Even before Edmond Jaeger and the Jacques-David LeCoultre joined forces in 1926 and unveiled the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand in 1937, the LeCoultre name was an important one in the Swiss watch making world. That’s because Jacques-David’s grandfather Antonie was a pioneer of the industry, inventing everything from the machines that made precision watch pinions to a device called the millionometer, which, in 1844, was the first tool to accurately measure a thousandth of a millimeter.
LeCoultre’s millionometer was so important that it led to the adoption of the metric system by the entire Swiss watchwatching industry. Indeed, from the late 18th century to the early part of the 20th, there was a little bit of LeCoultre in most of the best Swiss watches. LeCoultre produced movement blanks for Patek Philippe, made entire watches for Cartier, and supplied Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Breguet, Omega, and Audmars Piguet with key components.
Jaeger brought expertise of his own to the LeCoultre table. In 1925, he designed a tiny movement that LeCoultre would manufacture as the Duoplan, a popular ladies wristwatch during the 1920s. Four years later, in 1929, the two partners produced Calibre 101, the world’s smallest movement (then as now), with 74 parts that together weighed less than a gram. The company put the Calibre 101 in its 2 Ligne ladies wristwatch, which was diminutive and discreet enough to be worn by Queen Elizabeth II during her coronation.
Another Parisian, René-Alfred Chauvet, supplied the design for Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most famous antique watch, the Reverso, which debuted in 1931. According to company legend, the Reverso was developed for a group of polo-playing British officers stationed in India, who wanted a watch whose face would not be damaged during play. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s solution was a wristwatch whose face could be flipped over to protect the crystal. The backs of these Art Deco-style Reversos were often monogrammed for their owners or decorated in enamel and other materials.
Phases of the Moon watches in the 1940s followed the Reversos from the 1930s. After World War II Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced its first automatic watch, and in 1950 the gold-cased Memovox arrived — with a built-in alarm. By 1953, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s automatic watches had evolved into the popular Futurematic. This handsome self-winder featured a power-reserve indicator on its dial. An automatic Memovox followed in 1956.
Diving watches, including the Geophysic Chronometer, were introduced in 1958. Jaeger-LeCoultre even made a waterproof version of the Memovox called the Deep Sea Alarm in 1961, but for the most part, the company focused on dress watches, leaving the sports market to Omega, Rolex, and others.
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Unveils New Geophysic CollectionWatchtime.com, October 1st
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic True Second, with its 39.6-mm-diameter case and its grained, silver-toned dial, would appear at first glance to be the simpler of the two new timepieces, but a closer look reveals much more complexity. The case features...Read more
Stunning New Geophysic Collection From Jaeger-LeCoultre: True Second And ...Quill & Pad, September 30th
Two particular features of note in Caliber 770/772 are what Jaeger-LeCoultre calls true beat seconds, which are normally referred to as “dead” or “dead beat” seconds (because the hand is “dead” between the jump from one second to the next), and the ...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre Unveils New Geophysic Universal Time Watch at Watches ...Forbes, September 29th
Coming up this week at Hong Kong's Watches & Wonders exhibition, a host of top brands are unveiling new watches that will wow lovers and collectors alike. Jaeger-LeCoultre is no exception, as the brand releases two new timepieces — and calibers — to...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre Shows Off Watch Masterworks at the Venice Film FestivalCigar Aficionado, September 29th
Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre presented some of its most impressive technical creations to VIPs in its hospitality suite at this month's Venice International Film Festival, which the brand sponsors. Among the showstoppers were the Duomètre ...Read more
Jaeger-Le Coultre Introduces SIHH 2015 CollectionSunday Leader, September 23rd
Since the beginning of time, mankind has gazed up at the night sky and wondered what lay beyond. Time and astronomy are old friends. Swiss watchmakers Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrate this affair with its Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre helps Cocos Island National Park fight poachingUNESCO.org (press release), September 21st
Illegal fishing threatens 30% of Marine World Heritage sites, and resources for monitoring and enforcement are always a challenge. Thanks to long-time World Heritage partner Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cocos Island National Park's efforts to fight illegal...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre Honors Brian De Palma at 72nd Venice Film FestivalForbes, September 12th
Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre presented its annual Glory to the Filmmaker Award to American director Brian De Palma on Wednesday evening at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival (September 2-12, 2015). With the award, he received a ...Read more
Catherine Deneuve cut a glamorous figure at the Jaeger-LeCoultre gala eventDaily Mail, September 8th
Catherine Deneuve cut a sophisticated figure in a satin red dress with a thigh baring split as she attended the Jaeger-LeCoultre gala event on Monday. The French actress, 71, showed off her youthful complexion in her glamorous attire, basking in the ...Read more