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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
National Watch and Clock Museum
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Jaeger LeCoultre Wristwatches
Source: Google News
Watches: What makes them tick?The Star Online, April 16th
The best known is perhaps the Masterclass in Fine Watchmaking offered by the Swiss watch and clock company Jaeger-LeCoultre, to select clients under the eye of a watchmaker from Jaeger's own manufacturing site in the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland...Read more
Rare Rectangular WatchesBarron's (blog), April 14th
Cartier's Tank and Jaeger leCoultre's Reverso are generally the oldest and best-known rectangular watches ever made. But, over at the New York viewing rooms of auctioneer Phillips, ogling wrist candy coming up for sale in Geneva on May 10th, I saw some ...Read more
10 Watches We Can't Wait ForVanity Fair, April 13th
January and March bring two of the year's biggest watch fairs to Switzerland: S.I.H.H. in Geneva and Baselworld in its titular city, respectively. They are the Super Bowl and the World Series of the watch world, you might say, where the newest, hottest...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre to Showcase the Art of Behind The ScenesBLOUIN ARTINFO, April 13th
[Both are] a perfect blend of technical excellence and artistic sensitivity,” said Jaeger-LeCoultre in a statement. The company has also collaborated with The Film Society of Lincoln Center to create the Filmmaker in Residence Program, as well as...Read more
Monday Morning Find: Jaeger-LeCoultre Mark XI Pilot's WatchBloomberg, April 13th
Genuine military watches are the stuff of collectors' dreams. A Rolex Submariner created for use by the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) can command 20 or more times the price of a civilian equivalent. During World War II, a watch was still a crucial ...Read more
British Polo Day Dubai Sees Jaeger-LeCoultre as Official TimekeeperHaute Living, March 30th
Friday 27 March marked the second leg of British Polo Day's annual UAE Series with British Polo Day Dubai. HH Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed Al Maktoum with the winning trophy copy. Over 700 guests attended the event at the magnificent Dubai Polo ...Read more
Jaeger-LeCoultre is Official Timekeeper of British Polo Day Abu DhabiHaute Living, March 25th
The prize for Best Playing Pony' – sponsored and presented by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Official Timekeeper for British Polo Day – went to Despreciada, ridden by Clemente Zavaleta of Ghantoot Polo Team presented by Marc de Panafieu, Brand Director of ...Read more
Why I Bought It: Jaeger-LeCoultre Tribute To Reverso 1931Quill & Pad, January 13th
Over the twenty-odd years I've been buying “serious” watches, I've purchased more pieces bearing the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand name than any other, by far. As far as I'm concerned, there are lots of good reasons for this, but perhaps what formed my early ...Read more