Jaeger Le-Coultre Cal.K880 10ct Gold Filled 1965
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
Lightly Used And Completely Original Example
Large Size 33mm Case, Original Signed JLC Crown
Wonderful Jaeger-LeCoultre 10ct Yellow Gold Filled Case
Very High Grade Calibre K880, JLC Automatic Movement
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Off-White Dial in Wonderful Condition
High Quality Brown Crocodile Strap with Gold-Plated JLC Buckle
All In Absolute Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
VGWL 12 Months’ Warranty Included*
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
It is not commonly known that Jaeger-LeCoultre, in addition to producing movements for its own watches, also produced watch movements for a number of famous watch houses, such as Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and IWC. Indeed for most of the 20th Century, Jaeger-LeCoultre even supplied bare movements to the great firm of Patek Philippe. Then as now, Jaeger-LeCoultre has always been considered one of the very finest watchmakers in Switzerland and so of course, the world.
Since the founding of Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1833, the brand has had a very inventive history, developing over 1,249 mechanical calibres, registering over 400 Patents and playing a tremendous role in the development of the industry as a whole. Whether it is the keyless watch, the 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 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.
Conceived as a competitor to the hugely successful Omega Seamaster and probably the Longines Flagship and Zenith Captain, the much rarer Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Mariner was produced in low numbers, just for the U.S. market, for only two to three years between 1960 and 1963. The model was a forerunner to the more famous, but also very low production, Jaeger-LeCoultre Geomatic Chronometer, which was produced between 1962 and 1970.
Containing the JLC Calibre K880, this was later developed to become the chronometer grade K881G, more of which later. It is perhaps for this reason and also to keep the price as reasonably affordable as possible, that along with most JLC models of the 1950s and ‘60s, including the Master Mariner, most were made with ‘gold filled’ cases or steel.
The example you see here is in wonderful, original, unrestored and untouched condition, with a beautiful off-white dial and outstanding 10ct gold filled case.
The original, unrestored and untouched, very high quality, off-white dial carries applied gilt ‘Baton’ hour indices, which are matched by the original gilt ‘Dauphine’ hands. The addition of the perfectly proportioned date window at ‘3’ completes this dial perfectly.
Simply signed with an applied gilt JL brand, LeCoultre, Automatic, Master Mariner and “Swiss Made”, the overall look, as with all vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of classic simplicity and elegance.
Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however, we decided in this case due to its exceptional condition, to retain its originality and charm for the many collectors who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with most of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored.
Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you’re seeing may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.
This watch contains its all original, very high quality Calibre K880 automatic movement. This movement was so well designed and engineered, a development of this calibre became the Calibre 881G which was fitted to the JLC Geomatic Chronometer, a highly prized watch among collectors which now often sells for two to three times the price you see here. Furthermore, a development of this calibre, the K888, is still manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre today! So good was the Calibre K880 that regular production models routinely achieved the chronometer grade standard of its day.
Indeed following its overhaul by our vintage Jaeger specialist watchmaker, the example you see here is now running at an absolutely flat +7 sec per/day when tested on our electronic timegrapher. This is as good as any vintage watch we have seen this year! It is likely, the only reason the Master Mariner was not retailed as a ‘Chronometer’, is that Jaeger-LeCoultre, unlike Rolex and Omega, were not in the habit of submitting its watches out of routine, for independent Chronometer testing. Apparently some were occasionally sent to one of the Swiss Observatories for publicity purposes and to demonstrate its accuracy and reliability, but Jaeger-LeCoulture perhaps felt, in line with Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantine, that as anyone purchasing a Jaeger-LeCoultre would be already sufficiently assured as to the quality of the watch movement, they did not need the word Chronometer written on the dial!
Incidentally, the K in the calibre number refers to a special and highly effective form of shock protection, designed and patented by Jaeger-LeCoultre, referred to as the ‘Kif Flector’ system. This means not only is this watch highly accurate, but it is also highly shock resistant and reliable too! As with all the highest quality watch movements, it has been beautifully finished. Perfect ‘Geneva Waves’ decorate the bridge plates and rotor and each individual screw has been hand-polished. This, along with proper servicing in the interim, means the movement looks as good today as it did the day it was made.
The movement is signed LeCoultre Co, with the calibre number K880.
This watch movement is now ready for many more decades of faithful service and we therefore have no hesitation in offering this watch with our 12 month warranty. We will also be more than happy to assist with servicing in the future.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The 10ct yellow gold filled watch case measures 33mm, excluding the original JL signed crown. Its design, quality of its construction and finish, elevates it almost to a work of art in itself. It is beautifully crafted and noticeably sturdier and heavier than even the high standards of its peers of the period. It is also remarkable for being of a ‘monobloc’, or single piece construction. This means there is no separate case-back and no separate bezel. Instead, the movement is fitted from the front of the case and utilises a very tight interference fit between the case and lens, to hold it in place. The lens has to be fitted with a special lens compression tool and this provides an excellent degree of water and dust resistance. The design as a whole is much stronger and much more water resistant than a traditional three-piece case.
The case is in immaculate condition and has never been over polished, if indeed, at all. After cleaning and careful inspection, the case has only required a very gentle hand-polish to bring it back to its original showroom condition. The watch has obviously been very well cared for and there are no dings, scratches or marks of any kind, visible to the naked eye.
Externally, the case-back is signed ‘10K Gold Filled D&A’ and ‘Use All Proof 1225 Wrench’. These marks are very distinct, indicating the watch has never been over polished.
Please note – even though this watch was designed and manufactured with a high degree of water resistance, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A new high quality brown crocodile strap has been fitted, which we feel compliments the watch nicely, along with a Jaeger-LeCoultre gold plated 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 and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin. We can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of straps if you wish here.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1965.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will 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 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.
The high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included.
If you would like to pay by bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. 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.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
This is a truly first class example of a vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Even though vintage gold Jaeger-LeCoultre prices have risen markedly recently, we still feel good examples such as this are still undervalued and as each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold Jaeger-LeCoultre watches continues to expand, prices will continue to climb ever higher.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before 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.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.