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Comparative Review: JLC Tribute to Deep Sea and Vulcain Nautical Seventies Part 1 of 2

by Peter Chong on March 28, 2014

Round about 1960, for some reason, Diving Alarm watches became a rage. Two key companies who made iconic watches with alarm for diving were JLC and Vulcain.

We take a look at both these interesting watches, and their re-issues. And go in depth to see what makes them interesting. In Part 1, we look at the JLC Memovox Deep Sea and in Part 2, we examine the Vulcain Nautical Seventies.

The re-issue JLC Deep Sea Alarm (US version) on the original advertisement for the watch in 1959.

The re-issue Jaeger LeCoultre Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm (US version) on the original advertisement for the watch in 1959.

Jaeger LeCoultre began its diving alarm watches in 1959, and production continued till about 1961. Some 1061 pieces were made in the early years. The original 1959 watch was the first diving watch to be equipped with an alarm which is usable under water. The original watch carried a movement Caliber 815. This exceptional watch was re-introduced in 2011, and the re-issue is a faithful reproduction of the original.

JLC LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm. Faithful re-introduction of the watch originally made between 1959-1961. The re-issue is masterfully done, with faithful details being reproduced.

JLC LeCoultre Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm. Faithful re-introduction of the watch originally made between 1959-1961. The re-issue is masterfully done, with faithful details being reproduced.

Now equipped with the updated alarm Caliber 956, the watch is available in a US version (shown here) and an European version. The US version carries the name LeCoultre on the dial, and the European version shows the full name Jaeger LeCoultre on the dial.

In a stainless steel case measuring a comfortable 40.5mm diameter and 13.9mm thick, the watch is quite handsome. We find the attention to detail quite amazing to make the re-issue as faithful to the original as possible.

The caseback is engraved with a stylized diver exactly the same motif as found in the original, and limited to 359 pieces, the watch is water resistant to 10 atm, or 100m.

JLC Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm, caseback.

JLC Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm, caseback.
As this is a watch, photographed in the JLC Singapore boutique, is already sold, we did not remove the plastic protective covering the caseback.

The movement is the elegant Caliber 956, beating at 28,800 bph and a power reserve of 45 hours.

Close up of the dial. The LeCoultre name on the dial shows this is the US version, where for many years, JLC was known as LeCoultre. Note also the beautiful scrip writings Deep Sea Alarm Automatic,.

Close up of the dial. The LeCoultre name on the dial shows this is the US version, where for many years, JLC was known as LeCoultre. Note also the beautiful scrip writings Deep Sea Alarm Automatic,.

To us, this is a beautiful timepiece, just the right size, wears very well, and magnificently made, while totally faithful to the original.

On the wrist, the watch is very comfortable. Very nice indeed.

On the wrist, the watch is very comfortable. Very nice indeed.

In Part 2 of this article, we examine perhaps the only competitor to the JLC Deep Sea Alarm circa 1960, and its re-ssue.

The Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm, with another iconic JLC timepiece: the Atmos Clock.

The Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm, with another iconic JLC timepiece: the Atmos Clock.

 

 

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