James Bond, Agent 007, has been linked with gadgets for decades. From the Aston Martin to the Rolex to that mini jet, the Bond movies have cemented these images in our minds. But the very first official James Bond watch didn’t come from Rolex, Omega, or even Seiko: It came from an obscure company called Moeris, which has a surprising connection to those companies!
Most enthusiasts could instantly name the watches pictured below, but they’d be wrong: This isn’t a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, its an Eska Sesame! By the 1980s, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s signature model was forgotten and the company was struggling to survive. Yet just a decade later, the Reverso would lead the entire industry back from the brink. This is the story of the fall of Jaeger-LeCoultre and the resurrection of the Reverso.
Browsing through the archives of Europa Star, I came across a groundbreaking watch I had never encountered. The Jean d’Eve Samara was not just the world’s first automatic-winding quartz watch, it was also a remarkably novel design! My research rabbit-hole lead me to learn not just about this watch but about an entire dark corner of horology.
Despite an amazing history of producing excellent watches and watch movements, Seiko never seems to get the respect it deserves. But perhaps the most curious attempt by Seiko to challenge the Swiss came in the form of the SARA watch and the 4L25 movement inside.
Despite the sketchy history of the design, Movado’s “Museum Watch” remains an icon of horology. It’s one of the very few watches that is instantly recognizable even to the uninitiated, and thus belongs in any serious collector’s watch box, if not on their wrist.
After yesterday’s epic 1500 word “Watch A Day” post, I decided to go for something simpler. Today I’m wearing a classic dress watch from a little-remembered brand. This Roamer Rotopower features a 44-jewel (!) movement, 14 karat gold case, and classic dress watch styling.
I’m on a Seiko kick this week for my “Watch A Day” series but this is a bit of an oddball. This Lord Matic is a mainstream automatic with dated 1970s styling and a decent but not awesome automatic movement. It’s the kind of watch many of us have in the box, getting occasional glances but infrequent wear.
Today’s “Watch A Day” is a Seiko Premier SSA027, the dressy brother of yesterday’s SSA005 tool watch. Part of the Seiko Premier automatic line, it features the updated 4R39A movement and an “open heart” design. It’s a decent if clunky dress watch, better made than most Seiko models and a bargain compared to Swiss offerings.
When traveling to new cities, I often stop by a local watchmaker and dealer for conversation and to see what they kept to sell. I ran into this model Seiko Lord Matic at just such a shop in San Francisco, falling for the faceted crystal, green dial, and arrowhead markers, but felt that his price was delusional. This set off a 6-month quest to find a better example at an affordable price.
Today’s watch is a wonderful travel companion, a versatile and elegant accessory, and a true classic: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo. This was my first high-end watch and cemented in me a love for Jaeger-LeCoultre.