When we last left Le Jour, the newly reincorporated brand had just released their Hammerhead dive watch, a 70s inspired tool watch with a ton of color, an ETA movement, and 200 meters of water resistance. It felt very much in line with watches that were originally produced by the Le Jour brand, and it was well priced at under $1,000. Their follow up to the Hammerhead, simply called the Heritage, has a very different vibe while retaining much of what made the Hammerhead a value proposition. This one, however, seems to pull from a different era and a different aesthetic, and is likely to appeal to a different customer entirely.
The Heritage features a squared off, cushion case with highly polished sides and a crown placed at the upper right corner of the case. If you’re at all tuned in to the world of high end horology, this will immediately remind you of the Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921, which is itself inspired by a Vacheron design dating back to the 20s. In terms of the design language that’s being tapped into, we’re pretty far removed from the world of colorful 70s divers.
What’s interesting to me about the Heritage is that Le Jour has elected not to mimic what is perhaps the most distinctive aspect of that VC release: the rotated dial, designed to be more easily viewed with your left hand on the steering wheel of a car. Instead, we have a dial that’s oriented in the traditional way (in a range of color options) utilizing a typeface for the Arabic numerals that is not exactly the same as the Vacheron, but in a similar ornate style. The cathedral hands on the Heritage are similarly formal in nature and draw from the same period of the first half of the 20th century.
For Le Jour’s part, they pitch the Heritage as being inspired by the “simplicity and elegance” of vintage watches, with an eye toward “urban style.” I must admit, I’m not entirely sure how the Heritage relates to anything particularly urban, but varied dial options put a contemporary spin on a design that is just about 100 years old. You can choose a Heritage in black, blue, green, gray, and champagne. All dials have a sunray effect and a date window positioned at 6:00. The caseback is somewhat inextricably engraved with an image of the Notre Dame Cathedral, a beautiful work of architecture and historically important, no doubt, but its connection to the Heritage specifically is not fully explained by Le Jour.
In terms of specs, the Heritage comes in at 42mm across and 13mm tall, inclusive of the domed sapphire crystal. It’s powered by a Sellita SW200 movement, and is mounted to a mesh bracelet with straight endlinks. The retail price is $800, and it’s available now direct from Le Jour.