02 August, 2018

The History of Jaeger-LeCoultre

From their inception in 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has continued to set new heights in watchmaking. How? They have been developing timepieces known for their precision which positioned them as one of the finest watchmakers in the world.

Did you know they have created over 1,200 calibres!?

Their pursuit of a balance in mechanical precision and aesthetic harmony has earned them a spot in our watchmaking series.

Join us as we delve into their story.

The Beginning of Jaeger-LeCoultre 

Their journey began with Antoine LeCoultre, a keen inventor and sought to balance intellect and imagination. He converted the family barn into a workshop and dedicated himself to measuring time. 

During this time, Antoine developed an instrument called a 'Millionometre' and this enabled him to measure micrometres which made it possible to create smaller parts.

One of his successes involved creating a system that eliminated the need for keys to rewind or set watches.

When Jaeger Met LeCoultre

In 1903, Edmund Jaeger, a Paris-based watchmaker who succeeded in creating ultra-thin movements. He issued a challenge to Swiss watchmakers to do the same. 

Jacques-David LeCoultre (grandson of Antoine LeCoultre) accepted the challenge and the two forged a close friendship.

Famous Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches

Do you know which watches propelled Jaeger-LeCoultre to the top of fine watchmaking? Here are 5 of their most famous watches.

  • Duo-plan (1924) - At a time when miniaturisation was a trend for lady wristwatches, companies strived to create small and reliable movements. The problem was solved with The Duo-Plan which arranged the different parts into a compact movement.
  • Atmos (1928) - boasting perpetual movement, it required no human intervention because it operated autonomously. 
  • Calibre 101 (1929) - The smallest movement in the world. Queen Elizabeth II wore one during her coronation. It contained 98 parts which weighed one gram!  
  • Reverso (1931) - A groundbreaking design which met the need for a sturdy watch to withstand a game of polo because the hard case concealed the dial. Wearers would need to reverse the hard case to reveal the time. It proved popular with British officers playing Polo in India.
  • Duomètre (2007)  - Instead of combining the power of two mainsprings, a Duomètre movement uses each one to power a different part of the movement. For example, one mainspring for the time and another for the complication. 

Final Words

The experience of Jaeger-LeCoultre lies in their innovative thinking and their ability to make it real.

As they continue to live by their founder who sought to balance imagination and intellect, there's no doubt this endeavour will lead them to future revolutions that combine the art of mechanical movement and aesthetic harmony.

Jaeger mastered miniaturised movements in 1929 with the calibre 101. Today, the Joaillerie 101 Reine and 101 Feuille are the latest examples. The diamonds are bigger than the movement!

I guess you can't substitute experience. 

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Take a look at the Jaeger-LeCoultre watches we have in auction!

Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Jaeger-LeCoultre
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Jaeger-LeCoultre
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Jaeger-LeCoultre
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Jaeger-LeCoultre
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Jaeger-LeCoultre
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Jaeger-LeCoultre