Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Watch Review

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Watch Review

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Ask anyone interested in quality mechanical watches and they will tell you that Jaeger-LeCoultre makes a fine timepiece. Through its rich history, the brand has succeeded in almost universally having watch fans get excited about their movements and quality.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has achieved the difficult task of setting a high bar for itself mechanically. The next step after that was to capture the hearts of as much of the watch lover market as possible. That was the more difficult part. JLC gained a lot of popularity with their more formal iconic pieces such as the Reverso and classic Master Compressor. That wasn’t enough for them. Several years ago Jaeger-LeCoultre decided to double its efforts in the popular high-end sport watch market as well.

Then the Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy SEALs watch was borne. The idea was that JLC would work closely with United States Navy SEAL soldiers to design and develop watches that would live up to their expectations in training and combat. The hoped result would be super cool watches with famous Jaeger-LeCoultre movements inside of them that every guy wanted to have. Especially since it was “performance tested and designed,” versus just made in a design studio. With a goal like that JLC again set the bar very high. The evolved Master Compressor watches in the Navy SEALs collection certainly do get a lot of attention, and are worth looking at whether you want to be like the Navy SEALs or not.

I didn’t have a lot of experience with this collection before the review, but after wearing this amazing watch for a while I am sold on the execution and really like this piece. I’ve talked with JLC a lot about their work with Navy SEALs and the feedback they get. The joke among collectors is always that no Navy SEALs guy wearing a JLC can afford one. That may be true, but at least Jaeger didn’t make them pay for the watches. Soldiers just get too many perks I tell you.

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

About a year or two ago there was a smaller 42mm wide version of the Master Compression Navy SEALs released that I discussed here. The reason for this smaller model was because it was demand by the SEALs themselves. That is amusing because most of the pieces are larger, with the chronograph I tested coming in a 46.3mm wide case – I love the big size. Though you all should know by now how much I appreciate larger watches.

46.3mm can wear either larger or small, in this case it wears comfortably and does not feel massive. This is not a small watch though. This version of the watch is in titanium with a gray PVD coating over the most brushed metal. Steel is used for parts of the outer bezel as well as Master Compressor style locks on the crown and pushers. Most of the bezel is dark gray matte ceramic with the numerals and markers sharply engraved in its surface. There is an applied steel triangle at the 60 minute marker on the bezel.

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The mixture of steel, ceramic, and titanium feels satisfying. Jaeger has achieved a very aggressive look that is also legible, classy, and masculine. It is a very good execution of a modern sports watch with a Swiss level of refinement.

For this watch Jaeger-LeCoultre offers 1000 meters of water resistance. You rarely find chronograph watches with that much durability. Now I know why “Diver” is part of the name of the watch. The high level of water resistance is aided by the special crown and pusher lock system unique to Jaeger-LeCoultre. If you aren’t familiar with the system, here is how it works; you twist the lock around the crown or pusher to lock the piece or allow it to operate. This is in contrast to a screw-in system, though they functionally work is the same way. This system is however more convenient and you’ll end up appreciating it. The crown and pushers themselves are rubber coated.

Lovers of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s various Master Compressor watches from the last few years will feel right at home here. Though I dare to suggest that the dial is a bit more aggressive and legible in this model. The hands and hour markers are bold and offer with a high level of contrast compared to the dial. There is thick and bright lume all over the dial. The second time-zone hand is non-lumed. This is a bit of a trade-off design decision actually. Not luming it allows it to be visible, but not distracting when looking at the time. I have to say that overall I prefer this style of second time zone hand integration as opposed to one that visually competes with the main hour hand. What JLC did was brush the top of the hand to offer very good visibility when you are looking for it -though it doesn’t get in the way when you want to only look at the time. Going back to the lume for a moment, you’ll find that JLC uses different colors of lume for the hour and minute hand to enhance visibility is murky conditions.

