Long Term Test

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Paul Drawmer
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Long Term Test

Post by Paul Drawmer »

Long term watch Test.

Watch under test – Jeager Le Coultre 6B/159 ’56 Dennison re-case. JLC calibre 470 movement.
Length of test – 46 years.
Image
IMG_1575 by pdrawmer, on Flickr

This 6B/159 JLC was re-cased by the Air Ministry as part of a wholesale re-casing of unissued 6B/159 watches in 1956. Whilst the 100s of watches bought in by the Air Ministry were great movements from many well-known Swiss watch makers, the original war time cases were very cheap being chrome plated alloy, with press on steel backs.
Image
6b/159 JLC movement by pdrawmer, on Flickr
In 1956 unissued stocks of the 6B/159 specification watch were re-cased into 36mm English made stainless steel cases made by Dennison. These cases make first class watches with a very solid case, nice lugs albeit with fixed strap bars, a high dome watch glass and a fine screw back. This case became the ‘Aquatite’ case as used on the Smiths watch that was advertised as being the first to the top of Mount Everest.
Image
IMG_1582 by pdrawmer, on Flickr
The watch face is an Air Ministry supply item and is extremely easy to read. It is one of the clearest faces on any watch, being devoid of clutter and high contrast with blued steel hands against the white face.
Image
IMG_1581 by pdrawmer, on Flickr
The watch under test was bought as new unissued stock from a war surplus dealer via the magazine ‘Exchange & Mart’ in November 1967. Cost at time of purchase was £12-10s (£12.50). For many of the intervening years it was my daily wearer, and for much of that time I had it on a ‘Fixoflex’ expanding bracelet. If you’re old enough to know what I’m talking about, you’ll remember how the Fixoflex strap was pretty damn fine a removing the hairs from your wrist. Forget watch tan line, this was a watch wrist waxer! The JLC survived a flight onto concrete one time; Centre Court at Wimbledon, a fantastic rally in Conner V Borg semi-final. I stood and enthusiastically clapped, JLC on Fixoflex sailed off my wrist, flew over the front row of spectators and landed on the concrete apron around the court. No harm done.

The JLC fell out of favour, only getting occasional use after I bought a used Omega Chronostop in 1975, which only stayed as the favourite watch for a couple of years, until I went back to the JLC as the Omega with its bracelet was frankly pretty uncomfortable.

In 1992 I got fed up with the floppy Fixoflex, and had a new brown leather strap fitted by a local shop, which instantly made the watch look very smart and it became the daily wearer again until last November when I seemed to accidentally start buying a few more watches.
Image
IMG_1585 by pdrawmer, on Flickr
The JLC still gets an outing now and then, but it now has more competition. I have recently fitted it with a black strap to match the one on the Christopher Ward C5 ‘Battle of Britain’ 6B/159 homage. I had to get one of those; together they make a fine pair.
Image
6b/159 crossing by pdrawmer, on Flickr
JLC 6B/159. Faults - none. Cost of servicing – nil. Timekeeping -30 secs per day now. Maybe it’s time for its first service?

I recommend this watch as it is durable, comfortable, and discrete. It represents extremely good value for money as it has –ve depreciation in the last few years. Buy one if you can.
These users thanked the author Paul Drawmer for the post (total 2):
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by Dancematt »

Gets my vote for thread of the year.
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by grahamH »

Lovely watch,great report.
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by alphajet »

A great watch and history, I guess you would not get one of these for £12.50 these days. :clap:
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by tempusmaximus »

a great review of a vintage jlc(my favourite watch brand)the watchmakers ,watchmaker most of the top high end watches have used there movements at one time or another even the great patek .46 years that's some testament to the quality of the watch .and them fixoflex straps ,best hair removers going :lol: a cracking review paul with some great pictures :thumbup:
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by asqwerth »

Image

That is one classy, fine movement! :thumbup:

Thank you for a wonderful photo essay, Paul.
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by downer »

Great post and a fantastic watch. Congratulations. :thumbup:
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by CornishDave »

Give it a bit longer and I am sure you will come to appreciate this fine watch! :D
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by Andyshall »

A very enjoyable read, thanks very much Paul.
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by richtea »

Very nice watch

46 years young !! :)

Fancy a review being done after all this duration :lol: funny thing is the simple classic style hasnt really dated

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Paul Drawmer
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by Paul Drawmer »

CornishDave wrote:Give it a bit longer and I am sure you will come to appreciate this fine watch! :D
Well I'm not sure yet, but I think it's a keeper.
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by welshlad »

That was a very enjoyable read. Thanks Paul for posting it.
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by Robin CB »

Many thanks Paul. Given your personal recommendation, if I can find one at £12.50 I shall certainly buy it. :thumbup:
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by theaub »

Fascinating article: thanks very much indeed. I remember those Connors v Borg battles too, tennis skills of the highest levels. It's interesting how contemporary the face of the watch still is, even though it's vintage. Class is timeless.
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Re: Long Term Test

Post by scooter »

Class watch.

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