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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3 montres de poche de Jaeger-LeCoultre hommage à l'astronomieMagMontres.fr, December 19th
Au XIXe siècle, Antoine LeCoultre, horloger autodidacte fondateur de la Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre, invente un mécanisme révolutionnaire dit du « remontoir à bascule ». Il ouvre ainsi la porte à une fabrication en série d'un système sécurisé et...Read more
15 cool gifts for travelersCNN, December 18th
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Unique Travel Time watch. We don't just love this watch for its shiny, pretty face. The pink-gold Travel Time watch from Jaeger-LeCoultre shows a traveler's home time, set by turning the crown counterclockwise, and destination ...Read more
La ligne Rendez-Vous de Jaeger LeCoultre mise en lumière par Sarah Gadonladepeche.fr, December 18th
L'actrice canadienne, notamment connue pour avoir joué dans "Cosmopolis", prend la pose dans les rues de New York avec au poignet les modèles emblématiques de la ligne Rendez-Vous de Jaeger-LeCoultre. Toutes les photos de ce shooting ont été ...Read more
Buenos Aires : Jaeger-LeCoultre, le polo et l'ArgentineMontres-de-luxe.com, December 16th
Jaeger-LeCoultre était le le sponsor et le chronométreur officiel de cette 121e édition de l'Argentine Polo Open de Palermo. Durant cette compétition d'une durée de trois semaines (tout de même !), les meilleures équipes internationales se sont...Read more
Introducing the 2015 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar with Meteorite Stone DialPerpetuelle.com (blog), December 8th
In an indication of what is to come from Jaeger-LeCoultre in 2015, here is a preview of the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar with meteorite dial. This is one of several calendar and astronomical themed timepieces we will see from JLC in 2015...Read more
Victory in Extra TimePOLO+10 The Polo Magazine, December 5th
Yesterday the final of the 11th Copa Julio Novillo Astrada Jaeger-LeCoultre was held at La Aguada Polo Club, in Open Door, Argentina. Las Monjitas beat Los Cocos (who received one goal on handicap) by a narrow 10-9 and won the coveted trophy. Pancho ...Read more
Monthly News Roundup: Jaeger-LeCoultre, Ulysse Nardin, IWC, Vogard, Zenith ...Quill & Pad, November 27th
A 1958 Geophysic Chronomètre by Jaeger-LeCoultre was sold in Antiquorum's November 8 sale for CHF 52,500 despite its pre-sale estimate of CHF 8,000. For more information on the modern re-issue of this classic, please read Jaeger-LeCoultre's ...Read more
L'heure vintage de Jaeger-LeCoultreVOGUE.fr, November 27th
A l'encontre de la frénésie ambiante, Jaeger-LeCoultre suspend le cours du temps dans sa boutique du 7 Place Vendôme. Une semaine dédiée aux montres anciennes, orchestrée autour de l'exposition des douze pièces de la collection Hybris Artistica...Read more