Since the founding of Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1833, the company has a very inventive history, developing over 1,249 mechanical calibres and registering over 400 Patents and playing a tremendous role in the development of the industry as a whole. Whether it is the keyless watch, calibre 101, or the iconic Reverso, it would be difficult to imagine a historical account of watchmaking without the mention of Jaeger-LeCoultre. The company has always been a true ‘Manufacturer’ of the finest quality watch movements. This is unusual because more often than not, high end brands such as Rolex, Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin would buy in movements for particular needs. For example, in 1967 when Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin needed an ultra-thin automatic movement, it was to Jaeger-LeCoultre they turned, to produce one for them. Furthermore, the exquisite Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 920, is still in production and in use today by both Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet.
Here we have a simply beautiful, fully restored Jaeger-LeCoultre gentleman’s automatic dress watch from 1955. As can be seen, this is an elegant, classic, understated timepiece. However, upon close examination, this watch is seriously impressive for the quality of its case, dial and overall construction. It also has one of the highest quality automatic movements made by JLC at the time and was on par with the very best available from any Swiss manufacturer.
The simple, classic, understated and beautifully well-balanced dial is pure elegance and style. All in fact that Jaeger-LeCoultre represents. Gilt facetted arrowhead hour indices are matched by original restored Dauphine hands and the crosshair subsidiary seconds dial at 6 are all in the typical 1950s style. This is classic vintage dress watch dial design at its best, and something all contemporary watch dial designers try but fail to emulate. The Ivory cream contrasts beautifully with the case and hands and looks much better than the photographs can convey. The dial is simply signed ~ Jaeger-LeCoultre and Automatic and Swiss at the very bottom of the dial.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the highest possible standards by the best dial restorers in the UK.
This large size 34mm multi-faceted watch case is of exceedingly high quality, being constructed in two pieces with a press fit case-back which closes with a pleasingly solid click indicating a good fit. This is quite a slim case at 9.5mm in depth and for the time it was made, would have been one of the slimmest watches available to accommodate the automatic movement. Due to the sophisticated case construction with multiple edges and elegant acute profile, the watch sits beautifully on the wrist and looks every bit the quality piece it is. The watch case is in immaculate condition with no signs of wear visible to the naked eye. The inside of the case is correctly signed DTE and also carries the correct London UK hallmarks which date the case to 1956*. This is a British market Jaeger-LeCoultre watch. British market watch cases were made for Jaeger Le-Coultre De Trevars, who were the British importers and case-makers for JLC during the 1950s and 1960s. This is the reason the case is signed ‘DTE’.
Jaeger-LeCoultre movements are amongst the highest quality and among the top tier of most highly regarded Swiss watch manufacturers. The movement used in this watch is Jaeger LeCoultre calibre P812, introduced in 1956 which is a superb 17 jewel example of a classic ‘bumper’ automatic. A bumper self-winding movement is wound by means of an oscillating rotor that travels through a 180 degree arc, being arrested by buffer springs that then bounce the rotor back in its original direction. The bounce can just be felt if one rotates the watch slowly from side to side but in normal use one is seldom conscious of its ‘pulse’. Indeed it is quite an endearing character of the vintage watch. This is the original movement, which as can be seen, is in sparkling condition having just been fully overhauled and serviced by our Master Watchmaker. This involves complete disassembly of the entire watch movement, close inspection of all critical parts under high magnification and then replacement where necessary using only original manufacturer parts. The following stage is lubrication using individually specified lubricants for differing parts of the movement and careful re-assembly, then regulating / timing. The watch therefore winds and sets smoothly and is currently keeping accurate time, consistently, to within 8 seconds per day! This is outstanding for any vintage watch of this age. We therefore we have no hesitation in offering this watch with our 12 months warranty. This movement is signed ‘Jaeger-Le Coultre’ ‘‘Fab Suisse’ and P812. The movement number Serial Number is 1,127,718 also dating the watch to 1955.
The Strap and Buckle
The strap fitted is a new, high quality Waterproof Brown Crocodile strap with a generic gold plated buckle. Please note if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown burgundy and black straps in stock, in plain, padded leather, alligator, crocodile or lizard skin.
The Box and Papers
Although there are are no original papers with this watch, the movement reference number, markings and signatures are all correct, dating the watch to 1955.
*Note, the case was hallmarked in the UK in 1956 and so this watch could also be said to date from 1956.
Our detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included, with our detailed receipt and our 12 months Warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The watch also comes complete with a high quality hardwood presentation box as shown in the photographs.
This is a simply wonderful vintage gold Jaeger-LeCoultre watch and having taken pride in its restoration, we are very proud to offer this here for sale in almost as new condition. It is many more times more stylish than a modern equivalent watch and even though it is over 60 years old, it is still completely fresh, reliable and practical to wear as your everyday watch, should you wish to do so. Most of all it is a thing of beauty – some might say a ‘work of art’ from one of the most prestigious names in Swiss watch-making. However you may wish to view it, this time-piece will make an excellent investment and heirloom piece, as well as be something to treasure and enjoy. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold watches grows ever larger, the limited supply allied to high demand means prices will inevitably climb ever higher!
A word on our prices… We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept Paypal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by UK bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Similarly if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
*Note – 12 Month warranty only included if the list price is paid.
If you have any questions please call on Landline 0207 727 7095 or Mobile 07515 949250 or if calling from overseas on Landline +44 207 727 7095 or Mobile +44 7515 949250.
Please note we welcome part exchanges.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.