Much has been written of the history of Jaeger-LeCoultre, but little has been said of the complex history that gave us this unusual name. How did an Alsatian immigrant to Paris come to be so closely connected to one of the most famous watchmaking families of the Vallée de Joux? This is the story of the partnership between Edmond Jaeger and Jacques-David LeCoultre, and those that helped them to become Jaeger-LeCoultre, including a group of French aviation pioneers and a Swiss daredevil with a famous family name.
Often called "the watchmaker's watchmaker", Jaeger-LeCoultre is a historic Swiss/French watch brand. Dating to 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has produced over 1,300 different movements. Today, Jaeger-LeCoultre is part of the Richemont luxury goods company.
Most enthusiasts could instantly name the watches pictured below, but they’d be wrong: This isn’t a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, its an Eska Sesame! By the 1980s, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s signature model was forgotten and the company was struggling to survive. Yet just a decade later, the Reverso would lead the entire industry back from the brink. This is the story of the fall of Jaeger-LeCoultre and the resurrection of the Reverso.
Given the clever retrograde chronograph movement, the Gran’Sport Chronograph is the pick of the Gran’Sport lineup today. It’s really too bad that gorgeous Reverso Chronographe Rétrograde is out of the price range for most people.
Today we’re looking at something truly special: A groundbreaking movement in a limited-edition watch that retailed for well over a quarter-million dollars. But there’s another story here, too: The grey market for expensive watches that are a bit past their prime, and the steep discounts that follow. The result is a $150k discount on a basically-new piece of haute horology.
Today’s watch is a wonderful travel companion, a versatile and elegant accessory, and a true classic: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo. This was my first high-end watch and cemented in me a love for Jaeger-LeCoultre.
A few years ago, I was visiting lovely Como, Italy when I came across a very special watch. Alongside the usual selection of little old Rolex and Omega watches was a dark beauty: A Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX1 Limited Edition in titanium with a deep ruthenium dial. I brought that watch home and it’s become a favorite of mine. Now there’s a similar watch up for auction, and I suggest that you take a look!
Today, Jaeger-LeCoultre Club watches are mostly unknown. They don’t get the respect of the in-house models from Le Sentier, but they’re fine watches for daily use. Auctionata estimates €800 for this “C 2+” watch, but I suspect they’ll have trouble reaching that unless someone doesn’t know the provenance of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Club.
Though lacking the original box and papers, this Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph is a platinum LE model, number 096 of 200. The scarcity of the model, combined with the historical importance of Calibre 752, and the platinum case should bring well over the $5,000 starting bid at Auctionata on March 10.
It is difficult for a watch enthusiast on a budget to enter the world of complicated watches. Adding anything more than time and date quickly ratchets up the price beyond what most people can afford. This is especially true of chiming watches – good luck finding a mechanical Repeater or Sonnerie priced less than a car! But Reveil (or alarm) watches are the exception: These can often be found on a budget. Today we will look at a few that are up for auction and decide which (if any) is a buy.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox is a true classic: A novel watch that sold well when it first appeared and lasted for decades after, continuing even today. Although not the first alarm wristwatch, the Memovox came on the market in 1951 and became the first ever automatic watch with an alarm function in 1956. Jaeger-LeCoultre upped the ante with a high-beat version in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and has continued offering this useful complication in today’s Master Memovox and related models.