September 29, 2015
by Ariel Adams
In addition to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic True Second watch, another new timepiece in the collection for 2015 is this Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time that adds a world time complication, stunning world map dial, and a larger case size. Jaeger-LeCoultre originally released the first Geophysic watch in 1958 and the cult favorite was something only niche collectors knew about until 2014 when Jaeger-LeCoultre decided to reintroduce the collection as the Geophysic 1958 watches (hands-on here).
As I mentioned when introducing the also new for 2015 Geophysic True Second watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre has really hit a stride with the Geophysic collection in terms of desirability that, for me, was absent in the 2014 collection. What’s changed? Well, a new movement, case, and dial design, for starters. Then, there are interesting models such as the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time which shows just how ambitious Jaeger-LeCoultre is going to be the Geophysic into the future.
World time watches are not only cool looking, but they are also useful. This particular system with a 24-hour ring is relied upon by a number of brands ranging from Patek Philippe to Montblanc – with prices all over the place (I believe Frederique Constant or Ball are the leaders when it comes to Swiss world time watch affordability). Anyhow, now Jaeger-LeCoultre offers its own take on this flavor of world timers with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time. What’s special? This is the only one that I know of that has a deadbeat seconds hand (“True Second,” as Jaeger-LeCoultre prefers to call it).
I discuss the True Beat complication more in our article on the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic True Second watch. Both the Geophysic True Second and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time use the same base movement architecture. While the former contains the in-house made Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 770, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time contains the caliber 772. What I find interesting is that while the 770 has 270 components the 772 has just one more, at 271 components. With that said, the thickness of the 770 movement is 6.57mm, while the 772 is 7.13mm thick. That means there are some distinct differences on the top of the movement where the world time disc is. Otherwise, both movements have the same 40-hour power reserve, in-house made Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrolab balance, and True Second “ticking seconds hand” complication. They are also both automatics.
The Geophysic True Second and Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time do not share the same case size, though. While the True Second is 39.6mm wide the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time is a bit larger at 41.6mm in diameter. That really gives this watch a distinct presence on the wrist as compared to the smaller and more simple Geophysic True Second. Of course, the appeal for anyone interested in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time is the world time complication and the map-style dial.
I am not typically a mega-fan of world time dials with maps, but this one is pretty cool, and on the wrist, it has an impressive character the melds a bit of retro-flair with modern visual elements. With all that is going on the dial, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time might not be as legible as the cleaner dial on the True Second, but it is more legible than some other map dial world time watches I’ve worn. As I mentioned when talking about the Geophysic True Second watch, I do like the new hand set design. The red and while strip down the center of the dial isn’t that bad either.
I have to say that even though world time watches aren’t exactly rare, the addition of the True Second hand makes this particular world time Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time watch a bit special. It is also a Jaeger-LeCoultre which seems to add credibility to the entire product proposition because stuff like this feels right up the brand’s alley (Side note: I really don’t think a single true alley exists in Le Sentier, Switzerland).
At launch, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time watch will be offered on an alligator strap in either steel (reference Q810 25 20) for $15,000 or in 18k pink gold (ref. Q810 84 20) for $25,000. jaeger-lecoultre.com