While the rest of the watch world covers the Novelties of 2020 right now, I will wait a bit to look at those…
I need some time to process all the new impressions to be able to give you a more balanced view of my thoughts.
Instead I like to share another vintage gem I had the pleasure to see at the Jaeger-LeCoultre Heritage Gallery – a 1930’s Jaeger Duoplan Driver.
Driver – based on the case which angles the dial up from your wrist, allowing the wearer to read the time without letting go of the steering wheel.
Look at the lugs and you realise that the dial is almost in a 45 degree angle to the wrist:
Through the watch history there have been several solutions how to achieve visibility of the watch for people operating vehicles without forcing the driver to move their hand.
The simplest solution, one which Jaeger were very early to provide – the dashboard clock…!
But if we would stay within wristwatches – one of the more famous models in modern time would be the Vacheron Constantin 1921 or the Cartier Asymmetric which makes the dial face the (left hand) wearer more direct. LeCoultre also had a Asymmetric version.
Another version would be the Omega Chronostop Geneve which if worn on the inside of the wrist allows a full view of the dial.
But let’s go back to the Jaeger Duoplan Driver – after my visit at the Jaeger-LeCoultre Heritage gallery I went into my library and in the this French ad – “Chefs D’oeuvre d’elegance et de precision“, (“Masterpieces of elegance and precision”) from the 18th of December 1937, I found something interesting: look at the wrist watch – second from left.
You recognise the pendant 428 up in the left corner, then there is a Uniplan with central seconds… And then – look at the lugs! This has to be the same watch with a white dial.
The lugs are very cool detail and considering the choice of strap in the ad, a men’s watch even if the size is not very large.
I would estimate the width including the lugs to be 25 mm maximum.
The dial, except for telling the time, tells a story about the watch – “Jaeger Fab. Suisse” – made for the French market. “Duoplan” tells us that the movement inside is a Duoplan movement, most likely Calibre 403, 20.00 mm x 8.50/8.40 mm which aligns with the case size.
Even if very light coloured, the middle part or “top plate” if you like, is in gold.
Here is a side view, showing the angle of the dial against the wrist – spectacular!
Simple, yet efficient solution of the Drivers issue…
On the back is the crown to operate the Duoplan movement.
I wish I would have thought of taking a wristshot, but next time…
A BIG thank you to Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Heritage Gallery for letting me see this very unusual watch!
If you like Drivers, make sure not to miss this Jager Uniplan Driver
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