Jaeger-LeCoultre: Three Tribute To…

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This week I thought we would change pace and have a look at three more recent watches…

These three have several things in common, one being the fact that Jaeger-LeCoultre decided to make a “Tribute To” version of the model!

I will present my three choices based on original year, not on Tribute release –

1931 Horse Polo: any true gentleman should be able to wear his watch during a game of horse polo. The very first sports watch icon is born!

Second watch on the Tribute train, the Tribute To Reverso 1931. Released in 2011, the 80 years anniversary of the original Reverso, the first Jaeger-LeCoultre watch in modern time without the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo or name on the dial. A quite bold move that paid off!

Tribute To Reverso 1931 – Duo released in 2013

Jaeger-LeCoultre didn’t make a replica but a look alike. The Art Deco design was kept but enlarged to modern size. The good thing being that the proportions are still intact, keeping the balanced of the original Art Deco design!

The first version of the Tribute To Reverso 1931 was a black dial single face Reverso. On this Duo version we have a “bonus” dial with a more modern look and also the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo.

Tribute To Reverso 1931 – “bonus” dial

The second dial of these duo face Reverso are often overlooked as the front is often more eye catching… The beauty of the Clou de Paris Guilloché I guess you need to stop and look closer at to really appreciate.

Tribute To Reverso 1931 – Clou de Paris Guilloché

The Tribute To Reverso 1931, a great Tribute and a very successful series of watches!

1958 International Geophysical Year: for the engineer or professional who work in a magnetic field environment.

The Tribute To Geophysic 1958. Released in 2014. To me, this watch was released four years too early. This watch is not a replica nor a real look alike… I would classify this as a “in resemblance of” category…

Why? Because it resembles a fantastic icon which still today, over 60 years later stands as one of the brightest shining stars of Antimagnetic watches of all time, all brands included!

Here Jaeger-LeCoultre could have made a superb new manual base Calibre to match the original, could have kept closer to the original proportions, could have been something extra ordinary… Jaeger-LeCoultre should have taken their time to make something spectacular!

For someone who do not know the original Geophysic intimately it may sound like I am a cranky old vintage guy… For those who really know the original, understand what I am talking about.

If you put the original Geophysic aside, and only look at the Tribute To Geophysic 1958 you have a great modern leisure Sport Chic watch. On bracelet, it would have been a perfect summers watch!

Tribute To Geophysic 1958 – on the wooden beam

The case is comfortable and the lugs have a nice curve.

That Jaeger-LeCoultre opted to have the most famous dial on the very limited Platinum version is quite surprising, only 58 pieces. The Crosshair dial which on the original Geophysic is the more rare version used on the stainless steel and rose gold versions, 800 and 300 pieces respectively, again surprising.

On the plus side is the closed case back, yes the Calibre 898/1 is a great accurate automatic movement, but a Tribute To Geophysic 1958 should not have a see through case back unless it adds something extra, like on the True Seconds.

Tribute To Geophysic 1958 – closed case back

Another very nice detail is the buckle, earlier used on some of their high end pieces. Less feminine as the half moon shaped buckle that is used on most of their watches.

Tribute To Geophysic 1958 – nice buckle

The Tribute To Geophysic 1958, a great modern leisure Sport Chic watch but no true Tribute in my opinion. Maybe I am too close related with the original Geophysic to be able to give a unbiased opinion…

1968 Skin Diver: as the popularity of skin diving increased, Jaeger-LeCoultre made their second skin diver watch with alarm. This time they got it right, turning bezel.

The Tribute To Polaris 1968 – the one that started all these “Tribute To” from Le Grand Maison.

Released in 2008, the 40 years anniversary of the original Polaris with the “1968” dial (something I will bring up in a separat post).

To my understanding, Jaeger-LeCoultre wanted to make a replica of the original Polaris using modern technology and the back then, new Calibre 956 is a big step up from the Calibre 918. From a users point of view, the biggest advantage being the quick date set function.

Tribute To Polaris 1968 – on the wooden beam

To me, this is a great executed Tribute! New and improved movement, close to the original, one shot, a numbered limited edition (three versions: Polaris 65 Paris Boutique in 65 pieces, Polaris 65 in 165 pieces and Polaris 68 in 768 pieces). End of story, no later added extra special-special editions…

Two flaws on an otherwise great Tribute… One the faux patina which was heavily discussed at the release. The second is less evident if you are not familiar with the original Polaris… The doomed plexi. The original polaris plexi have a distinct angle between the side and the top of the plexi. My guess is that when Jaeger-LeCoultre made the Tribute, they were looking at a watch with over polished plexi and came up with this round doom…

Many details kept close to the original Polaris, even the snap on case back with the sixteen holes were kept.

Tribute To Polaris 1968 – case back

On the wrist, the familiar feeling from the original is there, difference being that this one you are not afraid of using in the water!

Tribute To Polaris 1968 – on the wrist

Three Tribute To on the wooden beam. Three very different watches with different background and history… I am wondering which will be the next new Tribute to be born…? A Memovox one might hope!

A BIG thank you goes out to @jaegerlecoultre_aficionado proposing these stories and for posting them on Instagram!