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Jaeger-LeCoultre is the watchmaker of the watchmakers. But they produced a couple of iconic pieces such as the Reverso and the Memovox. Check out this attractive Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox in stainless steel with a black gilt dial and caliber K825.
For many collectors, Reference E855 is the most iconic MEMOVOX model. This watch is one of the first automatic alarm watch that became a huge success in the 1960s. Nowadays we have our alarm on our phones. But how cool is to use the alarm of this Memovox watch as a timekeeper during a business meeting?
JLC Memovox watches from the 1960s come up quite often but it is difficult to get your hands on such nice condition. Produced in stainless steel, gold plated, 18K yellow gold, 18K pink gold cases, mostly with silvered dials, the model came with a large number of combinations.
This watch is exceptional beautiful, the 825 calibre movement looks original and is running beautifully, the case is stainless steel version, and the watch comes with a highly desirable black gilt dial. The watch is currently mounted on a WRIST ICONS vintage leather strap made by Jean Paul Menicucci.
The brand Jaeger-LeCoultre
As you might know, Jaeger-LeCoultre is also known as The Watchmaker Of Watchmakers. In 1833, Mr LeCoultre was the very first to establish a factory in the Vallée de Joux, founded before many other high end watch brands like Patek (1839) and Audemars (1875). JLC ignited the Valley’s specialty for particularly high-end, complicated horology, and it wasn’t long before the valley became the epicenter of innovative Swiss watchmaking – the Silicon Valley of its day. Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin are all neighbours, but Jaeger-LeCoultre remains the ultimate “Watch Valley” brand; the Watchmaker of Watchmakers.
Nowadays a lot of the Swiss watch companies pride themselves as being a Manufacture. So what actually is a Manufacture d'horlogerie (meaning "watchmaking manufacturer")?
It is a French language term of horology that has also been adopted in English language as a loanword. In horology, the term is usually encountered in its abbreviated form manufacture. This term is used when describing a wrist watch movement or watchworks fabricator which makes all or most of the parts required for its products in its own production facilities, as opposed to simply assembling watches using parts purchased from other firms.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is certainly one of the world’s most desirable watch brands, with current models being offered at phenomenal cost and its vintage output sought after worldwide by an army of fanatical devotees. Jaeger-LeCoultre movements are arguably the finest produced by any luxury Swiss manufacturer and are manufactured entirely “in house” at the company’s factory in the Vallee de Joux. Only a tiny handful of true “manufactures” exist ( this term being the correct one used to describe a brand that is capable of making every individual component part in its movements) and these firms are enormously revered within the industry. Even the majority of the most famous Swiss luxury marques do not actually build their own calibers from scratch, instead purchasing raw movements from one of the major Swiss “ebauche” suppliers and adding their own, in house, complication modules as required.
JLC has supplied calibers and components to all the brands. Mentioned above, and in the days when the snow still meant lockdown, the great and the good of Geneva’s ateliers, just 60km down the other side of the slopes, would have to pray they’d stocked up enough LeCoultre components to last the long winter
History of the Memovox
The first alarm watch was actually designed and brought to market by the American watch company Vulcain. It was called the Cricket. When the Le Locle manufacture Vulcain invented the first distinctly audible wristalarm in 1947 and brought it to market, it excited attention with this world premiere. Back then the manufacture movement Cricket (Calibre Vulcain 120) used the natural resonance technique of the cricket: By installing a second caseback a resonance membrane was created, which for the first time mechanically generated a very loud and long lasting alarm sound. This led to the name of the watch: "Cricket".
The Vulcain Cricket was also known as "The President's Watch", because it was worn by many US Presidents - including Truman, Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Nixon - who appreciated it because of its useful additional complication.
The first Jaeger-leCoultre alarm watches were designed in the late 1950s and they called these watches the “Wrist Alarm”. Shortly thereafter, the company introduced the "Memovox" (a combination of the Latin "memo," or memory, and "vox," or voice) brand, and this has continued since then. The Memovox had an very interesting combination of innovation and design. As a collector one can start only collecting Jaeger-leCoultre Memovox watches. Since there are so many different variations in cases and dials as well as movements. You can choose such a lot cool watches. In stainless steel or in precious metals but also the dials are really nice. You have silver dials but also tuxedo dials and blueish dial and many other beautiful options you can choose.
From the innovation perspective Jaeger-LeCoultre choose for the Memovox to separate the power reserve for the timekeeping and alarm functions. The Memovox movements have always had a separate mainspring for the alarm. In hand-wound Memovox models, the alarm spring is wound using the upper (2:00) crown, which also sets the 12-hour alarm disc and activates the alarm.
In 1956, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced Calibre 815, an automatic alarm movement, in the world's first automatic alarm watch. Due to the fact that the alarm hammer hit a protuberance from the case back, these first movements were bumper type, only swinging about 110°. Like manual Memovox movements, a second barrel was used for the alarm function.
And in 1959, the Memovox Automatic (model E855) received a date display with the automatic caliber K825. This calibre consisted of 241 individual parts and was built in a quantity of about 45,000 over the course of ten years. The K825 was used in the models of the E855, the E859 (also referred to as Polaris, in two versions of 1965 and 1968), and the E861.
This Jaeger-LeCoultre watch houses the automatic caliber K825. This mechanical movement has 14 lines, is self-winding, manufactured and decorated by hand, beats 18’000 ticks per hour. It has 241 parts, 17 jewels, shock-absorbers, and approximately 50 hours power reserve, masse à buttes, unidirectional winding.
Leather strap and buckle unsigned. Very nice!
This particular Jaeger-LeCoultre has been serviced by our watch maker. The watch is running and keeping good time
As with all of our pre-owned watches this watch comes with a full 12 month WRIST ICONS warranty that will be invoked from the day of purchase. Please check our website to have a look at the high resolution pictures on a macro level. You will see every detail at its best.