15,8 x 15,8
Year of production (circa)
14k Yellow gold
2 year (AWCo)
Jaeger-LeCoultre, also known as the watchmaker’s watchmaker. The understated brand for those in the know. Perhaps a little under-the-radar as compared to Rolex and Omega, but one of the most admired houses for pure watchmaking prowess and craftsmanship.
JLC is one of the older watchmakers, founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre in Le Sentier, Switzerland. In 1866, Antoine and his son Elie expanded into a full manufacture, named LeCoultre & Cie. The father/son duo was rather productive, employing over 500 people by 1870. By 1903, the house had developed over 350 different calibers and would become the movement provider for Patek Philippe.
From 1903 onwards, watchmaker Edmond Jaeger would cooperate with LeCoultre on different projects. A collaboration that would lead to an official rebranding in 1937: Jaeger-LeCoultre was born.
Due to protectionist laws in the US, JLC watches for the American market would be cased locally in American-made cases from 1932-1985. These were slightly different from the European-made watches and they were labeled LeCoultre. A JLC watch from this era with sole LeCoultre labeling can therefore easily be traced back to the US market. This is a work-around you will spot in other brands too. The Blancpain-Tornek rebranding is a great example.
The most famous Jaeger-LeCoultre line is of course the Reverso. Arguably the world’s first sports watch. Other important models include the alarm-wristwatch Memovox, the shock and magnetism resistant Geophysic and the famous Atmos clock, first introduced by Reutter in 1928.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is also famous for its complications and grand complications. On the other end of the spectrum, you will find military watches such as the WWII-era Dirty Dozen.
JLC is one of those houses with amazing history and significance. Whether it is the haute-horlogerie of grand complications with cloisonné enamel dials that tickle your fancy, or the robust utilitarianism of a Polaris diver. Whether you fall for the classic Reverso or a unique vintage dress watch, there is likely something for you in the brand’s rich history. Whichever you pick, you will surely get an approving nod of even the most hardcore of watch geeks.