Jaeger-LeCoultre Introduces the Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch

 

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https://watchesbysjx.com/2020/07/jaeger-lecoultre-master-ultra-thin-kingsman-knife-watch.html

 

Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) teamed up with online menswear purveyor Mr Porter to create a wristwatch for the upcoming retro spy film The King’s Man, where the heroes are mainly sharply-dressed spies with canes and signet rings.

Set in the years before the First World War, the film doubtlessly called for a watch that is seemingly period-correct – yet obviously one that would appeal to the today’s consumer. The result is the Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch, a razor-thin, 4.25 mm wristwatch that takes inspiration from a vintage ultra-thin pocket watch.

Initial thoughts

At a glance, the watch might seem like a conventional but handsome dress watch. But the case design is outstanding – and compared to JLC’s recent creations, dramatically different. 

The case is round with a wide, double-stepped bezel, a feature that gives it an old-school, classic feel. And the stepped bezel also adds presence so that the case doesn’t look too flat. And more unusually, the crown is at 12 o’clock and protected by a triangular bow. And the reason for the crown position is the fact that the watch is essentially a pocket watch with lugs.

The origins of the design lie in a 1907 Jaeger-LeCoultre pocket watch, nicknamed “couteau” – French for “knife” – after its thin case with a sharp edge. That said, the “couteau” pocket watch is arguably more widely associated with Cartier, which relied on LeCoultre movements for its watches, which were made by the European Watch & Clock Company (EWC) that was led by Edmond Jaeger, who later joined with LeCoultre to found Jaeger-LeCoultre. And as it happens, both Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cartier are now owned by Richemont – which also owns Mr Porter.

A LeCoultre “couteau” pocket watch with the cal. 145 from the early 1900s

The historical inspiration makes the watch a little more interesting, and combined with the striking design, it should be a winner. Except for the price, which at just below US$30,000, is far higher than it should be. That is especially so given Jaeger-LeCoultre’s propensity to remake successful limited editions in other iterations.

A gentleman’s watch

Forty millimetres wide and just 4.25 mm thick, the Kingsman Knife Watch is the thinnest watch in JLC’s catalogue. The case is pink gold while the dial is a simple, printed affair – dressed up with blued-steel hands – thoroughly appropriate for an ultra-thin watch.

It is good to see JLC return to the ultra-thin cal. 849, a movement that’s been part of the brand’s offerings since 1975 (as the essentially identical, predecessor cal. 839). Once the staple of its extra-thin line up, the movement is not found in the JLC catalogue at time of writing, but it is making a return in dramatic fashion here.

The cal. 849

The lugs screw into the case band, while the case back is solid and engraved with the fictional Kingsmen logo

Conclusion

The Kingsman Knife Watch feels like a sincere attempt to create something novel yet classical. And it was successful; the design is effective in looking elegant yet sporty enough for a gentleman spy. But the watch is expensive for what it is.


Key Facts and Price

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch
Ref. 3402393

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 4.25 mm
Material: 18k pink gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 849
Functions: Hours and minutes
Winding: Hand-wound
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 36 hours

Strap: Brown alligator with 18k gold pin buckle

Limited edition: 100 watches 
Availability:
Exclusively from Mr Porter from July 20 to September 6; and then from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s e-commerce store and physical boutiques starting September 6
Price: US$29,800; or 44,200 Singapore dollars

For more, visit Jaeger-lecoultre.com.


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