We’ve covered Le Jour a number of times since the brand relaunched several years ago. They seem to have fallen into a formula that involves slightly rehashing designs from the brand’s past (particularly their 60s and 70s heyday) with one or two entirely new bold design decisions. Whether it’s a dial accent or texture, or a romantic link to history on the caseback, Le Jour scores a point for at least making a stab at something new in their vintage inspired designs. It seems that every few months they’re back with a new watch, and as I see them rolled out on their website, my initial reaction is often to wonder if in fact that’s a watch I’d already seen them announce. That’s how familiar many of these basic designs are. And so it is with the new Coral Diver, a sports watch in a profile you’d have sworn Le Jour would have tackled by now, but is in fact a brand new creation.
The Coral Diver has a slightly more contemporary aesthetic than other recent Le Jour releases, and is characterized most clearly by a strong cushion case with an integrated bracelet design. The case has a barrel-like shape that makes me think of classic Seiko dive watches, and even a watch like the Sinn 144 (it borrows the H-link style bracelet often associated with Sinn). At 42mm in diameter and 14mm tall, this is a watch that is likely to have a significant presence on most wrists, although the lug to lug length is somewhat modest at 48mm thanks to the integrated design.
This is a case shape that will either be up your alley, or it won’t. And if it’s the latter, you’ll unfortunately be missing out on what is likely Le Jour’s most interesting dial design yet. The Coral Diver’s dial, inspired by the ocean, according to the brand, has a swirling, textured pattern to it that evokes a whirlpool. In photos, it appears to be quite dynamic, and depending on how it’s finished could really be something to behold as it plays with the light. As is typically the case for Le Jour, they’re offering their customers plenty of choices when it comes to color, with dials in black, grey, green, blue, and brown.
The Coral Diver would appear to hold up on the technical side as well, with water resistance to 200 meters, a ceramic bezel insert (with lume!), and Sellita SW200 movement keeping time. With a retail price of $800, there’s definitely value here. While it’s not the least expensive option to have this type of spec sheet, it’s also not at the high end of the spectrum. The pricing, like the watch itself, is seemingly right down the middle, mixing the classic and expected with just a slight hint of something that breaks the mold.
More information can be found at Le Jour’s website, right here.