The Jaeger LeCoultre Duomètre Collection is a uniquely positioned set of watches amidst an otherwise well-rounded offering. Their most popular watch, the Reverso, is a classic but is more regarded as a great watch design rather than an engineering marvel—this is where the Duomètre steps in. Jaeger LeCoultre has a history going back 175 years and has manufactured watch movements for all three members of the holy trinity as well as IWC & Breguet. Their watchmaking expertise is as advanced and storied as they come. While they may be best known for the Reverso, it is not even close to the best of their horological achievements.
Case in point: Jaeger LeCoultre’s Duomètre collection. This family of watches represents some of the absolute best timepieces coming out of not only Jaeger LeCoultre but all of Switzerland. In taking a deeper dive into this collection, we’ll be paying closer attention to two recent pieces to have come through our doors—the Jaeger LeCoultre Q6013470 Duometre a Quantieme Chronograph, and the Jaeger LeCoultre Q6042421 Duometre a Quantieme Lunaire.
The movements found throughout the collection are based on a minute repeating chronometer pocket watch made by Victorin Piguet , who helped create the famous Graves Supercomplication. All the movements in this collection are completely hand finished. The high attention to detail is evident in their patented côtes soleillées technique, which creates a pattern on the metal akin to rays of sunshine.
The other calling card of Duomètre watches is their innovative movement design, which set out to solve a common problem. In a standard complicated watch, any complication that is not constantly linked to the gear train disrupts the watch’s rate when it gets activated—even a complication as simple as the date affects timekeeping accuracy when engaged. The Duomètre collection utilizes what Jaeger LeCoultre calls the “Dual-Wing” concept. Flip the watch over and you’ll notice two mainspring barrels and two drive trains, these effectively give the one watch movement the power of two.
The first is completely dedicated to powering the complications, and the other is for standard timekeeping. With the Dual-Wing concept, your main timekeeping is uninterrupted by the activation and use of any complication, thus allowing both to operate more accurately. Here we’ll focus on the Duomètre a Quantieme Chronograph and Lunaire, two pillars of the Duomètre family. Specifically, the white gold Chronograph Limited Edition reference Q6013470 and the rose gold Lunaire reference Q6042421.
The Chronograph model is limited to 200 examples and is I feel the most versatile looking of the Duomètre collection. The matte black dial and white gold case give the watch a clean look that allows this complex powerhouse to fly under the radar.
The dial layout of this watch is executed to perfection. It’s simple and legible but displays an incredible amount of information. There are an astounding nine hands on this watch as well as three subdials. There is also a fully graduated seconds track and a “foudroyante” or flying seconds hand which allows you to read the chronograph timing down to 1/6 of a second.
To help with clarity, the hands made of white gold are used for telling the time while the rose gold hands indicate the chronograph time. The left-hand sub-dial is your standard time of day and on the right is the hour and minute chronograph counter. A simple and unique design that really gets to show off when you activate the chronograph function. Click the rectangular monopusher at two o’clock and the hands snap into action. The
foudroyante in particular looks like it’s about to jump off the dial. The center seconds hand will take off as well while the standard seconds hand maintains pace. A sort of timekeeping ballet right on your wrist. All this without any disruption to your main timekeeping.
Its sibling, the Jaeger LeCoultre Duomètre a Quantieme Lunaire has a more classic look, having been inspired by a vintage pocket watch. The rose gold case and silver dial combined with the blue moon phase make for a classy and formal watch. Like all the Duomètre’s there is a lot to read here, but it’s extremely legible. It is unique however in its collection of complications. As a rule, complications are functions that a watch does other than telling time, meaning simply hours, minutes, seconds. This watch has six complications that only tell you the time albeit in an elaborate way.
The Lunaire tells you hours, minutes, seconds, sixths of a second, the date, and the current phase of the moon. It is a grand display of time passage all laid out cleanly and symmetrically. All the complications run simultaneously, even the foudroyante is always running. The rectangular pusher at ten is to advance the date only. It’s a romantic timepiece that allows you to see just how quickly time is fleeting—in sixths of a second—while also seeing the broader passage of time as the moon circles the earth.
Jaeger LeCoultre is capable of producing watches that can compete with anyone and the Duomètre collection is one of the best examples of that. While they will always be best known for the Reverso, I think over time this collection will get its due. The Chronograph has an MSRP of $48,000 and the Lunaire comes in with an MSRP of $36,400. While this is not exactly entry-level, it is a relative steal considering both of these watches are at the top level of watchmaking in all aspects. This is haute horology with quiet subdued confidence. This is classic Jaeger LeCoultre.