Friday, July 15, 2005

Velociphile’s Murky Crystal Ball on JLC 2006

I can’t see JLC doing anything whimsical in the technical line – I mean things like FP Journe have tackled recently like remontoir and resonance, or Dufouresque dual balance wheels, etc, or Breguet’s new detent or Gerber’s escapement or Patek’s ‘shock proof’ escapement. All that fascinating but dubious benefit stuff; it doesn’t fit the brand, but rock solid engineering gains do, so I would expect to see technical improvements ongoing (a l'Autotractor) and even some level of silicon on ruby activity.

Janek Deleskiewicz in his first interview after being released from house arrest.

I see the Compressor line, though stupendously commerically successful of course, as an evolutionary dead end for the long term value of the JLC brand so I see that in essentially limbo for one year. Now that Janek is back from under lock and key, I expect to see new combinations of the sporty, practical and emotional. Understanding this formula is one that JLC (I mean JD) may well be the best at in the world.

I see growing case sizes as an unexploited opportunity so I see no reason not to start packing in the complications everywhere. It’s also high time for some further complications in the ladies range. All this adds up to in no particular order:

Ladies moonphase! I wanted to buy my other half a ladies moonphase and the day/night indicator on the GranSport was close but not close enough. Judging by e-mails I get about my moonphase article on my blog I think the desire for this is underestimated by many watch companies.

‘Master style’ chrono! Put the new Cal 75x to good use – ‘a no brainer’ but, question is, what type of chrono? A rattrapante nicely showcases a company’s precision powers – but is it a bit “me too”. Monopusher? Fashionable, and yet classic. 30 min only? Probably.

Reverso Memovox. Remember it's the 75th anniversary of the Reverso AND the 50th of the Memovox (well the automatic....)

And maybe, just maybe, a (more) affordable repeater, say 1/4h. But I'd like to see even just a passing strike on the hour based on the memovox gong. That would be nice and unique...and with the 50th anniversary..… but oh, the crystal ball's getting misty........

Homework assignment: Write down all the complications and features of watches you can think of. Group them into the three categories: sporty, emotional, practical. Start grouping them in '3s' and see what you get......Following the “sporty/practical/emotional” theme, take for example a chrono (sporty), with 2nd timezone (for practicality) and equation of time (emotional)! Or countdown bezel (sporty), alarm (practical) and moonphase (emotional) Get the picture? BUT, if you come up with Reverso Compressor you've got a detention.

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