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 Hosts WatchTime and Friends At Miami Design District BoutiqueWatchtime.com, May 21st
Around 30 WatchTime readers in the Miami area, plus their spouses or significant others, were the guests of Jaeger-LeCoultre North America at the company's boutique in Miami's bustling Design District on May 14. Jaeger invited the group for a special ...Read more
Rare Find: Jaeger-LeCoultre Gets Back 160-Year Old Keyless Watch Made by ...Forbes, May 12th
Today, the luxury brand Jaeger-LeCoultre is situated on the very ground of that first small workshops. Of course, the Manufacture has expanded and become a full-fledged Manufacture, creating movement components, movements, cases, complete watches ...Read more
Evolving The Classic Repeating Wristwatch: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande ...Forbes, May 12th
I am the editor-in-chief and co-founder of QuillandPad.com. Beyond that, I contribute my horological expertise to a variety of magazines, websites and publications all over the world. With more than two decades' experience covering the watch industry...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre: bringing luxury back to Bond St?Telegraph.co.uk, May 6th
It's a problem that Jaeger-LeCoultre recognised as it prepared to move into a new home on Old Bond Street. Luckily, it's a problem that's easily solved if you know who to call in. It helps too, that the space is large enough, at 2,500 square foot, to...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre's emotional quotientLivemint, April 29th
Jaeger-LeCoultre has always had a reputation for making watches that are high on technology and technical detail. Even when the brand makes simple, minimal watches, the maison has always sought to point out the technical qualities of these great pieces...Read more
Precession Obsession: Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon MoonQuill & Pad, April 26th
The watch I am referring to is the illustrious and incredilievable Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon, the most recent addition to the already stacked Duomètre collection. Building on the dual-wing platform that underpins these models, the ...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre Celebrates Earth Day with UNESCOHaute Living, April 23rd
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the luxury watch brand, Jaeger LeCoultre? The french name in rarified timepieces has been collaborating with UNESCO ...Read more
General MacArthur's Jaeger-LeCoultre Goes Under the HammerBLOUIN ARTINFO, April 22nd
“Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul,” said General Douglas MacArthur, whose Jaeger-LeCoultre Ref. 201 Early Steel Reverso will lead Antiquorum's May 10 sale auction of Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces in Geneva. Consigned by his ...Read more