REVIEW: From the Boardroom to the Beach, The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph (Part II)
November 15, 2013
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph at the beach
As we mentioned in (Part I) of this review, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph is an excellent desk diver — but now we are going to tell you how it performs in the ocean. During a recent trip to the Caribbean, over the course of three days, I tested the Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea in its native environment. I wore it swimming, snorkeling, skin diving, paddle boarding and boating.
How it performs underwater
Even in very bright sunlight, the legibility through the thick concave sapphire crystal was good both above, and beneath the surface of the water. We really like that Jaeger-LeCoultre chose to omit the date in favor of a clean (easy to read dial). The bezel, which is of the 60-click variety, is precise without being overly firm and accordingly, it stayed in place the entire time with no wiggle or accidental rotation. The chronograph is rated to work down to 100 meters, and it worked perfectly as I tested the start/stop/reset functions, while full submerged, dozens and dozens of times. Basically, for three days I took it out in a harsh salt water environment — an environment that can ruin any watch. Yet, apart from getting some sand wedged in between the small gap between the case and solid screw-down caseback — it performed flawlessly.
Chronograph operating indicator
Interestingly, there is feature called the “operating indicator” that shows you which mode the chronograph is currently in, and theoretically should prevent you from hitting the pusher when you are in the middle of timing your dive. The indicator, which was inspired by the historical Jaeger “Chronoflight” onboard instrument allows the wearer to see at a glance whether the disc shows that the chronograph is ready for use (white), in operation (white/red) or stopped (red).
Is this a true dive watch?
Yes, it meets the ISO 6425 standard which stipulates a diver’s watch must have: a time controller (the dive bezel), a minimum 100 meter water resistance, luminosity, shock resistance, resistance to magnetic fields and a robust band.
We asked two certified divers what they thought about using an underwater capable chronograph like the Deep Sea, to time their dives. They both agreed that they would prefer to use the a dive bezel over a chronograph, without question. Why? In comparison to a chronograph, a dive bezel is much easier to read. A diver can read the luminous markings on the diving scale and bezel, along with the luminous hour and minute hands, therefore allowing dives to be timed — even in low-light conditions. Moreover, a dive bezel is much harder to accidentally reset than a chronograph, and, therefore, more safe and reliable. Even with the unique indicator function of the chronograph, you can still inadvertently stop or reset the chronograph.
A black perforated calfskin leather strap is included. And as mentioned in Part I, it has a sporty look that pairs well with the watch and functions perfectly in a dry environment. How does it work in a wet environment though?
The strap features a special rubber coating that does a good job at repelling moisture such as if you’re sweating or occasionally jumping in the water. However, if you wear the watch in the water for longer durations, the leather underneath the rubber coating gets soaked. Thankfully, this can be easily fixed with a proper rubber dive strap. Not to mention, a rubber strap will be more secure on your wrist, which is especially important if you plan to actually dive with this watch. And rubber, is, of course, impervious to water. So you won’t be walking around all day with wet strap.
The Deep Sea Chrono has a design that reminds me of two other classic sport watches: the Submariner and Speedmaster. The Jaeger-LeCoultre, of course, has a look of its own. With the combined functionality of both of those classics, all in one watch. I really like that they finished all the metal surfaces on the top of the watch, with a mirror polish. This gives the watch a beautiful sheen that I could not help noticing everyday that I wore it. The Deep Sea is an excellent sports watch that looks and performs well, anywhere from the boardroom to the sea. The price is $11,300. (Ref. 2068570)