For the third installment of Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman — The King’s Man — Jaeger-LeCoultre have created a unique ultra thin watch inspired by their ultra thin pocket watches of the early 20th century. This must be the most unusual and interesting movie watch yet.
Set in the early 20th century, Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming The King’s Man promises a vintage ambiance which replaces the modern world for a one of waistcoats and pocket watches. In response, the TAG-Heuer and Bremont of previous installments have been replaced with an altogether more distinguished option: the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch.
Designed in collaboration with Mr Porter — the influence which allowed key apparel from the first two films to be purchased — the Jaeger-LeCoultre Kingsman takes a wristwatch worn in the franchise in a new direction. I should add that both Jaeger-LeCoultre and Mr Porter belong to the Richemont Group, thus making the pairing all the more logical. Previous watches chosen have championed modernity (not least because of their range of additional gadgets) with the TAG-Heuer Connected and Britishness with the Bremont Kingsman. An avenue previously unexplored, however, is that of high horology. This is quite clearly rectified by the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch.
Before delving into speculation regarding the role of a watch made by “the watchmaker’s watchmaker” in Kingsman, let’s unpack what all those words mean in it’s typically long-winded name. The most interesting word, I reckon, is ‘Knife’. Whilst it might be easy to imagine an allusion to the next and, no doubt, lethal gadget, this refers to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 1970 ‘couteau’ (French for ‘knife’) pocket watch. Named for its blade-like case, this watch follows clearly in its footsteps with a staggeringly thin 40 mm by 4.25 mm 18k pink gold case.
Aside from the subtle but clearly stepped bezel, this watch takes obvious inspiration from its sharp edged predecessor. This even extends to the triangular ‘bow’ over the crown at 12 o’clock. The result is a watch both imaginative and very elegant though entirely unlike wristwatches of the intended period. This is added to by the fact that Jaeger-LeCoultre, in the form we know then today, didn’t exist under the same name at the time.
Internally this is a simple watch powered by a simple but undeniably beautiful movement: the manually wound Jaeger-LeCoultre cal. 849 and it’s 19 jewels and 36-hour power reserve. Tracing its roots back nearly 50 years, the cal. 849 is not a modern piece of design and so exhibits some archaic yet rather lovely details. These include the elongated bridges of a pocket watch and a delightful cock over the escape wheel which includes shock protection on its jewel. Most importantly, the calibre 849 measures only 1.85 mm thick — truly a figure worthy of the title ‘Ultra Thin’. The movement is also given extensive testing as per it’s Master Control designation. With all this work, I can’t help but wish that this watch was furnished with an exhibition caseback.
Where the dial is concerned, simplicity is the order of the day. The dial base features a grainy texture in silver whilst the logo, indices and other details are all printed. When combined with a pair of delicately leaf-shaped hands in blued steel, the result is undeniably elegant. Nonetheless, for a price of £26.900, it’s difficult to justify when compared to an A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia for near half that. Rather ironically, both previous Kingsman watches (or their production counterparts) have been considered poor value yet this doesn’t seem to have lessened the value of placement in the films. Even so, I am rather confident that, for the right buyer, the individuality and story behind this Jaeger-LeCoultre will be ample motivation to take the plunge.
Moreover, the release plan demonstrates how seriously the Richemont group has thought before putting this watch into production. Made in only 100 pieces, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Kingsman will initially be sold exclusively by Mr Porter before being available in Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques from the end of September (assuming that any remain). This should coincide with the launch of The King’s Man on the 18th of September.
Whilst bearing in mind that the details of The King’s Man remain unknown, I think that the idea of pairing Jaeger-LeCoultre with a film in this period is a very exciting and telling of a new direction for Jaeger-LeCoultre. Sure, we have seen their watches is a very wide range of films over the years, yet a unique and highly limited watch for such an occasion is a real treat.
Availability: £26,900 exclusively from Mr Porter, then from all Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques from late September
- Dimensions: 40 mm x 4.25 mm
- Material: 18k Pink Gold
- Crystal: Domed Sapphire
- Display: Blued Leaf Hands for Hours and Minutes / Silver Dial with Printed Markers
- Water Resistance: 30 m / 100 ft / 3 ATM
- Movement: Jaeger-LeCoultre cal. 849: Hours & Minutes / Manually Wound / 36-Hour Power Reserve / 3 Hz, 21,600 vph, 6 Ticks-per-Second / 19 Jewels / Tested to Master Control Parameters