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

In addition to the black and white tones JLC adds yellow as a trim color. You see it on the minute scale on the flange ring, at the tip of the chronograph seconds hands, and on the strap. While this is a super diver watch, the strap is meant for more terrestrial use. I recommend using something like a rubber strap if you are going to be using this piece underwater.

The strap on the watch is pretty slick and grew on me quickly. Jaeger-LeCoultre designed it from a few materials and colors. The inner lining is yellow while the outside is black. Most of the strap is calfskin leather. I like how the strap ends have give to them, but are also designed to curve with the shape of the case.

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Over the dial is an AR coated domed sapphire crystal. There is of course glare because it is domed, but not much, and legibility is always high. In addition to the 12 hour chronograph is a second time-zone function. I don’t personally use the term GMT because that hand is a 12 hour, versus 24 hour hand. Though you’ll notice in the name of the watch that Jaeger does call it a “GMT” watch. There is a neat little feature that tells you whether it is AM or PM in the second time zone. This is done with small day/night indicator window under the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo under 12 o’clock. Nice system right? Overall the watch has the time, two time zones, the date, and chronograph. A lot of healthy functionality here, and in addition to being a good sports watch, it is a great traveler’s watch.

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Inside the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs is a Jaeger-LeCoultre in-house made and designed caliber 757 automatic movement. The watch contains two barrels with 65 hours of power reserve and it operates at 28,800 bph. The longer power reserve is a nice feature and I found it to be both accurate and easy to operate. Then again, it is a Jaeger-LeCoultre movement. As an inherently fancy tool watch the Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy Seals does not disappoint. Aside from the special Navy SEALs engraved caseback, I didn’t find myself ever thinking about the Navy SEALs connection very much. It just wasn’t necessary as I was preoccupied with enjoying the watch. One of the things that I’ve know Jaeger to focus on is functionality much more so that some of their competitors. It feels a lot like a watch brand made by people who love and know watches.

As a larger sport watch the Master Compressor Navy SEALs collection of pieces aren’t cheap, but they are not ridiculous in price for what you get. They look good and work well, suitable for being a reliable daily wear. Many of them are limited editions such as this model which is limited to 500 pieces. Price is about $13,400 for this Jaeger-LeCoultre reference 178T471 watch.

36 comments
nikab2930
nikab2930

if i am a seal and jlc give me this, i will trade it for a real JLC

Ovidiu Hretcanu
Ovidiu Hretcanu

13k seems a lot and we can comment on this all day long. I don't care abut the price, this is a watch out of my league and if I have spare money I will spend it on something more usefull for sure.

Going back to the piece itself: I like it. It seems they did a good job, the design is nice, it has the right amount of complications, is well proportioned, color choice is good (why there is no lume on the second hand I wonder).

Second time zone hand reminds me of Clerc Hydroscaphs which I like also.

Nice article, Ariel... awful comments tough :(

CG
CG

...will it stop an AK round? No? Compute extreme dive tables? No? show bullet drop and wind speed? No? then what good is it to a SEAL Team? The girls at the base bar would like it...

JohnnyJohnnyJohnny
JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

Sexy watch. Those who are saying Navy Seals can't afford this watch probably don't understand the concept of saving money. Also, this watch was probably not meant to be worn on the battle field, what with the leather strap and all. Don't troll yourselves by providing arguments against price and actual use.

Jon W
Jon W

Speaking from experience, the most common watch you will see on the modern "commando" is a G-Shock. Automatic watches are never the choice for combat or covert operations in any sector (military, covert or private contractor). Though a nice piece, Jay is right. This is a marketing ploy. And, for those of you die hard weekend warriors who are positive the 13+ G watch on their wrist is worn by America's elite, swing by Coronado sometime and look at the wrist of any active duty trident or Naval SOC. Then, if you're still not convinced, jog down the beach to the Recon training center and see if any Devil Dogs are wearing a JLC.

