New Jaeger Lecoultre Duometres. Some thoughts.

May 21, 2024,09:22 AM
 





Some of us pushed the Manufacture to work on a new Duometre, since 2014. Ten years later, Jaeger Lecoultre comes with three " New " Duometres, the Quantième Lunaire, The Chronograph Moon, and the Heliotourbillon Perpetual. 

Let's see the first two, here, through some questions: Are they really new? Are they true Duometres? 

Before answering these questions, let me confess that I see these two watches through the eyes of a fanatic, a hard core fan of the Duometre since Jaeger Lecoultre issued it in 2007, which led me to order it as soon as I came back from the SIHH. So my opinion will certainly be seen as biased, and yes, I have to confess that it is, totally. But as often, I speak with my heart, so my feelings are sincere, as we cannot cheat with Passion, right?

1/ The Case: 

Jaeger Lecoultre claims that the Duometre line receives a new case. Here, the brand plays with words: Yes, the Duometre case has changed, but it is not really a new case, as it has been taken and reworked from the Master Grande Tradition Family, obviously. 

The current Master Grande Tradition case is, in my opinion, superb, refined and class. It is a major improvement compared to the first and second generation of Master Grande Tradition, that is certain. 

Now, if we compare the current Duometre case to the former one, can we say it is a real improvement? 

The former: 





Aesthetics is always subjective. Some will prefer the current one, others ( like me ) will favor the former one. Personally, I would have reworked the former case, with thinner lugs, and a less thick case. 

The current: 



Let's compare the proportions, too: 

The current QL is 42, 5 mm big ( 0, 5 mm or 2 mm bigger than the former ones, which were issued in 40, 5 and 42 mm versions ). If you go for a " new " case, you try to master the proportions in a more harmonious way, with maybe a smaller diameter, and, most importantly, a less high one ( 13, 05 mm for the current one versus 13, 50 mm for the former one, and 13, 2 mm for the 40, 5 mm). 



Same can be said for the Chronograph Moon, with its 42, 5 mm diameter and 14, 2 mm height ( versus 42 mm and 13, 47 mm for the former Duometre à Chronographe, which was strangely a bit thicker in its open dial version: 13, 60 mm ).




Ok you will tell me that the new one is a combination of a chronograph, a moon phase and a day / night indicator, but still... They could have opted for a thinner case, especially if you want to play the card of elegance. 

AND don't tell me it is because of the movement thickness: For example, the Cal 381 of the Duometre QL is 7, 25 mm high. They could have removed 2 mm to the case... Ok, the convex shape of the glass is partially responsible for this case thickness, but still...

The biggest issue I have with the current case is that it is not a case which is specific to the Duometre, but which belongs to the Master Grande Tradition line. As if Jaeger Lecoultre wanted to get the Duometre back into line. The former Duometre case was part of the DNA of this line. This is not the case anymore. I strongly regret that. 

2/ THE DIALS AND MOVEMENTS

Let's start with the Quantième Lunaire. The new one has a blue dial, which is hard to judge from official ( but also " real " photos ). I will be prudent here, as I find the blue a bit flat but I will reserve my judgement till I see it in person. 



A good point is that they opted for the plain dial, and not for these partially open dials which never were my taste. 

The other good point is that they kept the DNA of a Duometre dial, here. With some slight changes, such as the main dial which is subtly grained, and the subdials which receive a sunray decoration. The moon phase finish is better than the " paper " one, on some of the former QL. But the QL Enamel received a very nice moon phase and its dial still is hard to beat, in my opinion and heart. 

The 40, 5 mm  QL Enamel: 



The current one: 



As for the Chronograph Moon, it is a different story... As I mentioned above, I don't like partially open dials for a Duometre. So, personally, it does nothing to me. I understand that some may like it, no problem with that. Colors and tastes... 

The rose gold is more consistent than the platinum, in my opinion, for a factual reason. 



On the rose gold, the hands dedicated to the Chronograph are blued. A Duometre à Chronograph detail, which is respected on the rose gold, but which is curiously absent on the platinum version whose minute and hour chronograph hands are not blue or in another different color... 


Both " QL " and Chronograph Moon dial contours are convex, following the shape of the glass, which is a nice detail, in my opinion. 

I will shortly mention the movements as there is not much to say. The Cal 381 of the Quantième Lunaire is exactly the same as the movement housed in the former " QL ". 



The Cal 391 of the new Duometre Chronograph Moon is new only because it receives a modular moon phase and night and day on a Cal 380. Is this enough to state that it is a new movement? I will let you judge on that matter. 





