Jules Verne’s fictional character Phileas Fogg strived to circumnavigate the world in 80 days, but my Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor World Extreme Alarm can negotiate the world’s greatest cities with a simple twist of the almandine red crown on the left hand side of the dial.
JLC have a history of manufacturing small delicate watches, demonstrated by the tiny movement in Queen Elizabeth II’s wristwatch, worn at her Coronation in 1953 and the earlier art deco design of the Reverso dating back to 1931. However, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm is a modern, oversized, overtly masculine timepiece.
The case is 46.3mm in diameter, constructed of stainless steel and titanium.
The height of the watch is 16.5mm, harnessing several features which distinguish this as a special timepiece for the connoisseur.
The case is water resistant to 10 atm (atmospheres).
Ingenious “Compressor Crowns” feature coloured indicators. When the crown is locked and impervious to water ingress the white markers are uppermost. On twisting the crowns, red markers indicate that the crowns are unlocked and free to be adjusted.
The watch contains the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 912 incorporating 23 jewels. It is automatic and has a power reserve of 45 hours.
A mechanical alarm provides a sonorous reminder that perhaps it is time to depart to the next destination on the itinerary.
The thoroughness of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s (JLC) horological ingenuity is evident from the twin barrels, one for the alarm and another for the time.
Twin barrels ensure the accuracy of the timepiece remains unaffected as the alarm continuously rings to the point of exhaustion as its fatigued wearer, sleepily dreams of their next adventure.
One feature the JLC Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm does share with its traditional forebears is its horological excellence, confirmed by the famous “1000 hours” text on the case back, testament to the exhaustive testing regime.
Leading cities from around the world feature on the internal bezel, allowing the wearer to display the relative hour in an alternative time zone by adjusting the left hand red crown.
A date window is located at 3 o’clock and an aperture to the left hand side of the dial reveals the alarm time displayed in hours and minutes (15 minute intervals).
Two straps are supplied with the watch.
A black alligator leather strap carries two rows of contrasting white stitching around the edge.
In addition a black rubber strap is supplied with the watch. This allows the owner to wear the watch underwater without any detriment to the strap.
A deployant helps the strap sit comfortably on the wrist and reduces wear when contrasted with a pin buckle. The deployant is inscribed with “Jaeger-LeCoultre” text and on the clasp there is additional “JL” branding.
Another considered convenience is the quick release aspect to the strap where it engages between the interhorns, allowing the wearer to change straps easily without tools.
I have a JLC Reverso which I enjoy wearing with formal attire, but the JLC Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm is a contemporary sports watch which suits an active lifestyle and a casual look, in keeping with jeans and open-necked shirt when relaxing with friends.
This watch has innovative features but also great mechanical integrity, synonymous with this traditional brand.
JLC Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm will provide its wearer with faithful service whether they merely read about the exploits of others or choose to explore distant shores themselves.