Jay Sherman
Jay Sherman

While this is a nice diver with a great movement, the whole Navy Seals tie in is nothing more than pure marketing BS. This has as much to do with the Navy Seals as the suburban commandos (those few and brave couch warriors) who wear them. How about they rename it for the people who will actually buy them: the JLC: Extreme Paintball Edition or the JLC: Modern Warfare XBox 360 Exclusive version. JLC is a very classy company and they should leave this pathetic pandering to the Hublot's and AP ROO's.

nolasensei
nolasensei

Interesting, at $13,400 I don't think any actual Navy Seals could actually afford to own this watch.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Hm. I would have tagged thise at more in the $20k area, so the tag on this is surprising, in a good way. That strap is awful, and looks to have been stitched by a noob. I'd haveit replaced in a heartbeat, although a watch like this should have a TI bracelet option.

JohnnyJohnnyJohnny
JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

@CG this is like asking if an apple computer will sustain a starving child. Think beyond the surface.

JohnnyJohnnyJohnny
JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

Also, there seems to be a common assumption that current navy seals make up the marketing demographic. What 21-30ish male who kills people for a living is interested in a 13k JLC? They want what all males want at that age. Booz, pussy, rent, video games, a nice car, etc. Of course they would rather wear something that requires little investment and provides the maximum amount of utility. To argue this is stating the obvious. This in turn begs the question, who is the target demographic? Obviously it is weekend warriors and perhaps retired navy seals. You guys are given to simple thinking.

Snow1
Snow1

@JohnnyJohnnyJohnny you are so fucking stupid it is unbelievable. lots of jeagers are worth this price and more i just don't like the whole marketing idea of this watch. i'm sorry that you think your opinion being different means that everyone else is "given to simple thinking".

Greg S
Greg S

@JohnnyJohnnyJohnny@CG

Dear Johnny,

I think you need to explain to everyone that you're not angry with them, just disappointed.

Best Regards,

Greg.

JohnnyJohnnyJohnny
JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

@Snow1 I see that you haven't been working on your reading comprehension. When did I say that a JLC wasn't worth 13k?

ps. shall I call you an ambulance?

nolasensei
nolasensei

@Kris C

A couple of consultants from the Seals get free watches and I am supposed to be impressed. What would be impressive is JLC auctioning the watches and giving the proceeds to the "Wounded Warriors Project" or some other worthy organizations that benefit service men and women . . .

Greg S
Greg S

@JohnnyJohnnyJohnny
Link it yourself JB, I'm not giving it more traffic. Seriously though, no one comments over there, you could be king!

Greg S
Greg S

@JohnnyJohnnyJohnny
Envious of you, J3? No, haven't seen anything to be envious of, you're just a sad, wannabe writer who trolls this site because no one comments over at your blog....
Not envious JB, sad......

JohnnyJohnnyJohnny
JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

@Greg S I'm a bit too disappointed at the moment for bed time stories. Perhaps another time, my love.

Greg S
Greg S

@JohnnyJohnnyJohnny@Greg

But i'm learning so much from you, how to sleep! Will the apple computer sustain the starving child? Don't keep us in suspense, Johnny!

JohnnyJohnnyJohnny
JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

@Greg S I assume this is the path your parents took when you told them you were gay and going to move to new york to pursue theatre instead of college.

AtSeaWatch
AtSeaWatch

@Snow1@Kris C@nolasensei Yeah, I kind of have an issue with the Navy SEALs marketing for the watches. SOC guys don't wearing JLCs. They drive Mustangs and were Suuntos. Seriously. Those things are everywhere on post.

Snow1
Snow1

@Kris C@nolasensei exactly, this isn't a charity and real navy seals cannot afford the watch so why bother with the gimmicky navy seals theme? i guess its because people like you buy into silly marketing ploys like this think they are worth 20k.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

@nolasensei Why are you supposed to be impressed? Better question: why is JLC (or any watch brand for that matter) responsible for funding a charity? You do understand they are a business, correct?

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