Mr Lambert has found a diplomatic way NOT to answer an embarrassing question

May 19, 2008,14:16 PM

Mister Lambert did a good job of "corpoporate speech diversion" and managed not to answer a tricky question, while not lying at the same time.

Q: Regarding the automatic chronograph calibre some feel and say that the Frederic Piguet company played a role in its conception. What is the truth?
A: I can still certify that there is no Frederic Piguet calibre in any Jaeger-LeCoultre chronograph.

The question was not whether the Jaeger LeCoultre chronograph houses an outsourced calibre produced by Frederic Piguet (which is the question that obviously Mr Lambert actually answers to), but whether the Frederic Piguet company played a role in its conception

A true answer to the question Nicolas rightfully asked would certainly have been very embarrassing to give, since there is absolutely no way to seriously refute that JLC cal is an improved version of the FP 1185 design (a fact that has been acknowledged, but very silently in the past).

This would not at all be a shame to publicly credit the initial movement design (and its designers), since JLC technical team did really bring many significant improvements to it.
This would have even been elegant to pay a tribute where the credit is due, when todays horology world too often keep these information secret.

But failing to tell the truth and playing on words instead is a bit a lack of class I think.

(maintaining that these 2 movement do not share a common base design would be an insult to the reader)


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 By: amanico : May 19th, 2008-07:40
Jerome LAMBERT, THE INTERVIEW. Q: What is your personal take on Jaeger-LeCoultre? R: I would define Jaeger-LeCoultre as a brand of beautiful horology tradition and especially of horology know-how. Back in 2001 / 2002 we were convinced about that already a...  

I like his taste in watches...

 By: respo : May 19th, 2008-07:58
...both inside and outside his own brand. Great interview and a nice selection of photos to accompany it! You do us a great service. Thanks for giving us an outstanding opportunty to hear directly from Mr. Lambert! respo

Thank you for sharing

 By: hnsdoc : May 19th, 2008-09:23
Interesting interview, especially his views on the Reverso line.

Amazing! Thanks Nicholas...

 By: matrix : May 19th, 2008-10:03

Thanks, Matrix! [nt]

 By: amanico : May 20th, 2008-23:43

Thank you, Nicolas . . .

 By: Dr No : May 19th, 2008-10:22
. . . for myself, the most interesting comment was his admiration for the Datograph. Another prominent watchmaker (not Dufour) gave me the same answer when I asked him that very question . . . cordially, Art

Great interview, thanks Nicolas, and..........

 By: sclamb : May 19th, 2008-10:35
I want this watch!!!!!!!!!!! Simon...  


 By: Le Chef : May 19th, 2008-12:33
This is one of a couple of watches that I wish JLC would reissue. In pt or wg or ss this would be a dynamite watch with a display back. Sounding like a broken record JLC could also reissue the Reverso Annual Calendar and or the Quantieme Perpetual Reverso... 

Reissue a Reverso Annual Calendar???

 By: respo : May 20th, 2008-05:43
Jaeger produced a Reverso Annual Calendar??? Do you or does anyone have information or pictures of a Reverso Annual Calendar? I would love to see that. I was not aware that Jaeger ever produced an annual calendar, Reverso or otherwise. respo

Reverso Calendar

 By: Le Chef : May 20th, 2008-06:31
The watch I'm referring to is in the big history of the Reverso book. From recollection it had day and month windows (like the G.O. perpetuals) with the date on a race track around the edge of the dial. For some reason though I have a feeling that JLC sho... 

Actually, this watch has never existed "for real"

 By: Clavi : May 20th, 2008-07:12
The watch you refer to (which has been shown in several 1990's JLC catalogues) has actually never existed 'historically' as a watch. In the late 1930's, JLC created a full calendar (moonphase) movement with a retrograde date display, developed on the clas... 

Half right

 By: Le Chef : May 20th, 2008-07:39
I knew I was a bit fuzzy on the details! The "11-U" watch was stunning though. It wouldn't be hard to put a modern version of that into the XGT case. If JLC can reissue the Polaris why not earlier Reverso's? And I would equally like to see a Perpetual in ... 


 By: Clavi : May 20th, 2008-08:02
Well, if you are thinking of an XGT case, then it wouldn't be a reedition at all.. And JLC has already issued quite a number of interesting complications in the reverso over the past 15 years. The 'old' reverso was a simple, no complication wristwatch. An...  

I don't disagree

 By: Le Chef : May 20th, 2008-09:11
I think that in the trend towards bigger watches JLC has overlooked the GT sized case. It's a shame as it's far more wearable, and for designers/engineers would be more of a challenge to package or repackage complicated movements. I have both a Duo (GT si... 


