This is review is about the Jaeger Lecoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Gepgraphic.
First, on the edges of the large case sit the two crowns with compression keys, a distinguishing feature of the current Compressor series.
But more importantly, your eye will catch a strange outgrowth located between 8 and 10 o’clock.
Let’s start then with the mechanical depth gauge, which is what that “outgrowth” is.
It displays the water depth during dives up to 80 meters and is the result of unique developments on the part of Jaeger-LeCoultre.
This complex system, centered around a membrane attached in the depth gauge’s case, was inspired by the prototype wristband watch version of the Atmos pendulum clock with its winding mechanism powered by the expansion and retraction of a temperature-sensitive gas.
In this particular case, the membrane contracts in response to water pressure and indicates to its owner the depth at which he is moving about (see the video below for an out-of-water demonstration).
Some unoccupied space on the dial gives connoisseurs the opportunity to witness the rack mechanism that activates a snail pinion that moves the depth gauge’s hand.
The logarithmic scale allows for more precision on the first fifty meters, with markers for every meter. Then, between 50 and 80 meters, the indicators are in increments of two meters. It’s simple and even fun to use!
The hand’s blue color provides good visibility underwater because of its particular location in the chromatic spectrum, but we were unfortunately unable to test it!
Here’s another surprise: the weight of this Jaeger-LeCoultre does not match its impressive size – almost 20mm in thickness with a diameter of more than 60mm, bezel included (measured diagonally from 10 to 4 o’clock)!
Indeed, the use of grade 5 titanium considerably lightens the load – which, in spite of this, is still 195g.
It also gives the casing of this Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic a look that is both technical and simple with its satin brushed-finish, while still providing a comfortable fit on the wrist.
The watch comes with two straps (along with the small tool required to switch them on the watch), one made of Cordura, designed for diving, and the other made of rubber molded on a metal base.
Both straps, each with their own individual style, provide a very comfortable wear on the wrist.
However, when you’ve come back up to the surface, you will wear your Jaeger-LeCoultre with jeans and sneakers; wearing a suit and tie will indeed prove to be a bit of a challenge given the look and size of the watch!
Features that are fun and practical
As far as the setting for the different displays on the dial, Jaeger-LeCoultre keeps it simple, to the connoisseurs’ great pleasure, with the help of a very clear instruction manual.
The aesthetic of the two crowns with their compression keys can seem intimidating for those who are not familiar with such things.
In reality, nothing could be easier to use: rotating the wingnuts unlocks the crowns for a traditional use to set and wind the watch – the small blue arrows on the dial’s side will indicate that the crowns are unlocked.
Once you are done with all the different settings, you can rotate the wingnuts in the opposite direction (with the small white arrows on the top) and thus ensure that your Jaeger-LeCoultre is completely waterproof.
The setting for the hours (which is done by one-hour increments forward and backwards, independently of the minutes), as well as the ones for the minutes and the date are all done smoothly and with ease.
The watch also has a GMT feature with two displays easy to adjust and read, with the hours on a subdial situated at 9 o’clock, and the world cities located at 6 o’clock.
Is it really essential to have a GMT feature on a diver’s watch with such an extreme look?
And this Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic’s dial (with its design displaying six levels meant to integrate all the information provided) would have greatly benefitted from the simplicity of not having this complication.
But this GMT feature is still useful when you are out of the water – especially if you plan a diving trip to Bora Bora!
In any case, the instinctive reading of the time is done without any difficulties, day or night.
Finally, an indicator inside the dial at 6 o’clock indicates that the watch is running properly, thus allowing divers to make sure that their Jaeger-LeCoultre has not stopped working in the middle of their dive.
We should note that this type of indicator is one of the mandatory features required for professional diver’s watches, in accordance with the ISO 6425 norm.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre 979 automatic caliber, developed for the Compressor series, is over-sized.
It has, of course, the “1,000 Hours Control” seal, characteristic of the brand, and will run regularly throughout its 48 hours of power reserve.
Its rotor is mounted on a ceramic bearing that doesn’t require any lubrication.
Its variable inertia balance, attached to a bridge, instead of a simple cock, moves at a rate of 28,800 alternations per hour.
Its meticulous finish (hand-decorated with circular C?tes de Genève, bevelling, blued screws) is not visible to its owner since this technical watch is equipped with a solid background.
With its Master Compressor Diving Pro Georaphic, Jaeger-LeCoultre presents us with a watch that mixes high-level technical characteristics with original and practical features.
It will appeal to the connoisseurs of fine watchmaking and water sports in search of a high-end tool watch with a design that does not compromise.
a technical watch that is compliant with the ISO 6425 norm
fun features that are easy to use
a strong and consistent “diving tool” look
its manufactured caliber
its lack of versatility
the absence of a double-safety clasp for the rubber strap
its price, given the watch’s exclusive purpose
the advertised price in the manufacturer’s spec sheet is the watch’s official retail price in France at the time of this review’s publication on the French version of the website.
tester’s/reviewer’s wrist size = 17.5cm