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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We're turning a more emotional face to the world: Jaeger-LeCoultre's RiedoLivemint, January 29th
At SIHH this year, Daniel Riedo, chief executive of Jaeger-LeCoultre, told us that his company was turning a more “emotional” and accessible face to the world. Jaeger has always had a reputation for making watches that are high on technology and...Read more
SIHH 2015 Photo Essay: Jaeger-LeCoultreQuill & Pad, January 27th
The moon and its astronomical implications was the overriding theme for Jaeger-LeCoultre at the 2015 edition of the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in Geneva. And there was no better way to illustrate this than to introduce new...Read more
Man Buys a Rare Watch at Goodwill for $5.99 and Resells It for $35000Complex, January 26th
However, because he was unsure about the exact value, he decided to take his find to an authorized Jaeger-LeCoultre retailer in Scottsdale, AZ. It was there that Norris discovered the watch was a rare 1959 LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm—one of the most ...Read more
Making $35000 Off a Thrift Store WatchEsquire (blog), January 26th
In a bin of dusty, mundane quartz watches, Zach Norris spotted a Deep Sea Alarm from Jaeger-LeCoultre, something the watch aficionado knew was worth just a bit more than its $5.99 price tag. Though he snapped it up immediately, he was still unaware...Read more
Eight Watches You Need to Know About Right Now, From SIHH 2015Businessweek, January 22nd
With ex Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Jerome Lambert at the helm, Montblanc has been creating traditionally high-end complications at more affordable prices. Last year there was a steel perpetual calendar for under $13,000 and now we have a true world timer ...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre to present its High Jewellery collection in KuwaitHaute Living, January 17th
The Jaeger-LeCoultre's dazzling watches will be shown for the first time at Salhia Mall in Kuwait City. A seminal exhibition showcasing the brand's heritage, savoir-faire and invention, on display will be exceptional pieces marking 182 years of the...Read more
Why I Bought It: Jaeger-LeCoultre Tribute To Reverso 1931Quill & Pad, January 13th
Over the twenty-odd years I've been buying “serious” watches, I've purchased more pieces bearing the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand name than any other, by far. As far as I'm concerned, there are lots of good reasons for this, but perhaps what formed my early ...Read more
The Top 5 Best Watches From The 2015 Golden Globe AwardsForbes, January 12th
Call it a fashion bias, call it sexism; the fact is, men aren't usually the focus on a red carpet. However, these actors managed to steal the spotlight (for watch enthusiasts, anyway) at the 2015 Golden Globe Awards thanks to what they wore on their...Read more