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Jaeger LeCoultre Watches

Jaeger LeCoultre Watches

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An Impressive History of Jaeger LeCoultre

Back when Jaeger LeCoultre was established, watchmakers worked in isolation. It was only when founder Antoine LeCoultre and his son, Elie LeCoultre set up the Vallée de Joux's first full-fledged manufacturing unit, LeCoultre & Cie. that watchmakers with different skill sets began working under the same roof. Even today, designers, engineers, artisans and watchmakers work together in the La Grande Maison to create Jaeger LeCoultre masterpieces.

Jaeger LeCoultre started as a small watchmaking workshop in 1833. In a little over a decade of its existence, Antoine LeCoultre honed his skills to invent Millionomètre and a keyless system to rewind and set watches. In 1851, he was awarded a gold medal at the first Universal Exhibition in London for his achievements in timepiece precision and mechanization. In 1866, LeCoultre & Cie. started manufacturing calibers with multiple complications. In 1891, they brought out a double complication caliber that combined the chronograph complication and a minute repeater. This invention was to later become instrumental in the designing of wristwatches with multiple complications, such as chronographs, perpetual calendars and minute repeaters.

In 1870, just a few years after the establishment of LeCoultre & Cie., the company announced the development of the world’s first partially mechanized production processes for complicated watch movements. By 1990, they were credited with the development of over 350 different calibers. Of these, 99 were equipped with a repeater mechanism and 128 with chronograph functions. Thus, they were pioneers of many watchmaking elements used today. Today, the Maison has over 1200 caliber designs to their credit. Many of their inventions, including the keyless watch, were not patented, to allow other watchmakers to adopt the system as well.

In 1907, they launched a collection of ultra-thin pocket watches. One of these was the thinnest pocket watch to ever have been made until then. From 1902 to 1932, the brand produced a majority of blank movements used by Patek Philippe. In 1937, the brand was officially renamed Jaeger-LeCoultre as a result of a collaboration between LeCoultre and the French watchmaker, Edmond Jaeger. The LeCoultre trademark can be found only on watches that were manufactured until 1985. This was the year when the LeCoultre trademark expired and the Jaeger-LeCoultre trademark came into being.

Notable Collections and Models

Every Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece is special and worthy of becoming a prized family heirloom. Hence, the pricing is completely worth your money. A Jaeger LeCoultre men’s watch with multiple complications recently commanded a price of over $12,000 at an auction.

Watch collectors around the world yearn to own a Jaeger LeCoultre watch. One of the most famous people to have worn Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece is Queen Elizabeth II. She wore the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 101 wristwatch. The Calibre 101 still holds the honor of being the world's smallest mechanical movement for watches. It weighs just about 1 gram and originally had 74 parts. This brand has a number of other notable models under its belt.

The Reverso

The Reverso was created in 1931 – it was an age when polo was a popular sport amongst the British army officers in India. Its name was inspired by the Latin phrase, “I turn around” as the watch was designed with a swivel case that protected the watch glass from the rough knocks of a polo game. It is one of the most popular models from the Jaeger-LeCoultre collections even today. Jaeger LeCoultre reverse watches have an art déco design sensibility at heart. While jeweled models are popular with women, sleek watch faces with added complexities are popular amongst men. What the Reverso Classic Lady Small Duetto is to women, with an eye for luxury, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Calendar is to men, with a refined sense of style.

The Master

The Jaeger Lecoultre master collection is grand and elegant. It is characterized by a sleek design and a round dial. The design is inspired by the first ultra plate design from 1907 and centered around minimalism. The thinnest model of this collection is merely 4.05mm thick. What’s interesting to note is that a thin case does not make the watch any less complicated than others. They can have multiple subdials for timers, perpetual calendars and more without compromising on their sleek look. There are three rangesin this collection: the Master Control, the Master Grande Tradition and the Master Ultra Thin. The Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel is one of the most notable models from this collection. The Master Ultra-Thin Moon Automatic Men’s Watch is another notable model from this collection.

The Rendez-vous

This is a collection dedicated to women. The watches have exceptionally small calibers and boast stunning diamonds. Every element of the design reflects the watchmaker’s delicate skills and makes the piece look graceful from every angle. The Rendez-Vous Sonatina is a unique piece from this range. It features a delicate single stroke alarm to remind the wearer of an impending rendezvous. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Moon and the Rendez-Vous Night & Day are two other bejeweled pieces that find themselves mentioned on luxury must-have lists.

Other Collections

Other envied collections include the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris collection, the Duometre series and the Hybris Mechanica. The Polaris collection is famed for its alarm, designed originally to remind divers to surface, and has a sporty look reminiscent of vintage cars. The Duometre series is known for its twin independent mechanisms that are united by one regulatory part. On the other hand, if you’re looking for complexity in a watch, the Hybris Mechanica is where your search ends. There’s also the Atmos. This desktop timepiece offers near-perpetual movement without any human intervention and has been the Swiss government's official memento for important guests since 1950.

So, What’s on Your Wrist?

Every design from the Jaeger-LeCoultre collection is the perfect balance of superior design and precise timekeeping skills. If you want to be known for your style, this is the watch brand you need to flaunt on your wrist. With so many design options to choose from, it’s not difficult to find the perfect watch for yourself or for a loved one.

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