The thing is that I don't understand the interest of the night and day indicator, here. Indeed there is an interest if the night and day is linked to a date or to a perpetual calendar. Here, it is not the case. So where is the interest?  



One thing which intrigues me a bit is that it seems that one barrel is dedicated to the Chronograph and the Moon Phase, while the other is related to the Time and the Night and Day. So, Jaeger Lecoultre thinks that adding a complication to the Time or to a Chronograph will not " pollute " their accuracy? I would be curious to know that. 

The other thing which may be problematic is to properly set the moon phase on this watch, due to the absence of moon phase markers... 


And the last thing which is a personal regret is that the Duometre movements seems to use a different metal than German Silver, now. German Silver developed a nice patina, with time passing. A change I don't understand IF they gave up with German Silver. 

3/ GENERAL THOUGHTS: 

Are the new Duometre nice watches? They are, but not for me. 


As I elaborated, because the case should be specific to the Duometre line, and not borrowed to another line. Also because the dials are not what I expected in terms of aesthetics. 

BUT the biggest problem is that I expected better. Maybe I expected too much after such a long wait. 

For example, at 48, 000 Euros for the steel QL, we are close to the price of the former QL in... Gold? In alchemy, you transform lead into gold. Jaeger Lecoultre changes gold in.. Lead. Is that the true meaning of " Golden Ratio "? 


AND... At this level of price, I expected something more ambitious. A Chrono Perpetual Calendar, or a Chrono Rattrapante would be correctly priced around 70 / 80 K Euros in gold. Not a simple moon phase and a useless day night, not even a longer power reserve...



As I said, this is the biased opinion of a Duometre Hard Core Fan... 

Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts, 

Best.

Nicolas


More posts: DuometreDuometre ChronographeJaeger LeCoultre

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Comments: view entire thread

 

Personally complete disappointment

 
 By: Gelato Monster : May 21st, 2024-09:38
Lack of taste (salmon opened) and lack of passion and ingenuity (the rest). Undeservingy lazy.

If I may be honest. You can delete it as you wish my friend

 
 By: Gelato Monster : May 21st, 2024-11:00
Please keep the undeservingly lazy 🙂

🙂 thank you

 
 By: Gelato Monster : May 21st, 2024-12:10
I think I am sincerely disappointed and have to much believe and expectations toward such a great naming of The Watchmaker of Watchmakers

+1

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-04:36
It’s unfortunately true… JLC has run out of inventiveness and now thinks in terms of margins (new color for dials, reuse of existing caliber/design, slight cosmetic modifications, price increases inversely proportional to emotion...). Best Ø

yes lazy beyond belief

 
 By: Gelato Monster : May 22nd, 2024-09:45

It’s true my friend

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-10:01

Also!

 
 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2024-05:56

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-11:42
Dreams are my reality The only kind of real fantasy Illusions are a common thing I try to live in dreams 😂😂😂

Nicely turned...

 
 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2024-13:12

Boum

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-13:14

One of my favorites.

 
 By: Horo_Traveler : May 23rd, 2024-23:02
...  

1st gen was orders of magnitude superior.

 
 By: indignantdenial : May 21st, 2024-10:28
It had a unique case, a much better dial, and a prettier movement. It was made of untreated maillechort which means it was actually warm. That is now all gone. I also much prefer the blocky case of the first gen; looks infinitely better. I think the new c...  

I like both the WG UTTs

 
 By: Horo_Traveler : May 23rd, 2024-23:06
Here’s mine with the chiseled dial. The watchmaking and design was 💯 on the Duometres but the marketing was terrible beyond belief. ...  

Which will arrive first?

 
 By: LK : May 21st, 2024-10:34
Duometre Alarm, Reverso Alarm, or World Peace? If they are trying to "protect" the Memovox line, then at least they could make more interesting Memovoxes...

With the UTT…

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-04:39
It would have been consistent and great…

Écho echoooooo

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-11:43

Well…

 
 By: Dave G : May 21st, 2024-10:37
I ordered both the steel and the platinum pieces. I am a Duometre fan with two early chronographs in RG and WG so I see this as an expansion of the collection. I just realised I will have one in each of four different models… not intentional but I like th... 

Nice duo of Duo

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-04:41

I really want to like these.

 
 By: gary_g : May 21st, 2024-10:59
I do. But they don’t move me. They are more corporate than anything else. It’s as if JLC had a bunch of focus groups decide what to do. As opposed to staying true to their roots. Reminds me of modern IWC..

I really want to too… but…

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-04:43
There is a lot of but for me…

My complaints with JLC are unfortunately always the same

 
 By: andrea~ : May 21st, 2024-12:01
Too big and too expensive. I like the case shape though.

Always difficult to judge a watch only by pictures.

 
 By: jlux : May 21st, 2024-12:39
Upfront I do like the new case shape with the curved sapphire that extends to the edge of the dial. The chronograph is a big no for me due to the holes in the dial : something I also did not like on the more recent versions of the previous model. The blue... 

Typical Richemont practice

 
 By: m1ti : May 21st, 2024-12:54
I'm not surprised by this JLC considering what'a going on with other Richemont brands. They seem to be reducing spend on movement R&Ds and focusing on facelifts across their brands and jacking up the price to boot. Cartier, they can get away with because ... 

I see these new ones as adding details that are not needed.

 
 By: MichaelC : May 21st, 2024-13:58
And unfortunately, they diminish the product. The case side view, no reason to sandblast the inside of the lugs. The blue one has so many dial patterns, it is confusing. The reserve indicators look like a pair of windshield wipers, with the dial graining ... 

Yes Sir. While my reply was a bit critical, I keep in mind the fact that these are still Duos!

 
 By: MichaelC : May 21st, 2024-16:36
And all these years later, they remain fantastic timepieces. We are PuristS, so we scrutinize the details. But for new clients finding this brand, to acquire such a timepiece is likely a grail. Much respect for JLC, overall.

Diminishing the product is what I think too…

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-04:48
Thanks for the details you add…. The more I have a look on the new Duo… the less I find them consistent Best Ø

LOL how one render shows sharp interior angles for the dial openings while the others show the more typical rounded machine finished dial openings. Just highlights someone at JLC knows excellence and then delivered the cheap version.

 
 By: Fastwong : May 21st, 2024-14:27
Personally I love the taller crystal, might help defend the bezels a bit which seemed like easy targets on the old duometres with the flatter crystals. Neutral on the case and the change from german silver I like both old and new. I will say I liked the o... 

Excellence is what they want us to believe…

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-04:52
Cheap version is what they want us to buy…. At a golden ratio price… Maybe new comers will love this piece… Watch lovers or JLC fans… maybe not…

YEP

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-13:12

Here’s a wrist shot from earlier this month . . .

 
 By: Mach : May 21st, 2024-14:41
I’m not a fan of the dial openings nor the size. “Refinement” or “elegance” were not some of my initial thoughts when I first saw this in the metal. I most definitely prefer the QL Enamel. ...  

Thank you, dear Nicolas for the wonderful write-up!

 
 By: Brandon Skinner : May 21st, 2024-15:16
Sometimes we need something new to remind us how great the old thing is and was.

Well, here’s my totally valueless take;)

 
 By: ZSHSZ : May 21st, 2024-15:48
First off, I respect everyone’s opinion since tastes differ as it should(variety is key). For long I observed this inexplicable phenomenon of criticism of newly relised watches that exists for decades, while after discontinuation they become darlings! Jus... 

The RG model is maybe the more consistent piece in the new line…

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-04:56
Even if loving a design is subjective Best Ø

Yes…

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-13:15

JLC.... The recycling maker...

 
 By: Alfihar : May 21st, 2024-16:44
After the recycled Reverso Chrono... the recycled QP in a Polaris case... and before a Master Control Geographic dressed up today in a Polaris case, came a recycled Duometre with it's (Nice) Master Grande Tradition case.... What happened to the Jaeger LeC... 

Yes, the problem is that we were used to many innovations, original watches, daring combinations during so many years. And that we now are waiting for something in the vein we were used to have, see and admire.

 
 By: amanico : May 21st, 2024-16:53
The brand has to find a second breathe, and to feed our desires and dreams. But maybe we are not the target anymore, maybe they prefer less demanding new clients, ready to pay more for less. Let's wait and see... Best, Nicolas

Too many passions! ;)

 
 By: amanico : May 21st, 2024-17:25

I tend to agree…

 
 By: Dave G : May 22nd, 2024-00:22
At least with all of the standard model lines. Others have followed a similar disappointing path (think UN). However, at the very top end there is still some “spirit.” The artistic crafts with the Reverso releases in the past year have been nice and at th...  

True…

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-04:57

Alas....

 
 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2024-05:44

Rolf…

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-11:39

I find the new case much nicer and balanced

 
 By: Clavi : May 21st, 2024-17:42
To me they are a very welcome refresh to the Duometre line. Some people were missing the discontinued original Duometres. They have launched a new one, with (IMO) a better / slimmer case visually, more elegant. The case thickness should not be compared di... 

