It’s not very often that I feel compelled to do a watch review. My very first watch review was for Grand Seiko SBGA109 limited edition. The GS is an absolute gem in its price range. I recently acquired the JLC true second in stainless steel; similar to the GS, this watch is perhaps the best value for money in high watch making. This watch along with the GS represents what I genuinely feel is a great quality per price ratio timepiece.
The case/dial - The case of the true second is modernly proportioned at 39.6 mm in width excluding the crown and 11.8 mm in height. It’s a bit bulky compared to most traditional high end dress watches, but the dead beat second complication does add thickness to the movement. The bezel is highly polished. The lugs are highly polished as well with multi-faceted surfaces. The shape of the lugs is very linear making them more aggressive compared to other JLC’s traditional offerings. I find the finely brushed case side to be a very nice touch adding refinement to the already well made case.
The dial is silvery toned and the grained texture makes it elegant and sophisticated. The indices are rectangular and the hands are baton-shaped with luminescence fill; luminescence dots are laid on the outer rim close to each index making the timepiece highly legible at night. The lume lasts much longer in the dark than expected rendering outstanding nighttime visibility.
Strap/Clasp - The leather strap is heavily padded adding its durability for daily wear. The clasp has a triple folding mechanism. The JLC motif embossed on the buckle is enlarged and more prominent compared to what’s on the pin buckle of my JLC MUT.
Movement - IMHO JLC caliber 770 is what separates this timepiece from its competitions. For under 10K, you get a nicely and modernly structured movement with great depth and a skeletonized gold rotor plus JLC’s proprietary gyrolab balance wheel . The beveled edges are not hand polished but that alone does not make the movement any less impressive. The rotor sound is audible very similar to JLC 925 and PP 324 SC; the winding efficiency is quite good. Caliber 770 is definitely a step up from caliber 925 in terms of movement decoration. JLC upped the ante this time in the movement aesthetics department. I would rate the finishing of this caliber slightly less than Breguet 517gg or AP 3120. The only shortcoming is in the non-hand polished beveled edges, but the true second is a lot less pricey compared to the Breguet or the AP. The full balance bridge is also a plus and should prove itself more reliable for daily wear.
IMHO JLC has put together an outstanding package that’s both classic and modern with a hard-to-beat quality to price ratio. At price level comparable to a Rolex, the JLC offers a worthy entrance to the world of high horology. Bravo JLC!