Extreme Lab 2

There is no doubt in mind that these years star of the show is Jaeger's "Extreme Lab 2". Not only for the complications at what I consider to be a more than very competitive price but because it might be the begging of a completely new direction for Jaeger. There has been a lot of critique on this piece, in favor and against. This leeds me to believe that it will indeed be a hot seller. When you have such opposite feelings regarding a product it is generally a sign of success. Indifference would be the worst possible scenario.

For 39,000€ you get a radial power reserve indicator, digital minutes 24-hour chrono, date, GMT, function selector, antimagnetic mechanism, reset to zero seconds, ceramic bezel, TiVan 15 case, fine adjustable buckle and a watch that is made out of over 500 parts! There is no argument with me that 39k is a lot of money, yet considering what you get here is a bargain! I asked several aficionados/collectors to quote me a price after they have been presented the piece at the Jaeger stand and no one was below 200k! I will not want to make too much predictions here but at this price and only 300 pieces in titanium and 200 in rose gold, they might be difficult to source. All really depends if Jaeger is able to breach the "glamour barrier" since a watch at this price point is subject to more superficial valuations rather than complications or performance. AP is the perfect example for a brand that has successfully breached the "glamour barrier" for expensive watches with little complications inside. Needless to say that this could eventually backfire if you expect this to go on for ever. I hope that Jaeger will not increase quantities for this watch despite having three times the demand.

The Extreme Lab 2 is based or rather takes several aesthetic and mechanical details from the first Extreme Lab. At 46mm it is quite an increase in size and most Jaeger customers might feel a bit overwhelmed with its size. Thankfully there are two things that make this actually a very pleasant watch to wear despite the size. One is the strap ball-bearing mechanism inherited from the Extreme Lab 1 and the other is the curvature of the case bottom. Not only that but the ardillon buckle is adjustable to ensure a perfect fit, even if your ideal size is between two holes on the strap (usually ALWAYS the case...). This makes the Extreme LAb 2 one of, if not the most comfortable watch I have ever worn.

The watch has only one handicap. It looks much better on the wrist than off the wrist. Similar to AP's "Survivor" it is a watch that kicks you in the head once on your wrist. There are some minor changes that could, and should, take place before reaching final stage of production. Some change in the Luminova and a more logically color-coded power reserve indicator should be some. Right now the time is unreadable at night despite having quite thick hands and indices. The problem lies with the tip of the minutes that coincides with the indices. At night this tip disappears when in front of any of the indices making the hours and minutes almost indistinguishable. The power reserve in white and red is simply not clear enough. The combination should be white and black or red and black.

Despite some minor logical flaws I can't wait to get the hands on mine. Unfortunately I will have to wait until November according to Jaeger. However, knowing Jaeger's history in being a couple of months behind when it comes to new models, you can be sure that the is NO WAY IN HELL that any of these will be delivered by then. In fact, I am going to bet with my official importer here that if I where to receive mine by... let's say the last day of November, I will shave my head. Trust me, the chances for me to do that a very, very slim...

Jaeger leCoultre...