The Debutant Diver

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving GMT Lady watch in pink gold and ceramic is a perfect example of the evolutionary nature of diving watches from pure tool to pure luxury. A beautiful timepiece that implies a degree of activity but also femininity in the wearer, its personality is half-ball gown, half-wet suit. Jaeger-LeCoultre doesn’t claim that the Master Compressor Diving GMT is a true dive watch, but with 328 feet of water resistance, a rotating diver’s bezel, and a durable hard ceramic case and bracelet, the watch could withstand the underwater elements as well as other dive watches. Chanel put ceramic on the map for luxury dive-style watches with the J12, and Jaeger-LeCoultre has arguably offered its own version here. The luxury features are undeniable; with 18-karat rose gold metal accents and 16 diamonds on the bezel, the timepiece masks its “guy watch” heritage rather well. At 39 mm wide, the watch is almost fit for a man. I have no doubt that more than a few men would even wear one, if only Jaeger-LeCoultre removed “Lady” from the title.

You can’t beat the prestige of an in-house-made Jaeger-LeCoultre movement, especially one as fun and functional as this. Inside the Master Compressor Diving GMT Lady is a Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 971D automatic mechanical movement beautifully finished and offering the time, date (with “open” window), GMT window featuring a second time zone in 24-hour format, and a movement operation indicator. This last feature is more for your eyes than your information. The quarter circle window above the 6 o’clock hour has a multi-color spinning disc under it. The disc presents a degree of visual movement, proving the movement is in operation (without this mechanism the indicator would not move, so think of it as a feature in lieu of a seconds hand). Unlike most dive watches that have screw-down crowns, Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor watches feature unique keys over the crowns that turn to unlock them.

With its diamonds and rose gold, this piece is truly a tool in disguise. Jaeger-LeCoultre enjoys reminding watch lovers that a timepiece is a useful device. And, Jaeger-LeCoutlre’s aggressively straightforward and beautifully cohesive designs, this tool does not sacrifice luxury for utility.

$17,600  |