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Jaeger-LeCoultre Tribute to Deep Sea Luxury Watch Review

With the Jaeger-LeCoultre Tribute to Deep Sea, JLC of Le Sentier, Switzerland becomes the latest top-shelf watchmaker to issue a lovingly recreated modern iteration of a hallowed reference from its back catalog. Tribute watches run the gamut from loose interpretations (e.g., the 2007-present Blancpain Fifty Fathoms) to meticulous recreations that go so far as to reconstitute the flaws of the original (PAM00021, I’m looking at you). As with the 1959 original, the defining feature of the Tribute to Deep Sea is its unique diving alarm. By 1959, the eight-year-old JLC Memovox alarm wristwatch had become a signature of the company’s model line and the flagship of its mainstrean U.S. range. By integrating the Caliber 815 Memovox movement in to a large 39.5mm case, JLC created a highly visible underwater tool equipped with the ultimate fail-safe reminder to avoid out-diving one’s air supply. The Tribute to Deep Sea captures every detail of the original with startling fidelity. Right off the bat, JLC nails the Euro/US design dichotomy by issuing the Tribute in two distinct dial designs. Original Deep Sea Alarm watches were issued in two series with dramatically different dial designs for North American and Old World consumers. The JLC-signed European variant is considered to be the more elegant of the two, and its Tribute counterpart upholds this legacy. A simulated patina-look characterizes the luminova material on the watch face. Vintage watches lose their luminescent glow as radium or tritium ages, but the resulting browned “dirty dial” patina is both endearing and highly sought; collectors favor original faded dials with this effect. Ponder the Deep Sea while basking in its vintage vibe, and the experience is redolent of old National Geographic volumes complete with faded pastel-tone images of far-flung Bali, Pacific atolls, and Roman wrecks in the Med. That era may have been the last time the world seemed vast, endless, and mysterious to the popular imagination. Glance at the Tribute to Deep Sea for a moment, and you’re there. This Jaeger-LeCoultre Tribute to Deep Sea diving wrist alarm is available from with a full factory set. Provenance is impeccable thanks to original sales documents, factory instruction manuals, certificate of origin, box set, and unique accessories. The next owner of this watch will receive every article he would expect to collect with this watch at a Jaeger-LeCoultre factory boutique. And it will be a collectible in its own right; JLC issued only 959 Euro dials and 359 U.S. variants of the Tribute for a production total of 1,318. Exclusivity is assured. Video and content by Tim Mosso.