The watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre was the result of a partnership between Jacques-David LeCoultre and Edmond Jaeger which began in the year 1926.
However Jaeger-LeCoultre was not officially launched until the year 1937.
Even before the company came about, LeCoultre was already an established Swiss watch brand. Antoine LeCoultre, Jacques-David’s grandfather was considered a pioneer in the industry and was known for developing a number of watch making processes and machines. Antoine was the one who invented the millionometer, which is a millimetre measuring tool.
LeCoultre influenced a lot of watchmakers during its time. Patek Philippe used to source movement blanks from the company, while Cartier commissioned LeCoultre to make complete watches. Other prestigious watch making firms such as Audmars Piguet, Omega, Breguet, IWC, and Vacheron Constantin ordered watch parts from LeCoultre.
1920s - 1930s
In 1925, Jaeger-LeCoultre came out with the Duoplan, a ladies wristwatch that became hugely popular in the 1920s. This particular watch featured a new movement that was developed by Edmond Jaeger. In 1929, the company released the Calibre 101, a watch that featured the world’s smallest movement. This feat remains unsurpassed until today. The Calibre 101 also weighed less than a gram and had a total of 74 parts. Queen Elizabeth II was reported to have worn one during her coronation.
Reputedly the most famous among Jaeger-LeCoultre vintage watches, the Reverso, was introduced in the market in 1931. This watch was designed by Frenchman René-Alfred Chauvet. According to some stories, the Reverson was originally developed for polo-playing English officers assigned in India, who wanted a watch that would not be damaged during matches. As a solution, Jaeger-Coultre developed a wristwatch whose face could be reversed to protect the glass or crystal. Most of these Art Deco inspired watches were highly personalized and featured monograms of their owners.
1940s - 1950s
In the 1940s, Jaeger-LeCoultre sold Phases of the Moon watches.
After the Second World War, the company released its first automatic watch. Jaeger-LeCoultre followed this up with the gold-cased Memovox which they released in 1950.
By 1953, the company developed Futurematic. One unique feature of this automatic watch was a power-reserve indicator built in its dial.
In 1956, Jaeger-LeCoultre produced a self-winding version of the Memovox watch.
The company began producing diving watches in the 1958. Examples of watches that they made for divers are the Deep Sea Alarm and the Geophysic Chronometer.
Popular vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre watches
One highly sought after Reverso watch is the Grande GMT. This wristwatch features a day/night window and a large date display. The square-cased Grande GMT also comes with a power reserve that is good for up to six days. Other popular Reverso watches include the Duo, 986 Duodate, Classique, Reverso 976, and Grande Sun Moon.
Examples of watches under the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control series are the Master Ultra Thin 38, Master Chronograph, and Master Calendar. These watches typically have a round case and are available in a number of case materials such as platinum and pink gold.