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.
Key terms for Antique and Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre Wristwatches:...
Ligne: A unit of measure (2.256mm) designating the size of a watch movement.
Chronometer: A watch that has been certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute not to lose more than four seconds per day, nor to gain more than six.
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MontBlanc CEO Charts Middle East GrowthGulf Business News, July 25th
Lambert is no newcomer to the luxury accessory industry, having joined Montblanc from Swiss watch and clock maker Jaeger-LeCoultre, where he became CEO aged just 33. In his 15 years at the helm of the Le Sentier, France-based firm, which is also ...Read more
A Simpler Time for Men's WatchesWall Street Journal, July 25th
Mr. Carlström owns a few watches, including a vintage dress Jaeger-LeCoultre on a black alligator strap that he tends to wear only for formal occasions. Even complicated-watch fans are starting to acknowledge the absurdity of certain gizmos, according...Read more
Relógio Jaeger-LeCoultre em parceria com Hermès chega ao BrasilWatchTime Brasil, July 25th
atmos_frontB(rvb) A butique brasileira da Jaeger-LeCoultre acaba de receber o relógio Atmos, criado por meio de uma parceria da maison com a Hermès e também com a Cristalleries de St. Louis. A peça de mesa é feita em cristal esmaltado e possui um ...Read more
WHERE TO BUY ITGQ Magazine, July 24th
WATCH (center top): Jaeger-LeCoultre (Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931, from the Reverso Collection), at Jaeger-LeCoultre, Beverly Hills and Costa Mesa, Calif., Boca Raton and Palm Beach, Fla., and Las Vegas; see the Directory below. WATCH: Timex ...Read more
Luxury watches set the bar highThe Australian Financial Review, July 24th
If these pieces look wonderfully complicated, Jaeger-LeCoultre responded with possibly the most elegant multi-featured watch of its kind, the Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon. The 41-millimetre piece houses 471 parts in a case just 7...Read more
Pacino, Dafoe set for Venice Film FestivalKMOV.com, July 24th
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 04: Al Pacino poses for a portrait for Jaeger LeCoultre during the 68th Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2011 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Jaeger LeCoultre) ...Read more
WatchTime Special Issue Explores the Jaeger-LeCoultre ReversoPR.com (press release), June 30th
New York, NY, July 02, 2014 --(PR.com)-- America's best-selling watch magazine, WatchTime, has released its 2011 special issue on Jaeger-LeCoultre — “80 years of the Reverso” — as a digital download. This special edition is packed with feature...Read more
The artful ascent of Jaeger-LeCoultreTelegraph.co.uk, June 27th
Should you ever have the chance to visit Jaeger-LeCoultre in the Vallée de Joux above Geneva, take sensible shoes and don't lose your guide as the manufacturer is a large and confusing assembly of extensions and additions. Find the top floor of oldest...Read more