I thought Id share my impressions on this piece, since I did search for my first for this brand for quite a while. I was confused considering models from JLC since they all seem nice. Anyway, I always liked this watch company since they make such great movements that other companies brag about when inside their watches. I wanted a piece for a long time and finally decided to pull the trigger. So almost a month of use and hereís what I think of a JLC watch.
You must excuse this shallow view since I've been around a bit but havenít gone that deep into movements, complications, etc. Anyway, here it goes after a few weeks of use.
Specs from Manufacturer:
Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre: 912
Pieces number : 315
Vibrations per hour : 28800
Power-reserve : 45 Hours
Jewels : 23
Barrel : 2
Height : 7.78 mm
Functions: Hour - Minute, Seconds, Date, World time indication simultaneously indicating the time in all 24 times zones, Alarm with double hour and minute display, Alarm function on/off selector
Ok, I cant give too much assessment on the movement, it is spot on for the last 15 days or so, it is an in house. JLC movement. As for the power reserve, I tried not using it for roughly 2 days and its still running when I strapped it on again. In the Orbita database, winding is bidirectional at 800 turns per day so I guess it isnít too much wrist work of fill up the autonomy reserves.
As per function, it comes with a display of several time zones on a disk run by a hand with two arms that completes one rotation every 24 hours. This was the main reason I took this one in. I had to unload 2 GMT watches and would like to have that function on my next piece and the worldtime is the perfect replacement. The alarm was just a bonus.
Water resistance : 10 ATM
The case has the shock absorption system which absorbs half of the shock taken by the watch limiting their effects. It does look like an inverted Seiko Tuna . Instead of the shroud, the main case (titanium ) rests on a stainless steel frame which bears the lugs and attaches it to the straps.
I like this bimetal construction, you donít really notice the titanium unless you strap it off and look closely.
The case is nicely finished and the transition of where the case and base frame can be clearly seen up close due to the differences in finishing. The main case being brushed titanium and the base being polished stainless steel.
Here you can see the transition of the titanium (brushed) and stainless steel (polished). The main case sits on top of the ss frame base.
One thing I didnt like was the edges of the titanium case was a bit too sharp for my taste. When you feel it with your fingers, you feel like you can get papercut due to the sharpness. On the other hand, it shows how precisely the case was made. Still, I would have preferred a bit rounded edge.
The caseback is stamped with the EWA quite nicely designed but if you pass your finger through it, it does have a sharp feel. You can feel the engraving is sort of sharp in a way. I donít understand why is this so.
Strap Changing System
This is one thing I loved about this piece. You just need to pull a toggle at the back of the case and it releases the straps. Then just stick in a new strap at the groove and you have replaced the strap. So easily and brainlessly done in a few seconds.
Easy changing is great if you travel with it so you can bring a variety of straps to fit your wardrobe.
The crystal is very slightly domed (which is to my liking). Im not sure if it is coated with anti reflective coating but it isnít too reflective and bothersome. Im sure its sapphire. It is pressed by a SS polished bezel onto the brushed Ti case and it does have a nice visual contrast.
It has 3 crowns. 2 of which ( 2and 4 o'clock) has the compressor mechanism (wing nuts) which requires a 180 degree turn to lock ( functions like a screw down crown ).
I like this feature as it is easier to use versus a screw down crown although it is really bulkier and Im thinking, if this is in the 3o'clock position, it might hit the back of your hand and be irritating throughout its use.
The 2 oíclock manages the date and alarm setting when pulled and winds the alarm when on position 0. The 4 o'clock crown manages time setting and winding. These 2 are turned 180 degrees for closed (white arrow mark ) and open (double red arrow mark).
These 2 crowns on the right are stamped with a JLC logo. Also, they are labeled at the compressor keys backside and you can see in the open position. It indicates the function of the crown such as date and alarm crown.
They are easily gripped and easy to use. Operation is a breeze.
Winding the 4 o,clock crown has a solid feel although the wingnuts gets in the way, if compared to a regular screw down crown, Id say winding and crown adjustment would be easier for screw downs as nothing is obtrusive but opening and closing would be easier in the compressor system.
The red crown at 10 o'clock manages the world time plate, it is neither screw down, nor with a compressor. I have no idea how they are keeping it watertight with this crown but the case is rated 100m and I donít like to worry about it anyway.
I like the contrast of the red to the whole case finishing,
It is stamped and no pulling and pushing of this crown is required to operate. Turning it moves 1 city per click, it moves unidirectional (counterclockwise) like an internal divers bezel. It is a breeze to operate this crown, well at least easier than the 2 with the compressor keys.