 By: Dje : May 20th, 2008-08:01
Hi, Clavi you're right this watch did not exist historically. But AFAIK the calibre cased in the 80s was not a triple date but a perpetual calendar! I would love to see such a watch come back, but I doubt it could happen as they have still not sold all th... 

Quantieme Perpetual

 By: Le Chef : May 21st, 2008-06:22
Is this true that they have not sold the 500 Rose Gold Perpetuals? Could I just order one from my AD? What about any of the other LE's from that series, are any models still available? MTIA

Nicholas, Jerome L. and Jerome B.

 By: MTF : May 19th, 2008-11:41
Thank you, gentlemen, for the interesting conversation. Maybe because it was conducted in French, somehow the 'inner Lambert' came through a little more than just a CEO, whom we have met many times, but also as a man and watch-lover. Regards, MTF

Glad to hear....

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 19th, 2008-13:47
"The Polaris that we are re-issuing this year is a perfect illustration of this love of the brand and the exchanges with collectors. " ;-) V

They really consulted collectors, Velociphile, for the Polaris

 By: amanico : May 21st, 2008-07:15
to know exactly what collectors wanted, once the principle of the re edition was decided... And they didn't want to hear anything about re edition, at the beginning. When you look at the re edition of the Polaris, ( which will be improved, as you only saw... 

Name five....

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 21st, 2008-12:58
is the usual response I give when I hear statements like that. Sorry but.... no offence So is there some secret society of Polaris experts I'm not aware of? if so I'd like to meet them because I have a lot of questions for them. They've been lying ever so... 

So you know there were 5, and you are correct!

 By: PoyFR : May 22nd, 2008-00:30
Undoubtlbly they were 4-5 people that influenced JLC to reedit the Polaris, and they were 3 that passionately participated in the project. As for the Chronograph movement, I guess it will be good to hear again from JLC, but and again, I will not be surpri... 

that could be a valid answer

 By: Clavi : May 22nd, 2008-03:24
The 'recouped ownership' could be a satisfying answer (but then why not 'clarify' this in a way or another when so much doubt has been expressed in the public and among journalists). However, in that specific case I would be utmostly surprised that JLC ac... 

During what I believe to be MJLC's 'golden era', they produced a

 By: 219 : May 22nd, 2008-04:13
rather stunning rectangular chrono movement for the rose gold reverso series; Showing that they not only could, but at that time did not take it further. Calibre 829: from the fabulous pictures of Steve G:...  

I won't follow you on this one Clavi!

 By: Dje : May 22nd, 2008-06:31
Hi, It is pretty obvious that these two calibres present some similarities in their design. They also share some major characteristics: they are both automatic chronograph calibres with vertical clutch. Still when I look at your two pics I don't think tha... 

Sorry Jerome, I've seen less close direct copies....nt

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 22nd, 2008-14:16

I'd love to see such thing!

 By: Dje : May 23rd, 2008-01:36
Hi Tim, I'm ready to believe you, But looking at Clavi's pics I don't find them so close! Cheers Dje

Hi, Jerome....

 By: SuitbertW : May 24th, 2008-15:05's probably more the way different people look at the things, or the different perspectives. To me, it's very obvious that those two movements share a significant part of their design - but I'm not an engineer, not a watchmaker, ......hmmmmm I'm no... 

Agreed Suitbert

 By: Dje : May 25th, 2008-00:34
Hi Suitbert, Happy to read you here! I fully agree with your opinion. Things are certainly not simple and yes it is quite probably not just "invented" by JLC. Then JLC is a watchmaking company, producing only in-house calibres.......... so communication m... 

Perfectly put Suitbert

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 25th, 2008-12:49

Mr Lambert has found a diplomatic way NOT to answer an embarrassing question

 By: Clavi : May 19th, 2008-14:16
Mister Lambert did a good job of "corpoporate speech diversion" and managed not to answer a tricky question, while not lying at the same time. Q: Regarding the automatic chronograph calibre some feel and say that the Frederic Piguet company played a role ...  

Agreed 100% Clavi (nt)

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 19th, 2008-23:38

Thanks for your input, Clavi

 By: amanico : May 21st, 2008-08:10
I'll let you know what is to be said about that, of course. Best. Nicolas

Sorry but...

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 21st, 2008-12:49
"ll let you know what is to be said about that, of course." Do you promise? ... we had that same statement from Jaw aeons ago with nothing following ;-) I do not intend to reopen this whole issue again, lest to say that I don't feel JLC are doing themselv... 

