|History and info
Jaeger-LeCoultre - Antoine LeCoultre
Founded by Antoine LeCoultre
in 1833. 90 years later his grandson, David met Edmund Jaeger.
In 1925 the companies merged but it wasn't until 1937 that they launched
the famous brand.
Famed for the smallness of things chronographical to push watch-making to
its limits. The smallest mechanical movement, the smallest quartz movement, the smallest
analog chronograph movement have been achieved by its impressive research developments.
In the early 1900's it produced many components for other famous houses.
Many famous heads-of-states and other dignitaries have been presented with
their Atmos clock by the Swiss Government.
The Millonometer was the first instrument capable of measuring accurately to
one thousandth of a millimetre.
Queen Elizabeth II owns a 2 Ligne watch, the smallest in the world. She wore
it for her coronation in 1953.
Other famous watches include the Reversos range.
In 1953 the Futurematic was launched, the first fully automatic wristwatch.
Some info on Military watches by Jaeger le Coultre
Military watches are one of the fastest growing areas of horological
collecting at present, with even relatively unknown brands being sold for
high prices. It is therefore with the utmost reluctance that I have decided
to part with my 1943 Jaeger Le Coultre aviator’s pocket watch. As background
to this auction, it should be noted that a large number of pocket watches
were ordered by the British Government for use by the various branches of
the Allied armed forces. Obviously, depending on the manufacturer that
supplied the watches, the quality, and indeed the price, varied enormously.
The majority of military pocket watches manufactured during the war years
are of no significant importance. However, for applications where absolute
accuracy and total reliability were paramount, a small number of high grade
watches were ordered from several of Switzerland’s finest makers.
Jaeger Le Coultre is the perfect example of this phenomenon. These watches
were mainly used by senior bomb aimers on critical bombing missions, where
the calculations required to achieve perfect bomb grouping depended on split
second accuracy. It is interesting to note that these Jaeger Le Coultre
items were purchased by the Government at a cost of over 9 times the cost
per unit of the “standard” unmarked military pocket watch. When the snap
back case cover is removed ( case number 286173 XX, the “XX” standing for
“special grade” and only reserved for the most costly of military watches)
the reasons for this additional cost become instantly apparent. The
finish quality is simply remarkable. Of course, these movements were
entirely produced “in house” by Jaeger Le Coultre and have since become
acknowledged as one of the most accurate and reliable watch movements ever
had. Oddly, despite being signed “Jaeger Le Coultre”, there is no indication
on the movement that it is chronometer rated. I suspect that in peace time,
there is no doubt that this movement would have been given this
accreditation, but given the pressures of war time production, such official
certification and the long drawn out testing processes required to achieve
it were deemed as unnecessary. I firmly believe that it would effortlessly
exceed the minimum requirements of the Chronometer testing officials. n.
Unlike many cheaper military pocket watches that utilised cheap nickel
cases, the case on this watch is actually solid brass. These watches were
obviously manufactured in this way with a view to providing them with
antimagnetic properties, essential when being used in aircraft. most Jaeger
Le Coultre military watches are with black dials. Only 3% were produced in
white dial form and these are greatly prized by collectors.