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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Recent News: Jaeger LeCoultre Wristwatches
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Jaeger-LeCoultre: Tourbillon Hybris MechanicaFOCUS Online, February 26th
Den Inbegriff einer uhrmacherischen Spitzenleistung verkörpert wohl kaum eine Uhr so hervorragend wie dieses Modell aus der Master-Linie von Jaeger-LeCoultre. Dabei ist der Name durchaus Programm. In der Hybris Mechanica vereinen sich zwei ...Read more
SIHH 2015 Roundup Part 2: Greubel Forsey, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc ...Forbes, February 19th
Jaeger-LeCoultre is the most adventurous of this group taking its exploratory spirit into space, while Montblanc heads to the seas tracing the steps of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Speaking of Portugal, IWC explores its own history, which in...Read more
Man Buys Jaeger-LeCoultre Watch For $6 At Goodwill, Sells For $35KWFMY News 2, February 18th
He happened to take a look in the watch section and found a rare 1959 Jaeger-LeCoultre diving watch with a tag that read $5.99. "I didn't even want to give it to her to scan," he said. "I was like, you can scan it in my hand if you want to. I just didn...Read more
Grand design: Jaeger-LeCoultre's starry timepieceTelegraph.co.uk, February 13th
Of all the astronomical watches at last month's SIHH in Geneva (all matters starry emerged as something of a theme at the show), Jaeger-LeCoultre's rose gold version of its Grande Complication proved that this is still the one watch that takes the idea...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre Hosts Star-Studded 'Women in Cinema' Lunch in LondonHaute Living, February 5th
Haute horology and Hollywood's hottest stars came together in London to salute women in cinema. Right in the fray of awards season, luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre and Consultancy agency Finch & Partners hosted the 'Women in Cinema' luncheon ...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre Unveil Eye-Catching New Watches at SIHH 2015Superyachts.com, February 2nd
The Rendez-Vous Moon delivers a new spin on the traditional model, equipped with moon phases, a traditional watchmaking complication. Indeed, the majority of the white gold dial is now occupied by the mesmerizing mother-of-pearl moon phase display, ...Read more
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