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There are not many watches that can traces their origins to the height of the Cold War.
The first Geophysic was introduced in 1958 during a time when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were busying themselves with the the strategic production of huge masses of arms and missiles. The Soviets had convinced themselves that their northern boundaries were impassable, but the United States had an ace up it's sleeve: The USS Nautilus. The Nautilus was the world's first operational atomic submarine, and in 1958, it became the first vessel to complete a submerged transit to the North Pole, a scientific milestone that cooly doubled as strategic muscle-flexing.
The North Pole's powerful magnetic fields rendered ordinary timepieces completely useless placing the Nautilus's commander, Captain William Anderson, and his officers in need watches that could operate in the extreme environment. JLC answered the need with the Geophysic, a manually-wound, 35mm steel watch that could withstand the increased gaussing. The original Geophysic was only produced for one year, making it an incredibly rare and desirable watch among collectors.
This watch, called the Geophysic 1958, is the revered manufacture's homage to the storied timepiece. Produced in three limited executions - 800 in steel, 300 in rose gold and 58 in platinum - the Geophysic 1958 mirrors the original in more ways than one. It's case bears a striking resemblance to the original, with only a slight size increase to 38.5mm, and a dial design that elegantly updates the look. Under the hood, the watch is driven by an automatic Calibre 898/1 movement with an anti-mag rating of up to 600 gauss.
JLC has produced homage pieces before. Their Tributes to the Polaris, Deep Sea Alarm and the 1931 Reverso are all brilliantly executed, paying respect to the original designs while refreshing the stylings and mechanics in a light-handed and elegant way. The Geophysic is, in our opinion, another home run for Jaeger-Lecoultre, and in an ultra-wearable stainless steel case, it should be at the top of the list for anyone looking for a modern piece with no-bullshit lineage.
Given the extremely limited production of these pieces, finding one is a hard feat. Holding one long enough to bring it to market is even tougher. This piece, complete with its entire kit, is a gem in like-new condition. We don't always go to such lengths to offer modern pieces, but with a story this cool, we couldn't help ourselves...
Our founder published a hands-on review of this timepiece shortly after its launch at ABlogToWatch, HERE.
Stainless Steel Case is approximately 38.5mm (excluding crown). Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 898/1 Automatic movement. 2014.
Overall Condition: The watch is in like-new condition with only the slightest wear marks visible. In entirely original condition with full inner and outer boxes and paperwork.