Jaeger-LeCoultre first presented the world with the “Geophysics Universal Time” watch model during the international scientific project, called the “The International Geophysical Year”. This occurred in 1957 and lasted till December 31, 1958 which also highlighted the exchange of knowledge between the East and West during the Cold War. Tensions were high and paranoia reigned in this era, but science also thrived as it furthered research in areas as: seismology, electromagnetism, glaciology, radioactivity and solar activity.


Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysics Universal Time, Ref#: 8102520

There is a completely new look to this watch that breaks the mold in which the “Geophysics” model line had been going. This version isn’t a reissue or homage piece to the “1958 Geophysics”, that was what the 2014 version served for, by introducing this rare Jaeger-LeCoultre to a whole new generation. The main purpose in creating this timepiece originally resided in its use being subject to some of the most extreme weather conditions from hot deserts to the cold of the poles, for the world lived in turmoil of a possible nuclear war.

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1958 Geophysics, 2014 Edition * Video courtesy of: Jaeger-LeCoultre

The “Geophysics” was a classy looking watch that hid in it one of Jaeger-LeCoultre sportiest movements, at the time. The manual winding, caliber 478Wsbr, which featured a hacking-second mechanism, a glucydur balance wheel, a parachoc system and an adjustment to 5 positions and temperatures. This timepiece had a very limited run, produced for only a year before being replaced by the “Geomatic” model. But, this originally 35mm watch was jam packed with most of the manufactures developed expertise in horology.


Original Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysics, circa 1950’s * Image courtesy of Pinterest

Now, this watch might be one of the best watches ever for anyone who claims to be a true world traveler. Besides the continents spread out on its beautiful world map dial, it features a world-timer and the impressive “true second” complication. The time is adjusted via the crown as usual, but in this model when the crown is pulled out one notch, you can adjust the hour hand without moving the minute’s hand. So, you calculate your universal time and then only adjust for local areas by the hour.


Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysics Universal Time, Ref#: 8108420

Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysics Universal Time

The new “Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysics Universal Time” can be had in a 41.6mm case, in either 18k pink gold  (Ref#: 8102520) with the continents design lacquered in gold tones; or in stainless steel (Ref#: 8108420) with the continents colored silver and grey; both come mounted to an alligator strap. They are powered by a self-winding automatic movement, caliber 772, with 36 jewels, 271 moving parts and up to 40 hours of power reserve. This movement features a “true second” complication, also known as “dead beat seconds”, which allows for a more precise measurement of time. Basically a ticking second hand differs from a sweeping second hand, because it facilitates the process of synching the watch to other time pieces. This complication makes our reading of time more to the dot than otherwise.

Jaeger-LeCoultre “Geophysics Universal Time”, 2015 Edition * Video courtesy of: Jaeger-LeCoultre

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Written by Mauro Az