In 2014, Jaeger-LeCoultre pays tribute to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic 1958 by unveiling two exclusive watches – a model in steel and in pink gold and a model in platinum.
The legend of the Geophysic®chronometer
One of the most important models in the Jaeger-LeCoultre heritage, the Geophysic® chronometer has a special history. It was created in 1958, the International Geophysical Year. Its calibre 478BWSbr movement is derived from military watches and incorporates the best watchmaking technology of that time: a stop second for precise time-setting; a glucydur balance for stability through changes in temperature and fitted with a shock absorber; a “swan neck” index for micrometric adjustment; and the essential soft-iron inner case that protects this exceptional mechanism from the effects of magnetism.
All these features made this symbol of watchmaking expertise the perfect present for the first man to have headed an expedition beneath the North Pole, since this exceptional instrument had been designed to withstand magnetic fields of up to 600 gauss and to maintain its prodigious precision in all circumstances.
The International Geophysical Year
In 1958, with the world still divided into two political blocs and the Cold War still raging, various international bodies resolved to unite their strengths in order to discover the last unexplored regions of our planet. The first research programme was jointly conducted by 67 nations from both East and West. In an era when the space race was just starting, rockets were launched in order to study the composition of the upper layers of the atmosphere. It was also during the 2 International Geophysical Year that the study of sea beds served to confirm the theory of plate tectonics. The still little-known poles were the focus of universal attention and permanent observations stations were set up in the Antarctic, while an American submarine crossed from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean by travelling under the ice cap covering the North Pole.
On August 1st 1958, the first ever atomic submersible vessel, named USS Nautilus in tribute to the fantastic submarine imagined by Jules Verne set off in absolute secrecy with the unprecedented objective of making a submerged transit from one ocean to the other via the most direct route – meaning beneath the ice sheet covering the Arctic. After three days in submersion, the Nautilus made the transit without anyone apart from the crew being aware of this feat.
The Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre is still particularly proud to have contributed to this event, a moment with a truly exceptional reach and profound symbolic significance.
Tribute to the Geophysic® – an historical watch face associated with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s reliability
Inspired by the original model, the design of these watches further enhances the excellent legibility and aesthetic distinction of the historic instrument. The three models paying tribute to the Geophysic® feature a slightly larger diameter of 38.5 mm to meet the comfort requirements of the 21st century. In the spirit of the calibre 478BWSbr, based on research linked to the Geophysical Year, they are equipped with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 898/1, considered one of the most precise and reliable in-house automatic movements on the market today.
This exceptional movement combines the best technology of the 21st century: a stop second for accurate time-setting; a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour for high precision; a balance with micrometric adjustment by means of screws set into the rim; kifparechoc* for shock-resistance; Spyr gears for smooth transmission of torque in the gear train; automatic winding with ceramic ball bearings that require no lubrication, and more, all without counting the soft-iron inner case that protects the mechanism from the effects of magnetism.
Each version of the Geophysic® watch is fitted with an alligator leather strap secured by an unusual pin buckle in colours matching the metal of the case: black for the steel model and chocolate brown for the pink gold variation.
The Geophysic® 1958 watch will be available in an 800-piece limited edition for the steel version, while the 18-carat gold model will be issued in a 300-piece limited series.
A platinum model, produced in a limited series of 58 pieces, will also be available in 2014. Another aspect of the Geophysic® watch is the dial with hand-applied markers, numerals at 6 and 12, and rhodium-plated, dagger-shaped hands indicating hours, minutes and seconds. This version is mounted on a blue alligator strap.
Source WatchInsight and Jaeger LeCoultre.
Photo’s Jaeger LeCoultre.