When it gets to Audemars Piguet, most of us recall the octagonal shape bezel design which is more like an un-official trade mark for the brand. Jules Audemars ( named after one of the founders of the brand ) is a highly desired timepiece with its optimum versatility and prestige.
Despite the fact that Audemars Piguet is mostly recalled with its Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore models with the mechanical watch aficionados, I might say that there are a remarkable number of fans for the Jules Audemars Collection.
Being quite different than the sportier Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore models with their unique cases and octagonal shaped bezels, Jules Audemars is easily recognized with its round case and elegant appearance.
Last week, I had the chance to take a “Dual Time” version to a test drive. In my opinion, the most appealing part of the 41mm stainless steel watch is its blue dial color. You often notice people looking at your wrist while you are wearing it and obviously you find yourself looking at that gorgeous timepiece more often than you usually do with other watches.
The Sunburst surface blue dial gets more appealing with the addition of silver color indexes. Though I am not a big fan of Roman Numerals, I have to admit they add a nice touch of style to this watch. The “leaf” shaped hands set became a signature design for the Jules Audemars Collection.
It’s not the best dial lay out I’ve ever seen. However, considering the “Dual Time” complication, there is not much alternative regarding the dial configuration. There is as second time display located at 6 o’clock position. A day/Night indicator is located right next to the second time display. Since the dial is already busy enough, I would prefer a simpler indication for day/night like dark and light colors instead of actually writing day/night. The dual time function which gives its name to the watch is set by pulling the crown once. The hour hand on the sub dial can move in one hour intervals for easy second time zone setting and monitoring.
On the 2 o’clock position, we have a date display with a small hand. Arguably, the most important downside of the watch is the lack of a quick set date function. In order to set the date, you have to set the time to 12:30 and then get back to 21:30 continuously until the desired date is displayed. If you do not wear your watch on a daily routine or do not put the watch on a winder, you probably end up quite bothered with the date setting torture.
As a big time mechanical watch lover, there’s one thing I do not understand; a power reserve indicator on a self winding watch. I always think that a front located power reserve indicator on an automatic watch does nothing than making the dial look unnecessarily busy. Same goes for the Jules Audemars Dual Time as well as the power reserve indicator’s hand occasionally reduces the readability of the watch especially when hour and minute hand got top of each other. Sporting a relatively short power reserve at 38h, the watch does not require a power reserve at all which takes the ¼ of the dial.
The model we have here, which was initially introduced at SIHH 2011, is powered with the Caliber Ref. 2329/2846. Despite its down sides which we have mentioned here, the movement originally known as the Jaeger Le-Coultre Ref. JLC 889 is technically a very successful caliber. It’s also an accurate choice for elegant models like Jules Audemars Dual Time with its thin structure.
The finishing on the case is impressive as we expect to see on an Audemars Piguet. Perfect curves, the impeccable details on the dial and flawless finishing on both satin brushed and mirror polished surfaces are definitely first class.
The wearing comfort is perfect for me. With its diameter and thickness which will effortlessly fit with most wrist sizes, the watch comes on a genuine crocodile leather strap which is one of the best straps I have ever seen in terms of quality and softness. Jules Audemars Dual Time is offered on a folding clasp but the one I have here features a Standard tang buckle which has a major effect on wearing comfort.
At the end of the day, I must admit that I enjoyed wearing the watch despite its negative sides. The model which I suggest to be worn mostly with suits is currently offered in 18K white and rose gold only. The retail of those versions is at 40000 USD range depending on the region. The model I have here has a stainless steel case as I mentioned before and retailed around 25000 USD when it was launched.
Let’s have a look at the Pros and Cons;
+ Brand prestige
+ Superior craftsmanship
+ Utmost wearing comfort
- Non-user friendly date set
- Low level readability
- Busy dial lay out
- High figure price tag