Sometimes, you don’t realise that there’s a beautiful watch that you’ve read about floating tantalisingly nearby. Then someone offers you the chance to take a look at it.
Firstly, what are the ‘Duomètre’ watches?
Introduced in 2007, the basic idea is to separate the normal time keeping function of the watch (hours, minutes, and seconds) from the other function, hence ‘duo’. Traditionally, in a watch with a complication the latter makes the watch’s rate deviate upon its activation e.g. a chronograph as it is switched on, a repeater as it rings, or even a calendar function ticking over. The functions share a common power source – the activation of the complication will lead a reduction in the time function of the watch, due to the use of power, and affect accuracy.
To bypass this, JLC’s Duomètre models feature two independent watch mechanisms within one calibre: one spring barrel for the time function, and another for the operation of the complication. In the case of this Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire, these two are the time, and a moon phase function. Each ‘wing’ of the movement has its own barrel with a power reserve of 50 hours.
With each watch comprising of an amazing 396 pieces, this Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire contains the JLC Cal. 381 movement inside a white gold case. The watch features two seconds hands; the main one is a centre sweep hand and the second one at 6 o’clock is a jumping (or ‘flying’, also called ‘foudroyante’) seconds hand accurate to 1/6th of a second. Setting the time is performed by pulling the crown, whereupon both the seconds hands jump to the zero position, leaving the escapement running. Pushing the crown activates both hands simultaneously by re-coupling into the running escapement.
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, moonphase
Case: 18-carat white gold
Case size: 42mm
Case height: 13.50 mm
Dial: Black Numerals: Arabic Hands: Brass, rhodium plated
Movement: JLC Cal. 381
Power reserve: 50 hours
Water resistance: 50m
Strap: Matte black alligator leather with buckle in 18-carat white gold
Case back: Sapphire
Visually, the combination of the white gold and black dial makes it look quite different to its Duomètre predecessors. To my mind, this white gold Duomètre rocks the socks off the prior yellow and pink gold versions. It’s not as ‘soft’ as the other two metals, but the sharpness of the white gold and black combination is one that works really well for this watch, and the blue moon is somehow given more depth with black surrounding it.
The watch is formal and discreet but unexpectedly, there’s almost a sporty elegance to it which lends it to working informally as well. It sits comfortably and at a decent height, but not overly so. As you can see on the dial, the Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire is limited to 200 pieces. This is the only one in Australia, so if you like the look of it, you’d better race in now to Monards.