Jaeger Chronograph Cal.285 18ct Pink Gold 1945, 38mm Edmond Jaeger Case

£7,500

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed

Original Edmond Jaeger 38mm, 18ct Pink Gold Case

A Very Well Cared For and Very Lightly Used Example

Jaeger Signed Cal.285, Hand-Wound Chronograph Movement

Beautifully Restored Triple Register White Dial with Original ‘Leaf’ Hands

All in Absolute Top Grade, Original and Simply Stunning Condition

Serviced by our Vintage Chronograph Specialist Watchmaker

All Functioning Perfectly and Keeping Very Accurate Time

High Quality Slate Green Alligator Strap & Antique JLC Buckle

High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Warranty*

Free UK Next Day Delivery

Overseas FedEx £45

VGW Reference: JLC598
Sold 28th May '18
Price

£7,500

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LeCoultre – the beginnings....

From the humblest beginnings in 1883 in the small family workshop in a farmhouse in the Vallee de Joux, Antoine LeCoultre, and later his sons, were the first to commence watchmaking in the area, which is now the centre of high-end watch manufacture in Switzerland. By 1899, LeCoultre & Cie had become the main employer in the area with over 500 employees under one roof, producing 125 calibres and 31 of the most complicated watch movements on the market.

It wasn’t until 1903 that LeCoultre & Cie entered into a business relationship with the famed French chronometer maker Edmond Jaeger. Jaeger was the French “horologer de l’etat” or state-appointed watchmaker who was also working in close co-operation with Cartier. Up and until this point, LeCoultre & Cie was primarily known as a movement manufacturer, with its movements used by other companies watches such as Patek-Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantine. The partnership with Jaeger enabled LeCoultre & Cie to enter the luxury market in its own right, and as wristwatches began to take over from pocket watches, LeCoultre & Cie established itself as an independent brand with the introduction of the DuoPlan in 1925, now an art deco classic, and its signature watch, the Reverso in 1931.

Jaeger-LeCoultre

In 1937, after 30 years of marketing the same watches under their respective names, Jaeger and LeCoultre formally merged in the marketplace and the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand was born. In most markets from this point forward, watches were sold as Jaeger-LeCoultre, but with two notable exceptions. The name Jaeger remained in use until the 1980s, particularly for instruments, some chronographs and sports watches and to a large degree in the French Dometic market. The US market remained as LeCoultre from 1931 until c1985, mainly due to the regulations and taxes surrounding the import of watches into the U.S.

Since these early beginnings, the company has had an incredibly inventive history, developing over 1,250 mechanical calibres, registering over 400 Patents and playing a tremendous role in the development of the industry as a whole. Jaeger-LeCoultre is also the most creative of the top Swiss watch manufacturers, having produced the widest range of distinctive and groundbreaking watches, many of which are of particular interest to collectors. These are the Duoplan (1925), the Reverso (1931), the Triple Date Moonphase (1945), the Powermatic (1948), the Memovox (1949), the Futurematic (1952), the Geophysic (1958), the Geomatic (1962), along with quite a few more. This is not to mention some wonderful chronographs and a huge range of military watches.

Jaeger is also, of course, a very familiar name to vintage and classic car enthusiasts, as in 1921 LeCoultre of Switzerland and Jaeger of France formed a company in England, Ed. Jaeger (London) Ltd to make instruments for prestige car manufacturers. The company was also highly successful in providing instruments to the manufacturers of aeroplanes and marine craft.

Description

We have here a wonderful looking gentleman’s dress-chronograph produced around 1945. This was after Jaeger and LeCoultre had entered into a formal partnership, but while nearly all Jaeger-LeCoultre’s chronographs were still marketed with the Jaeger name signed dial and on the movement. This no doubt made good sense from a marketing standpoint, since the Jaeger name was not only a strong watch brand, but also strongly associated with dashboard instruments for measuring the speed of cars and aircraft.

However this beautiful watch was not principally designed for the professional use in the timing of events, or for pilots, but rather as an expensive, sophisticated watch for a gentleman to wear to exhibit his good taste and affluence. The watch is exceptional, with the size being just a shade under 38mm, but also the fact that this is an Edmond Jaeger signed 18ct pink gold chronograph, makes this a very rare watch indeed.

The Dial

Some chronograph dials are overly busy and can be difficult to read, but this has to be one of the most elegant and beautiful we have seen on any chronograph. It is a model of simplicity, beautifully symmetrical and well proportioned. The dial itself is very slightly Off-White with a hint of Cream which contrasts wonderfully with the pink gold case and original pink gilt ‘leaf’ hands and hour indices, all neatly signed with the 1940s period Jaeger signature. In essence, this is a highly sophisticated and highly elegant dial. All in fact which Jaeger-LeCoultre represents.

