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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Jaeger LeCoultre-Chef: „Evolution, keine Revolution“Börse Online, December 6th
Daniel Riedo ist seit dem 1. Juli Chef der traditionsreichen Schweizer Uhrenmanufaktur Jaeger LeCoultre. Der neue Lenker der Tochter des Luxuskonzerns Richemont über die Aussichten fürs wichtige Weihnachtsgeschäft, Expansionspläne und den Wert ...Read more
SIHH 2014: Jaeger-Lecoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931Perpetuelle.com (blog), December 6th
For 2014 Jaeger-LeCoultre will again draw inspiration from its archives and add this chocolate-toned beauty to its Grand Reverso Ultra Thin collection. This watch makes a trilogy of colors in as many years — it follows the Grande Reverso Rouge with a...Read more
Stocks Trending Alert - BANCO DO BRASIL SA (OTCMKTS:BDORY), PAGNIE ...SBWire (press release), December 6th
It engages in the design, manufacture, and distribution of jewelry products, precision timepieces, writing instruments, watches, and leather goods under the brand names of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre...Read more
Cocos Island National Park receives exceptional donation from Jaeger-LeCoultreUNESCO.org (press release), December 2nd
Carlos Manuel Uribe Sáenz (president of the Fundacion Amigos de la Isla del Coco) and Fernando Quiros Brenes (manager of the World Heritage site) received the donation from Carlo Corazza (Tiempo Global) and Joanna Schroedel (Jaeger-LeCoultre)...Read more
Lutte contre le sida Jaeger LeCoultre voit rouge…Est Républicain, November 27th
Jaeger-LeCoultre, la « Grande maison » de la vallée de Joux, où de nombreux frontaliers travaillent, a opté pour la lutte contre le sida. Ainsi, lors de la vente organisée le 23 novembre dernier à New York par Sotheby's, deux modèles maison étaient...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre raises $790K at (RED) auctionLuxury Daily, November 26th
Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre lent its support to the (RED) Foundation by including two custom timepieces that were part of a larger capsule collection auctioned off at Sotheby's New York on Nov. 23. Part of a larger capsule collection containing...Read more
Customized Jaeger-LeCoultre designs to be auctioned for REDThe New Age Online, November 20th
The Swiss watchmakers have created two custom watches set to be auctioned off at Sotheby's in New York City for the RED campaign to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Ready to go under the hammer (metaphorically of course) on November 23, both ...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre plans six-month Selfridges pop upWatchPro.com, November 18th
On display at the pop-up will be four rare Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces: the Reverso Platinum SQ Number 1, a rare high complication Reverso that appears almost transparent through the intricacies of craftsmanship and skeletisation; the Reverso Quantieme ...Read more