We recently tested the Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph, which was first introduced in May 2012. In our review, we will show you our original photos and give your our thoughts on how the watch feels on the wrist, how it looks, and how it works — like usual. However, for this particular review, we will take what we typically do a step further. We not only tested the Deep Sea in our office and in the concrete jungle, New York City, we also took it to its native environment — the sea.
In (Part I) we will show images and give our impressions of the watch in a dry environment. And in (Part II), we will show you images and give our thoughts from wearing the watch at the beach, underwater and how it performs in a wet environment.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph is powered by automatic caliber 758 that consists of 340 components, 47 of which are jewels. It runs at a rate of 4Hz, has two barrels that provide a maximum 65-hour power reserve, and it has been tested for 1000 hours — like every Jaeger-LeCoultre watch — ensuring optimal operation, reliability and accuracy.
The chronograph start, stop and reset functions are actuated via a column-wheel and vertical clutch system. In comparison to a cam, lever and oscillating pinion operated chronograph this combination ensures smoother actuation of the pushers. Furthermore, this premium configuration also eliminates unwanted jitters from the chronograph seconds hand, when starting and stopping the stopwatch.
A sporty white on black dial features a grainy textured black matte surface with prominent white triangular hour markers. The bezel is stainless steel with a black matte anodized aluminum insert.
“The chronograph start, stop and reset functions are actuated via a column-wheel and vertical clutch system.”
It features a 60-click unidirectional design that is very precise without being too stiff. Hour markers, hour and minute hands, and the 60-minute dive scale all feature white luminous material which glows bright green in the dark.
Hours and minutes are displayed by steel baton hands. At 6 o’clock is a continuously running subsidiary seconds display. Chronograph counters located at 9 and 3 o’clock display 12-hours and 30-minutes, respectively.
Chronograph seconds are displayed by a long white centrally mounted seconds hand. All subsidiary dials have baton hands are painted white, but with no lume. The circular aperture, just below the printed “Jaeger-LeCoultre” logo, is the chronograph operating indicator, which we will discuss more in-depth in (Part II) of this review.
Crafted in stainless steel, the case measures 42 mm by 13.9 mm and has a look that is reminiscent of a Rolex Submariner or Omega Speedmaster. The Deep Sea design is inspired by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s historical “Chronoflight” instrument as well as the 1959 Memovox Deep Sea. However, unlike the Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph or the Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea models, which come in smaller 40.5 mm cases, have fixed bezels and lume with artificial patina — the Deep Sea Chronograph has a more modern look and feel. In fact, unlike the others, it is a true ISO 6425 compliant dive watch, which we will discuss more in (Part II).
Summary (Part I)
A nice alternating mix of polished and brushed surfaces gives the watch some luster, but not too much. Polished non-locking pump pushers and a polished flat unsigned crown further add to the great look. The black perforated leather strap with polished pin buckle feels great in the office and around town, and the water-resistant rubber coating (which is on both sides of the strap) resists sweat better than a typical calfskin strap. As far as desk divers go, this one is about as good as it gets.
But how does the Deep Sea Chrono performs in the much harsher wet environment for which it was designed?