4/ THE MOVEMENT:
The Cal 956 has a power reserve of 45 hours, made of 268 parts and 23 jewels.
It has been inaugurated with the Tribute to Polaris, in 2008, and then housed in the Master Memovox since 2010 till now.
The big advantage of the Cal 956 is that it offers a quick set of the date, which was not the case with the former alarm movement, the Cal 918. Indeed, with the Cal 918, you had to go forward and backward between 10 PM and 3 AM to set the date, which was pretty fastidious.
The Cal 956 offers a date, of course, but it also exists without date, as it is the case with the Tribute To Deep Sea Alarm, which is the only exception, to date.
For this new Memovox, Jaeger Lecoultre redesigned the rotor, as you can see here.
On dressy watches, such as the Master Memovox, the oscillating weight is in gold, while on the sporty models such as the Master Compressor Navy SEALs Alarm, the weight is made of heavy metal, a blend of Tungsten ( 90 % ), Copper and Nickel.
I regret that Jaeger Lecoultre didn't decide to upgrade this movement like they did with some new Master Control such as the Date, or the Calendar, with the silicon escapement and 70 hours of autonomy, though... But I am sure some technical improvements will see the light one day or another.
5/ THE TIMER:
Obviously, Jaeger Lecoultre took the inspiration of the Memovox Parking, ref 3161 or E 856, for the Memovox Timer. Indeed, they both work the same way.
Memovox Timer and Memovox Parking, Ref 3161:
With the upper crown, which you turn backward, you set the alarm at the time you want it to chime. The inner disk moves, while turning the crown. The Parking tells you how much parking time remains before sounding and warning you that your parking time is over. With the Timer, you have a 12 hours countdown, not just 2 hours countdown:
At the difference of the Memovox Parking, the Memovox Timer has a JL red tipped hand which tells you how much time is remaining. In the picture above, 8 hours.
On the Memovox Parking, this is the hour hand which tells you how much time is remaining, once it reaches the 2 hours of the alarm disc. On the side by side picture above, for example, the hour hand will have to reach 4 o'clock before giving you the countdown.
In the Memovox Timer, the JL red tipped alarm hand is coupled to the hour hand, and moves with it. So, the concept is the same, but more sophisticated with the Memovox Timer, while the Parking is funnier.
6/ MY FEELINGS DURING THE ON THE WRIST TEST:
The best way to write a review on a watch is to have the opportunity to test it for several days. The Memovox is one of my favorite families in the Jaeger Lecoultre Universe and I know them quite well. So I was curious and impatient to evaluate this " Timer ", to judge its pros and cons, which I will elaborate now.
- The Memovox Timer provides an indisputable perception of quality.
The two new Memovox are well made. The case is more homogeneous in its proportions, more refined, more elegant. The dials are a step above compared to the former references, too. Its thinner and longer applied triangles, the sunburst dials, the grained disc of the timer, the blue hue are a feast for the eyes and the mind. I would have preferred the Timer without date, truth to be told, and with an applied " 3 ", instead, or, if the date was at that point mandatory, at least with a matching background ( blue for the Timer ), but it is not a deal breaker for me.
The Calibre 956 is nicely decorated and industrially finished. Nothing exceptional in terms of finishings, but pleasant to see. And Jaeger Lecoultre opted for a new open rotor, in gold. Mechanically speaking, the power reserve of 45 hours is ok, but I would have, of course, preferred the new improvements we saw in the Master Control Date and Calendar from this year, with a power reserve of 70 hours. Later, maybe?
There is a good thing and a bad thing about this movement.
The bad thing is that it takes one hour for the date to change. It starts around midnight to end around 1 AM.
The good thing is that at the contrary of the former versions, the alarm doesn't rattle when you shake it or when you move your wrist, or much less, at least.
The accuracy is good. The " Timer " ran 4 seconds too fast per day, which is good enough for me.
Winding both the movement and the alarm is another pleasant experience, both crowns being very smooth. To be precise, the alarm has a power reserve of 17 seconds, which is the same I measured on the former versions, Tribute to Polaris and Deep Sea Alarm included.
As for the alarm sound, it chimes less high, but richer than the former, I would say more... Crystalline.
All in all, the quality has been improved in a perceptible way, with two reserves, the passage of the date, too long, and the longer power reserve which is not present, yet...
- Is the Memovox Timer a friendly watch?
Curious question, as the alarm can indisputably be considered as a friendly complication," per se ". Personally, this is the horological complication I use the most, to wake me up or to remind me of some important events, and it is much more poetic than using the alarm of your cell phone.
What about the timer, now?
It is friendly in that sense it allows you to know how much time is remaining before the alarm chimes in a blink of an eye, a bit like a world time gives you the time all around the world without having to calculate it.
But... On 99% of the alarm watches, there is an issue... You can only set them for 12 hours. Which means that if it is 8 AM and that you want to set it for 7 AM the day after, it is impossible. It will ring at 7 PM. So, with the timer, you can have a countdown on 12 hours maximum, not on 24 hours. Of course, that would require a modification of the Cal 956, to offer an alarm and the timer on 24 hours, but I find it even more friendly and meaningful, as it will help you to know if you set the alarm AM or PM.
- Is the Memovox Timer the new " King Of Cool "?
Jaeger Lecoultre made some watches which qualify for the title of " King of Cool".
The Tributes to Deep Sea Alarm and Polaris certainly are champions in that domain, and what to say about the Tribute To Reverso 1931 Red?
The Tribute To Reverso Red I had the pleasure to test during the summer 2012:
For me, the Memovox Timer is in the vein of the Tribute to Reverso Red, more than in the league of the Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm or Polaris.
Indeed, the Memovox Timer and the Reverso Red share the same " Dandy-esque " feeling. Chic cool, elegance, class, but not too formal nor serious / pretentious, and staying off the beaten paths.
The size is perfect, the presence on the wrist is pleasant, the Memovox Timer is the kind of watch you don't feel but which you notice, without being show off.
The watch is comfortable to wear, even if I would have preferred the calf strap of the new " normal " Memovox, in a navy blue hue, rather than this alligator strap, and, as we are at it, a pin buckle which I find more pleasant to wear, but I know some will disagree, here.
I always wait a bit before ending an article on a watch I just tested, for a good reason. I have to digest all the feelings and to take some distance with the watch.
I noticed that the miss is an important factor when writing an article.
10 days have passed since I gave the Memovox Timer back to Jaeger-Lecoultre, which allows me to say that this is one of the watches I tested which I miss, along with the Duomètre UTT, the Duomètre Quantième Lunaire Enamel, and the Tribute To Reverso Red.
To sum up my feelings, I loved the overall feeling of quality, the look, the sound of the alarm, the comfort, its polyvalence ( casual and formal ), the Timer concept, this blue dial which is much better in real life than on the official pictures.
I am less fan of the date, I would have loved a 3 / 6 / 9 / 12 dial configuration, to be honest. I would have been delighted if the Cal 956 had shared the 70 hours power reserve from some of the 2020 novelties, and I would have enjoyed a 24 hours alarm countdown a lot!
All these reserves are not deal breakers, for me, though.
There is only one question, which is more important than the reserves I mentioned... The price... At 16, 200 Euros, even with tax included, I find it is a highly priced watch, which is important to consider at the moment of the decision.
But don't we say that " when you love, you don't count "?
Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts,