When the 3 new models, Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph, Master Compressor Chronograph and MecaQuartz Master Compressor Lady, were unveiled in Dubai, most journalists went straight to the Extreme World display case.
(The limited edition Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph, Titanium movement casing in Platinum housing, 200 pieces only.)
(Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph, Titanium movement casing in Stainless Steel housing.)
On the Extreme World aesthetic, the design is bold and stunning. If one uses a cardboards to isolate each individual component, the moving chrono hour disc, red/white second disc and hair-thin metal strip Day/Night Separator (attached to the 24 hour disc which moves in correlation with the hour hand) feel tacky. On the whole, the components magically come together and work. I dare say I have not seen a sport watch so impressively stunning! The anticlockwise turning Chrono hour disc also has a nice feel to it.
The Master Compressor Chronograph, in contrast, takes time to be appreciated as it sort of grows on you. The Pink Gold version is particularly elegant and pleasant in look. Both models win on the point that they don't look like other chronos at first viewing.
(The Master Compressor Chrono on the left and the Extreme World Chrono on the right.)
The feel of the click on starting, stopping and resetting the chronograph is smooth and tactile. It requires less pressure than most chronographs but needs a little more than the feather-touch ones. This is an intentional choice to compromise between ease of operation and risk of accidentally starting or stopping the chrono.
10 o??clock button adjusts the city disc. Easy to turn and at the same time enough resistant to avoid disc slippage. Personally, I would have preferred a "ratchet" click for each city step. I heard the idea was considered and tried in the development stage but abandoned because the "ratchet" city disc, in conjunction with the patent pending shock absorbing case, posed a potential reliability concern.
(The Master Compressor Chrono, Pink Gold.)
(Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph caseback view, note the button releasing the strap.)
Although decidedly non- technical (or is it very technical? ), the strap changing mechanism integrated into the case makes the greatest fun factor. One can't help taking out and putting the strap back repeatedly. The snapping of the strap into the case has a million dollar feel and the audible soft click sounds like a ringing jackpot bell.
In summary, Jaeger-LeCoultre has produced the most stunning Extreme World and a very elegant Compressor Chronograph. And I personally believe most watch enthusiasts will find it difficult to resist them, once they see them in the flesh.
(The Stainless Steel Master Compressor Chronograph.)
Certainly congratulations are in order for Roger Guignand and Philippe Vandel and his team. While I have tried to elaborate as much as possible to give a better understanding of the effort behind the research, the actual toil on skills, intellect and labour are much more intense than can be imagined. Philippe Vandel once said that "Even the chrono wheel itself is a challenge, as it consists of 12 components, and the setting and regulation work are exceptionally laborious".
In addition, a minimum of 7 patents will be filed (or has been filed) for the Extreme World Chrono.
(Calibre 752 under close inspection.)
(The vertical clutch mechanism, note the relative size with the fingers on the left.)
(Which one do you like?)
Any question, comments, opinions and criticism welcome.
Before I end this series, I leave you with a (highly compressed) animation on the patent pending shock absorbing case.