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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A Stunning Evening with Jaeger LeCoultre & RudellsSourceWire (press release), May 23rd
The evening was hosted in conjunction with the prestige timepiece manufacturer Jaeger LeCoultre and gave those present the opportunity to view a range of watches from the Jaeger collection, in a year that they celebrate 180 years of innovation and...Read more
Saif Ali Khan joins Jaeger-LeCoultre's anniversary celebrations at HarrodsPINKVILLA, May 22nd
A major player in watchmaking history, Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrated its 180 years anniversary at Harrods with leading experts from Jaeger-LeCoultre. Friend of the brand Saif Ali Khan joined the celebrations stating, “It gives me great pleasure to be...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre Holds Masterclasses at Harrods in Celebration of 180th ...SENATUS, May 17th
In celebration of its anniversary, Jaeger-LeCoultre is conducting a series of masterclasses with its watchmakers from the Swiss manufacture, hosted by Harrods. Fans of the brand will get to experience the watchmaking process, and understand the...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre Launches Timepiece with 1250 DiamondsSuperyachts.com, May 13th
The lavish timepiece has also recently received a celebrity endorsement with actress Diane Kruger – a Jaeger-LeCoultre ambassador – wearing the commemorative watch in New York for a preview showing of the 'Reinvent Yourself' promotional film for the...Read more
VIDEO: Diane Kruger for Jaeger-LeCoultreWatchPro.com, May 10th
Jaeger-LeCoultre is marking its 180th anniversary by reinventing iconic models and creating a short film with brand ambassador Diane Kruger. The Swiss watchmaker is celebrating the significant landmark by giving key models the Rendez-Vous and Reverso...Read more
Richemont Names New Heads to Montblanc, Jaeger-LeCoultre BrandsJewelers Circular Keystone Online, May 9th
Luxury giant Richemont has named two new chief executive officers to its Montblanc and Jaeger-LeCoultre brands. Jérôme Lambert, current CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre, was appointed CEO of Montblanc, the company's pen and watch business, while Daniel...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre watches Diane Kruger reinvent herselfTelegraph.co.uk, May 9th
Luxury watchmakers Jaeger-LeCoultre mark 180 years with reinventions of the brand's iconic models and a short film with brand ambassador Diane Kruger. BY Alice Newbold | 09 May 2013. Diane Kruger modelling the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Cordonnet...Read more
Leadership Changes At Montblanc And Jaeger-LeCoultreForbes, May 8th
Lutz Bethge, CEO of luxury brand Montblanc International, will leave the post to serve as non-executive chairman and head of the Supervisory Board of Montblanc. He will be replaced July 1 by Jérôme Lambert, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre. Also at that time...Read more