Well,

 
 By: Speedie74 aka Mr. Torquise : May 21st, 2024-18:50
I am with the old line: it has much stronger identity, it is much more a Jaeger to me, it is the Duometre for me. The new models could be an other manufacture’s product for me, I don’t see Jaeger itself. I love everything in the old line: the masculin lug...  

Would have loved a black dial/grey gold case UTT

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-05:00
A fantastic piece up to me. Best Ø

It would have been consistent

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-05:59
A kind of earth vieux from space in a watch

Aventure… in

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-13:13

Thanks so much for your detailed review!

 
 By: KMII : May 21st, 2024-18:57
I think they have gone down the line of trying to maximize the returns by economizing on the input. Certainly not the only culprit but likewise I find the previous ones more to my liking. While there’s hope that they will add a full dial on the chrono in ... 

Or

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-05:02
An UTT with an alarm A QL with moon phase and night and day…. More consistent than the « new » chrono

Aesthetics is fine for me but the price is far too high especially

 
 By: hora12reborn : May 21st, 2024-19:15
given the price of the first generation.

Fascinating read. I appreciate your perspectives and openness. I do not fully agree with all of your comments but respect your opinions.

 
 By: Mitch K : May 21st, 2024-21:23
I am pleased the brand is finally thinking about the Duometre lineand I hope this is the harbinger of more interesting models. Would love to see other complications in the line (I have a few in mind). I have made my choice to keep up my sampling.

Obsédé 😂

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-11:39

I confess...

 
 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2024-13:15

I too hope so. For sure they have had plenty of time to come up with new ideas

 
 By: Mitch K : May 22nd, 2024-21:27
I have been told that there is more in the works but no specifics. I am sure there will be new variations of the current themes but I hope for completely new complications

Very same hopes, too.

 
 By: amanico : May 23rd, 2024-15:30

With respect to your point on the use of German silver…

 
 By: Dave G : May 21st, 2024-22:24
Or rather the non-use… I did raise this question directly to JLC a few weeks ago. This is the reply they provided by email: “We felt the German silver colour and how it will actually continue to patina through time was not complementing well the white met... 

Agree

 
 By: Dave G : May 22nd, 2024-13:42
The explanation makes little sense. I expect it was more costly to work with.

In my opinion it’s the crown

 
 By: LemaniaChrono : May 22nd, 2024-02:01
Wouldn’t you want a more substantial crown like the 1st generation considering you wind the watch in both directions?

For me, the new crown gives this new duometre a Frankenstenwatch look.

 
 By: Alfihar : May 22nd, 2024-05:08
Its appearance doesn't match the modern lines of the master grande tradition case... and yet I like disruptive things, but here the two together don't work. It's like a wart on a pretty face....

thank you Nivo for sharing your thoughts..

 
 By: Sebi : May 22nd, 2024-11:25
I definitely share your opinion, but I wish I didnt !! Let's see which watch they do murder next tine 😂 well at least if there a pouch AND a snowglobe...

A Swatchometre?

 
 By: amanico : May 22nd, 2024-20:28

Oh lord NONONO

 
 By: Mitch K : May 22nd, 2024-21:28

We should make our voices heard.

 
 By: Mitch K : May 23rd, 2024-17:21
Right on the revolution!! Force our will and good taste on those who need to be taught. 😉😉

🙏🙏🙏

 
 By: Mitch K : May 23rd, 2024-20:34

???

 
 By: amanico : May 24th, 2024-06:27

Make no mistake

 
 By: Alfihar : May 24th, 2024-11:48
...  

JLC surprised us and not in a nice way.

 
 By: Horo_Traveler : May 23rd, 2024-22:47
As I previously commented, these designs make me wonder if they were generated by ChatGPT. One has to marvel though, at their brilliant achievement of gold-to-steel conversion alchemy without raising prices! Yes, JLC continue to surprise.

Hi Nico

 
 By: Timeout : June 6th, 2024-17:53
I had the good fortune to be a guest of JLC at Palexpo and tried all three models. I own the previous model Chronographe. The new models - shown below - were all nice in their own way, but not a giant leap forward. The blue dial was not to my personal tas...  

Bummer

 
 By: The Berlin Flatline : June 17th, 2024-15:55
Well, this is depressing. I saw the platinum version with the salmon dial and fell in love with it. I put a refundable deposit on it, knowing I had to do some reading up on the history of this watch. I have now read all the comments in this community, and... 

I can't stand the dial cut outs

 
 By: benlee338 : June 18th, 2024-03:40
It doesn't show much of the movement underneath and instead gives the whole watch an "evil laughing clown" look.