The Duomètre Unique Travel Time, a comparatively snappy title by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s normal standards, is a replica watch that would be thought extraordinary from most replica watchmakers and even from Jaeger-LeCoultre themselves 20 years ago. Instead the Travel Time is typical of the Le Sentier company’s style these days, a replica watch of the sophistication that is now the expected standard.
While the company is celebrating its 180th anniversary this year with some admittedly very special replica watches inspired by the archive, the Unique Travel Time captures the development of Jaeger-LeCoultre over the last few decades perfectly. It draws on archive in terms of its sheer inventiveness and a very pared back design scheme, while at the same time relying on the latest movement design and manufacturing techniques.
The main idea behind the Duomètre series is to use separate drive trains for time-keeping and other functions (the first Duomètre was a chronograph), the point being to isolate the time-keeping from any potential interference. In this Swiss replica watch, the two “wings”, each having a 50-hour power reserve, show home time and “travel time”, a quickly adjustable second time zone. The two elements share an escapement and are both wound from the same crown (winding anti-clockwise for the home time and the reverse for the travel time).
On the dial are two replica rolex watches faces and a rotating day/night world map, the home time is shown on the right in conventional style while the left hand dial is in “jumping-hour” format with the hour displayed digitally. The local time can be advanced and retarded using the push-buttons on the side (the time can also be set via the crown allowing for those time zones that differ from GMT by fractions of an hour).
Useful as the Travel Time is, the real point of the replica watch is to show off quite how well Jaeger makes and designs its replica watches: there’s a perfect balance between the different elements on what is a very complicated dial and a horologically intriguing set-up below, seemingly achieved without any unnecessary compromise. The finishes applied to the dial and the movement give the replica watch a lustre. The only down-side to the Unique Travel Time is that you will have to visit Jaeger-LeCoultre’s boutique on Place Vendome to see it!