclusions, but I do like the new case shape, and the crown works congruently for... 
Alfihar April 9th, 2024-15:11
I agree and not ... There's no doubt that love and passion make you more demanding, and that long waits are a source of idealization... However, that's not knowing me well: I never have any preconceived ideas in life, but I always say what I think, good or bad. If something ... 
Brandon Skinner April 9th, 2024-15:31
Incredible write-up, Nico... merci beaucoup! Please ask the people at JLC to place a Heliotourbillon on hold for me😘
amanico April 9th, 2024-15:35
It is not me. You have to thank Alfihar. :)))) 
Brandon Skinner April 10th, 2024-05:30
Yes, you're right. Thank you Alfihar, a really great summation of thoughts and details. 
amanico April 10th, 2024-07:04
hora12reborn April 10th, 2024-21:15
Alfihar April 16th, 2024-06:57
Alfihar April 16th, 2024-05:27
My pleasure. Hope it has been helpful  Best Ø
tombub April 10th, 2024-06:59
The successor 😂 

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