On reflection, this dial and the look of the watch as a whole reminds us of one or two chronographs produced by the great firm of Patek Philippe from around a decade after this watch, in the style which Patek has carried through until today.

This is of course, the more sought after triple register chronograph. These registers measure constant seconds at the 9 dial position, minute recording at the 3 position and hour recording at the 6 position. The constant seconds dial runs constantly and independently of the chronograph function while the large centre hand and the other two registers operate while the chronograph is operating.

This dial also carries a blue outer tachymeter scale which can be used to compute a speed, based on travel time, or measure distance based on speed. The black seconds scale is divided into fifths of a second which gives the dial a slightly more technical look, but by no means excessively so.

The lens is clear having been replaced with a new original.

This is the original dial which has been restored to the highest possible standards by our dial restorers which are popularly regarded as the best in the UK.

The Movement

As can be seen, just like the rest of this watch, the movement is amazingly clean and well cared for. Generally, a watch movement of this age will begin to show some tarnishing on some of its surfaces caused by moisture, but this movement has been kept in tip-top condition through regular servicing and proper care and attention. Again in concert with the condition of the rest of the watch, the movement indicates this watch has been treated with all the proper care it deserves.

The original Jaeger signed Calibre.285, 17 Jewel movement has been given a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage chronograph specialist watchmaker. This means the movement has been completely disassembled, cleaned, inspected and rebuilt using only the correct original parts where required before careful calibration and testing. Upon return to stock, the watch is now running to within +4 seconds per day! This is truly outstanding for any vintage watch of this age! When fully wound, this movement has a 40 hour power reserve. We therefore have no hesitations in offering this watch with our 12 months’ warranty*

With proper care and attention, we can see this watch lasting another lifetime of faithful service.

Please note – It is important to remember that after the chronograph function has been started through the operation of the top button, it should be stopped with the same button and then reset with the bottom button after use. i.e. the chronograph function is not designed to be left running and this will cause unnecessary increased wear.

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.

The Watch Case

Gold Jaeger-LeCoultre chronographs from this period are rare, as most were made of steel or steel and gold. 18ct Pink Gold is the rarest, but pink gold chronographs of this size, at just a shade under 38mm excluding the crown, are the rarest of all. Most were size 33mm and many were made in case sizes of 30 to 32mm. In fact, there was some competition among watch manufacturers to demonstrate which company could build smaller and smaller chronographs while still remaining accurate and reliable, which is of course, harder to do. But how times have changed!

Most importantly, this case carries the totally correct Edmond Jaeger markings on the outside of the case-back and on the side of the case body. Watches did not begin to have signed crowns until the late 1950s or 1960s and so this is the reason the crown is not signed by Jaeger.

The case is a heavy sturdy three-piece design with pleasing swept back lugs. The bezel has a small step which is a nice extra detail and overall it is a nice looking solid design without looking chunky or over-engineered. The case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved. It is also tight fitting and presses back with a nice solid and reassuring ‘pop’. The case carries a French 18ct hallmark and the serial number 129119

The most remarkable aspect of this case, apart from its rarity, is its condition. It is simply superb. From each and every viewpoint it is very difficult to fault, with no signs of scratches, dings or damage visible to the naked eye. After cleaning and careful inspection for integrity, and then some very gentle hand-polishing, the case was very quickly brought back to the condition you see here.

Please note – our standard advice applies: Vintage Watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap and Buckle

The watch is fitted with a beautiful Slate Green, French ABP Alligator strap which is of really high quality and which we feel suits the watch perfectly. The watch and strap have then been completed with an early vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre buckle. However, 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 no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating the watch to circa 1945.

Our detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included in the sale, 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’ and certificate 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 good quality hardwood presentation box as shown.

In Conclusion

This is a simply beautiful vintage gold Jaeger-LeCoultre Chronograph and one which we have been very fortunate to acquire, own and admire, if only for a short while! However, we are very proud to offer this superb example here, in completely immaculate condition. It is many more times more stylish than a modern equivalent watch and even though around 70 years old, it is still completely fresh, reliable and practical to wear as an everyday watch, should you wish to do so. However you may look at it, this timepiece 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 about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very best quality watches we can find, before restoring these 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 inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well known stores in West London which are very 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 wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.

Please note, we welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.

We will be happy to Service, Repair or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.

If you have any questions, please call our landline 020 7727 7095 or mobile 07515 949 250 or if calling from overseas our landline number is +44 207 727 7095 or mobile +44 7515 949 250.

We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting, we will also be very happy to hear from you. We await your call!

Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine Vintage Gold Watches!

Thank you.