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I Am Legend — The Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 920

There is something to be said about our deification of litheness throughout human history. After all, the slender dueling sword used both as ancestral sidearm and for disputing matters of honour at dawn is considered far more elegant than the single-edged hacking blade known as the saber. Similarly, the greyhound is revered as the apogee of canine grace whilst the Great Dane is relegated to the role of comedically uncoordinated bumbling lummox in comics like Marmaduke. In the realm of watchmaking, there was one ultra-thin automatic movement, a masterpiece of technical elegance measuring a mere 2.45mm in thickness, that went on to enable the creation of the two most successful luxury watches of all time. It even saved one of horology’s most famous brands from financial downfall during the Quartz Crisis. Its name is the Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 920 and this is its story.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 920 is in my opinion the most significant automatic, ultra-thin calibre ever created for several reasons. The first is that without it, two of the world’s most important watches and to this day the most sought-after grail timepieces — namely the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak reference 5402ST from 1972 and the Patek Philippe Nautilus reference 3700/1A launched in 1976 — would not have been possible. When I say this, I

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