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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Jaeger-LeCoultre To Host Fine Watchmaking Exhibition In Doha, QatarHaute Time, November 24th
The exhibition will be located in Via Domo on the ground floor of Villaggio Mall, Doha. Photo Credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre. For more information, please visit the official Jaeger-LeCoultre website. Follow Haute Time on Instagram to catch all of the new...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre Stages Photo Exhibition Showcasing Rendez-Vous TimepieceBLOUIN ARTINFO, November 24th
Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre continues its affinities to cinema and photography with a new photography exhibition in New York. Titled “Two Worlds,” the show comprises images of award-winning Canadian actress Sarah Gadon, taken by ...Read more
Two Worlds — A Photographic Exhibition by Jaeger-LeCoultreSENATUS, November 23rd
Renowned for its longstanding commitment to the worlds of cinema and photography, Jaeger-LeCoultre presents an original photographic exhibition at its New York flagship on Madison Avenue, from 17 to 30 November. Entitled 'Two Worlds', this series of ...Read more
Fellows exhibit rare Jaeger-LeCoultre from 1938WatchPro.com, November 17th
The watch, which has an estimate of between £15,000 and £20,000, bears import marks for London 1938 and contains a Jaeger-LeCoultre-signed movement based on the 11U calibre used in early Reverso models. The Jaeger-LeCoultre brand name was ...Read more
Is This the Very First Jaeger-LeCoultre Watch Ever Made?Bloomberg, November 16th
Jaeger-LeCoultre is a key member of the pantheon of modern watchmakers, producing a healthy mix of easy to wear pieces, high complications, and gem-set watches, almost entirely in-house. This tiny perpetual calendar may be the first watch it ever made...Read more
Beautiful Contrasts: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2Quill & Pad, November 2nd
The obviousness of my past/present parallel should be apparent, but if not consider this: the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was originally designed and patented in 1931. More than eight decades ago, a man by the name of René-Alfred Chauvot designed a ...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre to star at Fellows Watch SaleWatchPro.com, November 2nd
Fellows auction house has announced that a rare Jaeger-LeCoultre Perpetual Calendar wristwatch will be one of the star attractions at the next Watch Sale. The auction will be held on Tuesday 1 December, with the Jaeger-LeCoultre estimated to sell for ...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre introduces astronomy-inspired SIHH 2015 collectionCeylon Daily News, October 29th
Since the beginning of time, mankind has gazed up at the night sky and wondered what lay beyond. Time and astronomy are old friends. Swiss watchmakers Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrate this affair with its Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH...Read more