Velociphile, I love the positive way you see things in Life

 By: amanico : May 21st, 2008-13:35
First, the Polaris, then The Automatic movement..Your inputs are very valuable, constuctive, enthusiasts ,and not bitter at all... Enjoy Life, my friend, obviously you need it! Best. Nicolas This message has been edited by amanico on 2008-05-21 13:36:32

sarcasm or misunderstanding? nt

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 22nd, 2008-14:14


 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2008-23:48
You can't have the pretention to know all things and people, about the Polaris and the Chrono Movements...Like anyone here.... We are passionate, yes, but we don't know all. As a Collector and passionate you are, you have to accept to live with. you can't... 

Regret that GTG is no go

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 23rd, 2008-15:26
but I will be enjoying life ;-) riding for two days with some old friends - it was the only time we could all make for months. Watches have to take a back seat these days..... I regret that a result is I cannot contribute as I did with the time for more c... 

I ain't no watchmaker...

 By: kfr : May 22nd, 2008-02:21
but those 2 movements are clearly different..

Different yes, I never said they are the same

 By: Clavi : May 22nd, 2008-07:18
There ARE differences between the JLC and the FP (improvements, finishing, wheels moving fourth wheel from front to bottom), but otherwise I maintain that base design is the same. I tried my best, with the available material, to put the 2 movement side by...  

I'm an engineer too and I agree nt

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 22nd, 2008-14:40

With all due respect, I'm willing to learn

 By: Clavi : May 22nd, 2008-17:14
If you have facts, then I would be very glad you prove me wrong. As I said earlier, I am only willing to be convinced... But so far, I am just not

My facts are that they don't look the same...

 By: kfr : May 23rd, 2008-02:58
The 2 movements don't look the same....I am not an engineer or a watchmaker, but they're just vastly different. I'll have to rely on my common sense and my eyesight for my "facts"...and that's good enough for me!

Well, it is not exactly about "look"

 By: Clavi : May 23rd, 2008-04:00
I was expecting some discussion about technical points to prove me wrong. Actually, it is not a question of look (I personally think they 'look' the same, but it I reckon it is subjective), it is a question of components implantation. They follow exactly ...  

On your example with IWC....

 By: Dje : May 23rd, 2008-05:27
Hi Clavi, You've certainly seen that like I did: I've read theories that the "newer" IWC design of bridges was based on an ETA/Unitas 6497. Some explained that the design was too close to have a different base. Too close speaking of course of the position... 

I have a different view on that

 By: Clavi : May 23rd, 2008-05:48
On the IWC / Unitas controversy, my view is that Unitas used IWC movement layout, not the opposite. Explanation: Both calibres also 'coincide' when overlaid. But: IWC cal 97 and 98 traces their roots back to the 1930's (actually 1930 for the 97 and 1936 f... 

Good point! nt

 By: Dje : May 23rd, 2008-07:52

Even the base doesn't seem the same....

 By: kfr : May 23rd, 2008-15:03
Again, I won't abandon my eyesight and common sense Those 2 movements are not similar

I was awaiting again for more facts

 By: Clavi : May 24th, 2008-14:19
I was awaiting again for more facts Prove me wrong by a drawing or something substantial than just a 'seem the same' and I will gladly agree with you. But I need some form of constructed evidence. I think I will leave that matter for a rest, after having ... 

Hi Clavi,

 By: amanico : May 24th, 2008-14:22
I asked to JLC some explanations, and I'm sure I'll get them in a few days, about this story of chronograph... Of course, I will keep you updated on this point. Best. Nicolas

I await with anticip a tion !(nt)

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 24th, 2008-14:30

Myth alarm....

 By: SuitbertW : May 28th, 2008-06:31
Hi Jerome, all, I must have missed those speculations about the "new" IWC "Jones" caliber. I've to say that those speculations don't make much sense at all - as we all know it's not unlikely that something like this (presenting something old as new in hou... 

Well, SuitbertW

 By: Clavi : May 28th, 2008-09:26
Well, SuitbertW, As you read in the thread, I much support the pre-existence of the IWC over the Unitas, and therefore the likely 'in-house' construction of the modern Jones. However, things are not so simple, and if you don't look at birth dates, I think...  

Sorry, but.....

 By: SuitbertW : May 28th, 2008-09:59
Hi Clavi, the base layout of a time only savonette type movement is well known - if you're looking for a "match" like shown in your combined picture, I promise you that you'll find 20, 30 or more likely many more "matching" movements form different makes.... 

