The Vintage Chronographs belong to this rare category of Vintage JLC watches to not use an in house movement, but an Universal or a Valjoux.
These JLC Chronos are a real Family, as there were some dressy ones, coming with different shapes of lugs, quite always round case ( with the noticeable exception of a very rare cushion shaped one ), and using different metals.
I will here focuse on the sporty Chronos, which can be divided in 2 categories, the Diving, and the " 4 ATM ", which were the natural competitors of the Rolex Daytonas.
At the very end of the sixties, JLC released the Diving Chronos, 120 meters water resistant, with a curious variety of bezels.
Here are some pics of these Diving Chronos ( branded Lecoultre or Jaeger Lecoultre ).
Don't know who to credit for this pic...
As you can see, the common points are tritium indexes and hands ( which is mandatory for a Diving watch ), a black dial, with silver sub dials, and a solid case back:
The particularity is that on these Diving Chronos, you have 3 different bezels...
One with minute indexes ( normal, once again, for a Diving Watch ), but also, strangely, a GMT and a World Time bezel!
I never saw in the flesh a Diving Chrono coming with the GMT bezel, so I don't know what to think about this combo, to say all...
The otther different detail between a 4 ATM and the Diving Chronograph is the shape of the lugs, flatter, and larger.
To be complete, the Diving Chronos came with a Lecoultre or Jaeger Lecoultre Dial, never with a Jaeger dial.
So the 4 ATM and the Diving Chronograph have not to be confused, as they are really different.
At the same period, came a non Diving Chrono, water resistant to 4 ATM ( 40 meters ), hence its name " 4 ATM "...
( Here again, don't now who to credit for this superb pic )...
This version was reserved for the French Market, sometimes assembled in France ( hence the writing " Made in France " on some of the dials ), and always signed " Jaeger " on the dial.
As you can see on the first pics I posted on the 4 ATM, there is a weird detail on the bezels.
The bezels indeed come with Hour or Minute indexes, but both are ...Retrograde...From 11 to 0, and not from 12 to 5, ( or 55 to 0, instead of the more logical 0 to 55 ).
I have to admit that I don't know!
I didn't find any pic of the black dialed version of this 4 ATM Chrono, which also existed with silver subdials, but the " white " looks more sporty with the blue counters.
Back to the White 4 ATM, this is an amazing watch.
The similarity with the Rolex Daytona is very close, even if the Jaeger is much bigger than the Rolex with a 41 mm diameter case, ( instead of 37 mm ).
Therefore, the bezel is also different, much larger on the Jaeger than on the Rolex which bears a tachymeter scale on this last one ,while the tachymeter is all around the dial on the Jaeger.
2 comparison pics to show the similarities between these 2 Chronos, and the differences, too...
An Irakian Dayto ( don't now who to credit for this pic ):
The 4 ATM:
Surprising, isn't it?
There is something strong, but also smooth in this 70ies looking Chrono:
An extraordinary presence, maybe due to the white dial, and the very big bezel:
While examining the case, I was stunned by the fact that it is very close to the Polaris one, with the lugs shaped in a very similar way, and with only one milliter less than its presitigious contemporanean.
With its internal bezel, the Polaris is actually bigger, and thicker due to its very domed plexy.
But if you put these 2 watches back to back, it is less really amazing how the proportions look very close.
As we speak of the plexy, here is a side pic, showing its sexy chimney shape, and the non screw in crowns:
It gives, as always, a lot of warmth to the dial, which mixes a sunburst finish with a circular finish for the 3 blue subdials, as shown on these macros:
Some uncommon writings, at the contact of the applied ( non ) luminous indexes, and of the blue subdials:
Made in France :
The case back doesn't show anything spectacular, except the fact that the name of this watch is engraved on it... " 4 ATM " Etanche ( for Water Resistant ), and the other words in English, this blend of French and English being another amazing detail, too.
Another specificity of this watch is that the case nor the movement are signed, at the contrary of the Lecoultre or Jaeger Lecoultre Diving watches.
As we speak of the movement, as I previously said, JLC used an outsourced one, the Valjoux 72, reliable and nicely finished, as you can see on the following pic found on the bay ( on a Lecoultre Diving watch, but once again, this is the same movement ):
To end with this quick view on the 4 ATM, let's see the mandatory wrist shot, which will show how present this watch is on the wrist, and how pleasant and nice it is!
Less known or seen than the Daytona, it deserved a post, indeed, as another interesting Vintage JLC watch.
Hope you will enjoy this thread...