The Geophysic: An Understated Travel Companion
Jaeger-LeCoultre's Geophysic collection is comprised of two different watch types: world time watches featuring a beautiful world map and simple, stylish dress watches with a special seconds hand.
- Jumping seconds
- In-house caliber Jaeger-LeCoultre 770
- Beautifully designed world time version
- Pink gold and stainless steel cases
- Special edition "1958" in honor of the International Geophysical Year
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic: World Time and Dress Watches
The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre offers two main variants of the Geophysic: the Universal Time and the True Second. The Universal Time is a world time watch, while the True Second is a conservative dress watch.
Price Overview for Geophysic Models
|Geophysic Chronometre E168 (vintage)||25,000 euros|
|Geophysic 1958, Ref. Q8002520||13,000 euros|
|Geophysic Universal Time, Ref. 8108420||10,000 euros|
|Geophysic True Second, Ref. 8018420||6,500 euros|
World Time Variants
The Universal Time stands out thanks to its splendid dial featuring the world map from a unique perspective: The North Pole is in the center and the continents surround it. The axis for the hour, minute, and seconds hands is located at the North Pole. The oceans are painted blue, while the raised continents are either silver or gold, depending on whether the case material is stainless steel or pink gold, respectively.
You can purchase a new stainless steel world time watch (reference number 8108420) for about 10,000 euros, while a new pink gold version costs around 17,000 euros. The Universal Time has a case diameter of 41.6 mm, a standard size for men.
The Universal Time uses two discs on the edge of the dial to tell the time in multiple time zones. The inner disc features a 24-hour scale and is rotatable; the outer disc is immobile and features 24 city or island names representing each time zone. London, the city located at the prime meridian which represents Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), is at six o'clock. The prime meridian is depicted on the map as a dashed line. If you use the crown to set the proper time in London on the 24-hour scale, then the watch will automatically display how late it is in cities around the world, such as in Bangkok, New York, and Sydney. The three central Universal Time hands are used to display the local time.
The True Second Version
The second version of the Geophysic, the True Second, has a very different look than the Universal Time. The True Second features a white dial with stick indices, baton hour and minute hands, a delicate seconds hand, and a date display at three o'clock. However, there's a curious extra to this understated watch: The seconds hand jumps forward in one-second increments like a quartz watch even though it's powered by a mechanical movement.
In terms of price, the True Second differs significantly from most affordable quartz watches; it's a mechanical watch with a skillfully crafted in-house caliber. A new stainless steel version costs around 6,500 euros. The reference number for the version with a black leather strap is 8018420; 8018120 is the reference number for the version with a stainless steel bracelet. The pink gold version with reference number Q8012520 has a brown leather strap and costs around 12,000 euros. The True Second has a case diameter of 39.6 mm, fitting most wrists.
The 1958 Special Edition
The Geophysic 1958 is a special limited edition model with a 38.5-mm case that was introduced in 2014. It's reminiscent of the first version of the Geophysic and the time period in which it premiered. The Geophysic 1958 is a three-hand watch in a retro design with sword hands. The stainless steel version (Q8008520) costs about 9,000 euros while the pink gold version (Q8002520) costs more at around 13,000 euros.
An original Geophysic E168 from 1958 is an especially rare timepiece; its condition determines its price. However, you could easily spend over 25,000 euros on this watch.
The automatic movements in the True Second and Universal Time are closely related to one another. Thus the Universal Time movement also features jumping seconds, though Jaeger-LeCoultre doesn't emphasize the feature as much as it does on the True Second. The Universal Time's movement, the in-house caliber 772, is comprised of 274 pieces and vibrates at 28,800 alternations per hour.
The caliber 770 powers the True Second. It doesn't include a world time feature, but at 275 components, it's slightly more intricate than the 772 caliber. Both movements have a power reserve of 40 hours.
In Honor of the International Geophysical Year
The Geophysic was introduced in 1958 on the occasion of Jaeger-LeCoultre's 125th anniversary and in conjunction with the International Geophysical Year. The year, which ran from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958, focused on international collaborative scientific research between 67 countries in a variety of fields including meteorology, oceanography, and seismology.
Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the perfect watch for the event: the Geophysic E168. The timepiece was up to chronometer standards and had a movement based on JLC's military calibers; it was also protected against magnetic fields. A dress watch version, the Deluxe, didn't feature protection from magnetic fields, but had a case made of yellow and pink gold. The first Geophysic models were only produced for about a year. In 2014, Jaeger-LeCoultre reissued the 1958 retro special edition and a year later, they reintroduced the Geophysic as its own contemporary collection.