There are a lot of great bargains out there on the pre-owned market, and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph is one of them. Steeped in heritage, Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the few old masters, making movements that can and do rival those of heavy-hitters such as Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Better than that, all three of those brands have at some point in their existences come to Jaeger-LeCoultre for its know-how. Kudos, then, is plentiful with the brand.
Like the drummer in a rock group, Jaeger-LeCoultre men’s watch is the dependable, lesser-known player in among the top tier of watchmaking. It isn’t the flashy frontman: it’s quiet, steady and reliable. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s focus on its craft has left it relatively unknown in the eyes of the greater public, and this presents an opportunity to pick up a really good deal. Because the brand doesn’t have quite the following of the likes of Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet, pre-owned prices work very much in favour of the buyer. With strong, well-proven internals, a watch like this Master Compressor Chronograph makes for a fantastic step into the upper echelons of watchmaking.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Watch heralds from the introduction of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s compressor technology in 2002. Simpler and quicker to use than screw-down crowns and pushers, the compressor design allows just a small rotation of a locking collar to seal a watch from water. On a watch with a chronograph, the ability to unlock the pushers with ease is a welcome benefit.
Case: Stainless steel Dimensions: 41.5mm dia, 13.3mm thick Crystal: Synthetic sapphire Water Resistance: 100m Movement: Calibre 751F, automatic Frequency: 28,800 vph Power Reserve: 65 hours Strap: Leather Functions: Time, date, chronograph
Looking at a year-old example, there’s already a 35% discount from new, a substantial saving and an undeniable bargain. Add another four years and a pre-owned piece will save a buyer a colossal £3,000, and that’s money worth saving because, let’s not forget, this is still a high-end watch. As with a bargain-priced supercar, luxury products still attract luxury ownership costs, and an enthusiast looking to purchase a pre-owned Jaeger-LeCoultre for less than a new Rolex will do well to take heed of the potential outlay.
Take this Master Compressor Chronograph: after a year, the leather strap is likely to need replacing, at a minimum expense of £350. If you decide you want a steel bracelet, that’ll be over a thousand pounds. Reach the end of year two and the watch will need to return to Jaeger-LeCoultre for a service, because the service intervals on this are two years rather than the more usual three-to-five years. A service starts at £550 if all’s well; if parts need replacing, costs soon spiral. A good independent can help reduce labour expenses, but the price of genuine parts will still be in keeping with the quality of the watch.