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Review of Jacques Lemans Geneve GMT - Model G-159

This is the third Jacques Lemans (‘JL’ for short) Geneve series watch I have owned and I still have two of them. The Geneve series is JL’s Swiss Made line, with both quartz and automatic models. The watches have the expected higher prices, but with commensurate added quality, with sapphire crystals, nice solid link bracelets with solid end links, finer finishing and better detailing on the dials. Get them at the right price and you will have a quality watch.

This JL GMT is what I would call a ‘gentleman’s GMT’ due to its somewhat smaller size and dressier looks. This is one of those watches that you really have to see in person to appreciate, as it truly exudes a quality look and feel when examined insitu.

This JL GMT starts with a brushed and polished all stainless steel case measuring 38mm without the signed screw down crown; 41mm including the crown. Thickness is 9.6mm, lug width a versatile 20mm. The action of the screw down crown could be a bit smoother and has one tiny rough spot on one of its grooves.

The case is a one-piece design, but the bezel is polished and has a groove around its bottom to make it appear as if it is a two-piece case. A subtle but nice detail. The case has crisp but not sharp edges and really reminds me (as he goes out on a limb here) of my midsize Omega SMP. In a word, classy!

The case back is polished and embossed with the JL logo and screws down to seal the watch to its factory water resistance rating of 200M. A nice touch, as I believe a watch rated to 200M will have better build quality than a 50M or 100M watch. Not always true, but given the choice, I will take a watch that’s rated at 200M over a lesser water resistance rating any day.

This JL sports a Swiss quartz movement, presumably a Ronda, with an independently adjustable GMT hand operated through the first position on the crown, in the opposite direction of the quick set date adjustment. The date window @ 3 has a nice frame around it and the silver applied markers and JL logo on the deep gloss black dial make this watch a real stunner.

There are small applied luminous markers on the outer edge of the applied markers and between the 24-hour GMT chapter ring. The hands are nice silver tone with applied luminous, while the second hand is a simple silver stick. The GMT hand is tastefully understated, being fairly short and solid red with no luminous. It fits perfectly with the more dressy aspect of this watch. Fairly minimal dial printing is another appreciated touch.

The dial is capped by a flat sapphire crystal with no distortion; it displays the dial in its full resplendence. Lume quality is quite good, as a bonus to the well executed dial.

Time keeping of the quartz movement has been acceptable, running about +2 seconds per week. I’ve had better, but I’ve had worse. The second hand hits the markers with accuracy through about half the dial, the other half is a bit off, again, typical with a quartz layout and not a major distraction.

The independently adjustable GMT hand does have the typically annoying ‘adjustment backlash’ in it, so when you go to set it, you have to fiddle with it to compensate for the backlash, but once you get it set right, it tracks fine. Again, typical in my experience with quartz GMT movements. Is this Swiss quality, you ask? Maybe, but at this price, I can’t complain.

The bracelet is another point of mostly positive comments, with a sprinkling of bitterness added in. Not all holiday spice here. The links are solid, the end links are solid and the design is a continuous width 20mm all the way around. The links are secured by standard split pins and adjustment was a breeze.

The links themselves are beautifully finished, with a polished-brushed-polished-brushed-polished scheme running across the face of each link. The links are one-piece; it would have been nice to have them be multi-piece, in my opinion.

The clasp is a double butterfly polished machined pushbutton deployant, so no complaints there, and the bracelet is signed with a raised JL logo at the clasp. But, JL decided not to include any half-links with the bracelet design, so I am stuck with a watch that is either somewhat too snug or somewhat too loose. This frustrates me and is another reason I really don’t care for these double deployant clasps because of their lack of micro-adjustability, even with half links.

It’s kind of nice for a change to have and wear a watch that isn’t a big, chunky diver and the overall proportions of this watch make it a pleasure to slide onto the wrist.

Presentation is JL Geneve series typical, with a nice wooden box with padded flip top.

Currently, you can snag this watch for $100 USD, which is a great price for a Swiss quartz independently adjustable GMT with this feature set.

Pros: sapphire crystal, deep gloss black dial, independent GMT hand, smaller dressier size

Cons: no multi-piece bracelet links, no half-links make exact sizing difficult, crown could screw down a bit smoother

Verdict: a great looking Swiss Made piece for a small price, looks way more expensive than it is, classic good looks, a solid value all the way around

Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics!

Excelsior!

-Marc
 
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