The Skipper is a yachting chronograph made famous in the 1960s. The unique function of the Skipper is the regatta timer; a subdial with a 15-minute countdown. The subdial is usually designed with bright colors for visibility. The Le Jour Skipper pays tribute to the sporting event and iconic watch of the 1960s. It is a modern interpretation featuring all of the design elements of the Skipper watch which we love so much.
Le Jour Skipper Chronograph Matte - Limited Edition 20 pieces
Le Jour, a French distributor, is best known as a European retailer of chronographs manufactured by Heuer in the 1980s. (Le Jour was also the name Yema used to bring watches into the States). Back then, Heuer, produced an array of watches under their private label arrangements. Many of these watches were identical to those already in Heuer’s catalog minus Heuer’s branding. In the mid-’80s, Heuer made a PVD sports chronograph called the Pasadena. Heuer also manufactured this model for Le Jour, who debuted it as their 7203 chronographs. This model is often referred to as a poor man’s Heuer amongst collectors.
Like many companies, Le Jour eventually perished during the height of the quartz crisis. The rights to the brand changed ownership numerous times, with no significant attempt to revive the brand. That is, until now...
The Le Jour Skipper Chronograph Matte is limited edition to only 20 pieces and is made exclusively only to Gnomon Watches.
Powering the Le Jour Skipper Matte chronograph is the workhorse movement, Valjoux 7750. The 7750 automatic movement, operating at 28,800 bph (4 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 25 jewels with a power reserve of 44 hours.
Iconic Barrel Case with Sand Blasted Finishing
The new Skipper Chronograph Matte has one of the most iconic late 60s tri-colorway styles, due to its recognizable colorful dial that was explicitly designed for yacht racing.
One of the exciting points of the Skipper Chronograph is the barrel case. Most watch manufacturer in the 70s and 80s has their fair share of barrel case watches be it a chronograph or diver. The case measures 42.5mm wide, 45.8mm lug-to-lug, and 16mm thick. It’s a watch with a lot of wrist presence, but the rather short lug-to-lug case makes this watch ultra wearable even on the smallest wrist.
Regarding the case design, the case of the Skipper is very well built. The three-piece case consists of the bezel, mid case and case back. Starting from the top, the bezel has a bevel to cut off some of the height visually. The same design cue is carried over to the mid-case, which features a set of bevels running down the sides of the case both at the top and at the bottom. Both these contribute to hiding the height of the watch while adding charisma of the chronograph. The Skipper's case is finished in sandblasted opaco matte, giving it a full utilitarian look, alongside with the bezel in the same matte finishing. That said, it is a professional tool watch after all.
Yachting Inspired Tri-Color Subdial
Onto the dial, and probably the highlight of the Le Jour Skipper Matte. It may appear to be a wild mixture of color, but it is a purpose-built machine for professional use.
The blue is dial is chosen here due to the watch's close ties to water — the radiating sunburst with chameleon effect, changing from a mid-blue to a dark blue, almost black, depending on viewing angles. Couple this with the sunray effect and you get what is probably one of the most eye dials.
Further, the use of contrasting bright orange hour and minute hands increased legibility at a glance for the wearer.
The Skipper theme is captured through its bold use of the iconic color in the minute's totalizer at 12; red, white and blue.
Radiating Chamelon Blue Dial with Sunburst Effect
Given today's advancement in watchmaking, the dial is well executed compared to those of yesteryears. The two subdials at 12 and 6 are sunken deep into the dial. This gives each register depth and to further accentuate that depth. There’s a high-gloss, angled ring around each cut-out. Overall, this level of detailing provides the watch with dimension and a sense of fine watchmaking and class.
The hour and minute hands are based on the design most vintage watch collectors are familiar with. The hands are designed for easy time reading. The hands are in a contrasting orange color. Again, this design idea is found in most chronographs in the 60s through the 80s when the function is all that matters. The right amount of SuperLuminova is applied to the dial and hands for operations in the dark.
With functionality in mind, the Le Jour Skipper chronograph is fitted with a flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on the inside to ensure maximum readability regardless of lighting conditions.
The Le Jour Skipper Chronograph comes with a matching vintage leather strap with whipstitch in mocha. Due to the vintage nature of the strap, no two straps are the same. The 22mm leather straps taper to 18mm at the signed buckle. Additionally, we will include another similar strap in tan color for those days that you will like to dress it down or to give it another look.
Every Le Jour Skipper Matte Chronograph comes in a wooden box with a cleaning cloth.
The Le Jour Skipper Matte Chronograph is a watch based on their roots in the late 60s to 80s, and that is seldom seen in the market especially at this price. We appreciate Le Jour's adventurous spirit in choosing the bold colors for this limited edition. It is bold, and it is eye-catching, it is limited to only 20 pieces worldwide. That means it is highly unlikely you will bump into someone wearing the same watch. If you have been searching for that “one” barrel case chronograph or wants and appreciates good design and well-made chronograph, we highly recommend you shortlist this. Just a reminder though, there are only 20 pieces so they won't be sitting around for too long. Grab it before it is gone.