The alarm toggle is the big chunk of metal at 10 0'clock sandwiching the red crown . It switches the alarm on and off and has a red marker at the bottom of the switch. Red means the alarm is activated. It is very easy to use. Just push on either side to activate or deactivate the alarm.
The dial is quite unbalanced due to the alarm time indicator at the left side and the date at the right but legibility isnít affected as I can still tell time at a glance. Ok maybe its more than a glance as I do take some extra time admiring the dial. Anyway, bottom line is, it is a joy to look at and the JLC branding isnít a glare.
The alarm window on the dial is self explanatory and is easy to understand when setting the alarm time.
World time will be read at the edges, hometime is marked by "local time" which you set.
A friend told me that he didnít like the ďdateĒ wording on the date window at the 3 o'clock position. Actually, I dont mind this personally but he does have a point, logically, you would know it is the date window, I dont (as my friend) see the need to indicate what it is. I would have preferred that they placed the wording ďalarm setĒ on the alarm time indicator on the opposite window on the left side of the dial as this is not seen in most watches.
The hands (minute and hour)are trapeze and floats in the dial which contributes to legibility. Both are wide thus easily seen. The seconds hand has a red marker which makes it easy to locate just in case you need to time something.
The markers are huge and easily located in the dial. They have metal surrounds and are precisely finished. This was the main reason I preferred this piece over the EWC, dial is almost just as busy but with larger, more legible markers. The second hand has a red indicator at the edge and you see it floating at the periphery.
The lume is quite incomplete due to the date and alarm window. It does light up brightly and even though incomplete, you can easily tell time in the dark. The trapeze hands has a presence and you wouldnít make a mistake in time telling. Easy time recognition even in the dark.
Strap/bracelet: Alligator Leather / Rubber
Double Folding Buckle 20.0 mm
Pin Buckle 20.0 mm
Due to the easy strap replacement on this model, it is nice to toy with straps although I dont think the dial would accommodate an array of strap designs, I am limiting it to black straps I guess.
I did like the rubber strap, very sporty with a perforated look with a not so special JLC stamped buckle. It is made of vulcanized rubber ( have no idea of the advantages of this). It is better than silicone I guess since it is more firm than floppy. It is preformed and fits snugly into the case.
The leather strap could use the improvement of a red stitching and I hated the double folding deployant. It is just too hard to put on (unlike the IWC single fold deployant) I made the adjustment of taking a red stitched croc strap and installed a JLC tang buckle. Much more to my liking
The alarm sound is reminiscent of my school bell way back in my elementary days. Quieter but it does remind me of it. It doesnít fade towards the end when it drains. It runs around 20 seconds or so until it drains. I dont know how to rate it but some more knowledgeable WUS would say, it is the best sounding alarm out there.
It is comfortable to wear since it isnít as heavy as it looks. Due to the low weight, and me being used to Pams and some big SS watches, I sometimes forget the EWA is on my wrist.
The caseback sits well on my 7 Ė 7.25 wrist. The crowns arenít irritating since its out of the way. The lug to lug length isnít too much to stick out of the wrist so giant wrists isnít a requirement for this piece. I have no idea when I would be using the alarm function but its a nice complication. The not so high profile makes it a bit streamlined and does not make it prone to hits. It can fit inside sleeves and jackets despite the size.
I had a 5 day trip using this watch and had it on minimum of 14 hours a day and I hardly noticed it was there, loving the comfort of this one, even my daughter thinks it is comfortable ;)
Packaging and Manuals
It came with an outer and inner box. Well made, quite impressive. Comes with a manual, warranty and a certificate.
It has a plate labeled ďMaster Compressor ExtremeĒ. Iím guessing this box was designated to the EWC and EWA. It does come with the extra rubber strap with the tang buckle displayed on the side.
The manual is comprehensive since it needs to be. Easily understandable. In this one, I really had to read the manuals, even downloaded one on my phone since its not a piece with regular hour, minute, sec & date function.
It is a nicely crafted piece, technologically advanced features and movement in terms of autonomous watchmaking innovations. JLC made use of the advantage of titanium and SS to make a light comfortable travel watch. The world time is very handy, the alarm, hmmm, Im not sure, but nice. The huge case/dial coupled with great legibility makes it an easy reference. The quick change strap system makes it adaptable and easy to dress up/down when traveling. Overall, a great travel companion, purpose built for the world traveler.
If I can change anything about it, Id make it 44mm