I agree with you totally

 By: Clavi : May 28th, 2008-11:07
Actually this photoshop montage has not been done by me but by Bruno of chronomania at the time of the Jones release, with the aim of proving they were the same basis.At the time I disagreed (I still do), but I thought it was relevant to bring this (imper... 

We're on the same page re. cal. 751....

 By: SuitbertW : May 28th, 2008-12:08
Hi Clavi, I'm with you on the chronograph design - and I'm waiting with great anticipation as well ;-) ...for many reasons. I just find it unfortunate sometimes - when some rightfull discussion gets a bit overboard because of a wrong (well, IMO) example. ... 

For those who weren't around in 2005....

 By: Velociphile - No longer in the building : May 30th, 2008-08:39
Check the link To quote the former moderator: "Will come back to this topic at a later date." " This is of course a thread which I will revisit later" Still waiting....... Velociphile


 By: Dje : May 22nd, 2008-07:11
Hi, Obviously these two calibres share something. I just answered somewhere else in this thread: / Yes that was very diplomatic! But do you think the FP design is itself totally new, bringing in nothing from the past? Watchmaking is a... 


 By: Ilja : May 23rd, 2008-17:12
...are expensive toys anyway in my opinion. Following this "discusion" leads me to believe the "truth" will only be found when consulting an online patent data base. Cheers - Ilja

No, no, no, no, no.........

 By: sclamb : May 24th, 2008-01:15
chronographs are a necessity of life when you have children who say: 'Time me Daddy and see how quickly I can run to the end of the garden and back'. You cannot be a serious father without a chronograph Well, that how I swung mine anyway LOL!!!!!! Simon

Dang, Simon

 By: amanico : May 24th, 2008-01:19


 By: monochrome : May 19th, 2008-14:42
That was a great interview and i think mr. Lambert's choice for the Datograph is most excellent !

Interesting read - thank you for the interview and translation

 By: Dirk : May 20th, 2008-00:09
Apart from opening the doors a little to the mind of the man leading the team at Jaeger-LeCoultre, the interview also revealed to me that like Ms Metrailler, Mr Lambert also ranks the IWC's 1993 Portugieser highly - which gives me hope for future designs ... 

Thanks Dirk

 By: amanico : May 21st, 2008-08:17

Awesome interview

 By: Peter  : May 20th, 2008-02:41
Thks for sharing

Thanks, Peter! [nt]

 By: amanico : May 21st, 2008-08:35

Thank you Nico,

 By: Asimut : May 20th, 2008-04:56
That was a refreshing interview with a remarkable man. Cheers, Asi

Thanks Asi

 By: amanico : May 21st, 2008-08:36

Great interview thanks!

 By: KCLQMULKU : May 20th, 2008-09:46
Now this is what makes being a member of this forum all the worthwhile!

Great interview !

 By: foversta : May 20th, 2008-13:10
Thanks a lot Nico and Jerome for the time you spent for us with the interviews, the pictures and the reports. They were highly appreciated. Fr.Xavier

Great reading....

 By: drsh : May 20th, 2008-18:44
Thanks Nicolas and Jerome B! cheers! sh

Thanks, sh

 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2008-02:40

Thanks Nicolas. Very interesting.

 By: SJX : May 20th, 2008-19:26
Mr Lambert one of the most successful watch CEOs of his generation. - SJX

Thanks, SJX

 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2008-02:45

Great Interview!

 By: iwcfan2 : May 21st, 2008-13:28
Thanks for bringing this to us Nicholas. This is what makes the Purists a great resource. JLC is the most exciting watch brand in the world, in my humble opinion. Glad that the CEO listens to us. Sounds like the Polaris wouldn't have happened if they were... 

Thanks, Nicolás.

 By: PET- : May 21st, 2008-14:34
The interview was very very interesting. I´ve shared the interview with the spanish forum "Relojes espaciales". Some things like this interview is one of the reason what explains why this forum is so big. Eres grande Nicolas.

Gracias, PET

 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2008-02:51
Thanks a lot for the nice words...Even if I only feel much more as a passionate, than a big guy, here. Pues que piensan tu amigos de " Relojes Especiales "??? Le han gustado el Interview? Saludos, amigo. Nicolas

Yes, of course

 By: PET- : May 22nd, 2008-10:38
There are not much people really interested in Haute Horlogery in Spain because the culture of the country yet is not very developed. Its a pity, but the few fans we are, we are very interested in JLC, and in other important trade marks of horlogery. The ... 

Thanks, iwc fan

 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2008-02:48