Although the E168 model is known to many simply as the “Geophysic”, a much rarer example exists, the 2985, dubbed the Geophysic “Luxe” or “Deluxe”. Whilst it’s believed that 1,038 of the steel Geophysic E168 were made, only 103 “Luxe” examples exist - effectively a non-anti-antimagnetic dress watch equivalent of the classic Geophysic. Of those 103, less than a third are believed to have been made in rose-gold, with the remainder in yellow gold. Incredibly few pieces have appeared in the past decade, with only one other example in rose-gold surfacing for public sale in 2014.
Although the Geophysic Luxe shares the Geophysics’ legendary Jaeger-LeCoultre 478BWSbr calibre, it’s one millimetre smaller than the classic steel tool watch, at 34 rather than 35mm wide. That caliber is itself based on the famously-reliable 488SBr used by Jaeger-LeCoultre in its RAF-issued Mark XI. The movement features indirect central seconds, stop second, Glucydur balance wheel, “swan-neck” adjustment system (with regulator spring and setting screws), shock absorbers, precision end curves, anti-magnetic escapement, and unbreakable spring, beating at a rate of 18,000 A/h. The Cal. 478BWSbr used in the Geophysic was specially calibrated and adjusted for chronometer certification.
When this Geophysic-Luxe was acquired sixteen months ago, the dial had previously been poorly restored, and the 478BWSbr calibre was in need of specialist attention. As detailed in the accompanying documents from Jaeger-LeCoultre, we were fortunate that the Manufacture were able to replace, rather than restore the dial, (as well as the hands) with incredibly well-preserved, new old stock original components; a stroke of luck but also an acknowledgement of this example’s historical importance.
The dial is exceptionally well-proportioned, with only the 12 o’clock position marked with an Arabic numeral, and featuring applied angular batons for the hour markers. The centre of the dial, subtly features “Jaeger LeCoultre Chonometre” font, beautifully balanced with the outer black minute track. The classic styling is further expressed through Jaeger-Lecoultre’s trademark baton handset, complementing the unique shaping of the rose gold, baton hour markers perfectly.
Where the Geophysic itself is exceptionally collectable, this “Luxe” example is considerably rarer. Having been expertly brought back to original condition with correct parts by the Manufacture, it is surely one of the best examples of one of it’s most important watches, that may not reappear on the market for some time.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.