It was about time to rescue the "Jules Audemars" from the pits. Being absorbed by their star product, the RoyalOak together with an enormous (but futile) effort to place the Millenary in the market, there has been little attention set on their Jules Audemars line. This has been so to the extent of having a gap of over 50k between their simple hour-date and the second option, the "Equation of Time". Surprising to say the least, since the Jules Audemars is one of better classic watch cases together with Patek and Jaeger. Very well balanced and quite comfortable due to the lack of sharp edges. A real treat to the wrist yet completely forgotten when it comes to options.
Now, the once discontinued Jules Chrono is back for January. Since its disappearance two years ago it has grown 3 millimeters wider. Enough for most mid to large sized wrists out there to consider this a very interesting option. Personally I would have gone 44 mm instead of 42 mm. Or maybe making it 2 mm thinner would have helped in the proportions. (Many of us would not mind a re-edition of the "Double-X"). From the pictures I get the impression that the watch is a bit on the "chubby" side. I remember the 39 mm version thiner, not certain though. Since the new and larger version carries the same movement there is no reason why it should be thicker. I have not read any information in the press release that suggests there is a new soft-iron antimagnetic case. I suspect increase in thickness could be due to the designers wish to maintain proportions with regard to the predecessor.
As for the looks there is no doubt that it is a very attractive piece. Both of them this time. This is a first since most of the times it is one or the other. Personally, I tend to the white-gold piece yet I would not mind the rose-gold for once. The white has a more "vintage" feel to it with the cream dial and art-deco numerals. A very attractive watch. Unfortunately, there will be only 300 of these a year. Even if it does not have the "LE tag" it will be more rare that the last Limited Edition, the Survivor. This means that not every dealer in the world will be getting even one of these next year.
The question remains... Now, what's next? What about the same but with a manual movement? In-house, power reserve, thiner case, large date, rattrapante... just thinking aloud here. It would be interesting to have something in the 30k to 40k range to compete against Jaeger's Duometre, Lange's Datograph and Patek's 5070. Especially the 5070, since this is the last year that Patek is getting Lemanias delivered for their manual chrono. In a last attempt to maximize bucks, Patek have made the last 5070s in Platinum. Ironic that a powerhouse that pretends to be recognized for integrity and class would make such a tasteless and greedy move. It would be time now for AP to take up that challenge, God knows that if anybody can, it would be them.