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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Film Society of Lincoln Center Announces New LeadershipBroadway World, March 7th
The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the Kobal Collection, Trump International Hotel and Tower, the National Endowment for the Arts, ...Read more
Vintage and Modern Wristwatches. Rolex, Omega, Cartier, Bulgari, Franck ...Yareah Magazine, March 5th
Before being released to the outside world Jaeger-LeCoultre watches have to pass the 1000 Hours Control test. The rigorous tests ensure their watches are of the highest standard and the example offered in this auction, No. 0940, is no exception...Read more
2014 Oscars: The Leading Men And What They WoreForbes, March 4th
Jeremy Renner wore a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin 41 on the Oscars Red Carpet. * Steve Coogan wore Montblanc cufflinks and studs set. * Pharrell Williams was “Happy” wearing Lorraine Schwartz gold and yellow diamond studs and “Be Happy” ...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre - Master Compressor Chronographe Ceramic, l'instrument ...Voiles News, March 3rd
Uniquement éditée dans une série limitée de 500 exemplaires, la Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic possède l'atout emblématique de tous les garde-temps de la famille Master Compressor : la clé de compression brevetée par Jaeger-LeCoultre qui ...Read more
Artifact of the Month: perpetual motion clockKenosha News, March 1st
Invented in 1928 by Jean-Leon Reutter, and then perfected and manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Atmos clock came close to fulfilling the ancient dream of perpetual motion. This clock — the moon phase model — loses only one day every 3,821 years...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre?????????????, February 27th
Jaeger-LeCoultre pays tribute to 1928 pocket watchTelegraph.co.uk, February 23rd
Jaeger-LeCoultre, the grand old firm with a formidable record of pushing watchmaking to new levels, has taken inspiration from the past for its latest creation. The Master Grande Tradition à Quantième Perpétuel 8 jours SQ is a tribute to a Jaeger...Read more
Chiwetel Ejiofor's Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Reserve de MarcheGQ.com, February 19th
When British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor won his Best Actor BAFTA on Sunday night for his role in 12 Years A Slave we couldn't help notice his Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Réserve De Marche peeping from under his cuff as he lifted his award. This fantastic...Read more