Even in the age of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the success of the Kingsman franchise — which is set to see its third film, The King’s Man, slated to be released this September — is somewhat surprising. On paper, Matthew Vaughn’s premise of the action-adventure series seems like a rehashing of a somewhat tired Austin Powers trope, while the reality was profitable and … surprisingly stylish.
Really though, the George Cleverly footwear, Mackintosh outerwear and Cutler and Gross eyewear decking out the protagonists are key — they aren’t just props and costumes, they go a long way to defining the characters. More interestingly, you can buy a staggering amount of the on-screen costuming thanks to the series’ groundbreaking deal with Mr Porter. And of course, watches are part of that mix. For this third outing, Mr Porter is releasing a total of 255 items, including a particularly sharp Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Before we get to the watch itself, let’s talk about the brand. The choice of Jaeger-LeCoultre makes sense on many levels, but observant watchers will note it isn’t the first watch brand to have equipped the independent spy agency. The first movie featured British upstarts Bremont, while the second opted TAG Heuer. And now Jaeger-LeCoultre has suited up for action. Not only does this make smart business sense, given that Richemont owns both Mr Porter and the watch brand. It also fits from historical and styling perspectives, The King’s Man is set in the lead-up to WWI, when the company was very much in operation, and the watch’s ultra-thin lines and classical styling are very much era-appropriate.
So much for the off-and-on-screen context, how about the watch itself. Well, it’s the Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife, and boy does it live up to the name. Razor-thin and cutting a sharp silhouette indeed, this 40mm pink gold wristwatch takes its name (and shape) from a ‘Couteau’ (French for knife) pocket watch from 1907. Aside from the overall slenderness, that pocket watch design inspiration is most obvious on the triangular crown (with a protective bow) at 12, but also the very broad bezel. However you slice it, this knife looks very fine.
It’s also an example of very fine watchmaking, as hidden behind the sold caseback ticks a very celebrated movement; the manually wound calibre 849. This tiny marvel comes in at only 1.85mm thick, keeping the profile of the entire watch down to 4.25mm. The small scale of this movement means that it’s assembled by Jeager-LeCoultre’s Grand Complications team — so you know it’s good. The movement offers 35 hours of reserve, and the watch is rated to 30m of water resistance. While we have to wait a little while to see if this distinguished Jaeger-LeCoultre gets into any trouble, it’s safe to say that the Knife proves that slender dress watches are just as suited for spy games as tough sports watches.