Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal.478/C 1953 Steel
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
Size Large 33mm, excluding the JLC Crown
Beautiful Original Unrestored Classic Two-Tone Dial
Top Condition Good Size 33mm Jaeger-LeCoultre Swiss Case
Very High-Grade Immaculate JLC Cal.478/C Hand-Wound Movement
All in Absolutely Top Grade, Original Lightly Used Condition
New Brown Crocodile Strap with Gold Plated Buckle
Hardwood Presentation Box Included, as shown
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
VGWL 12 Months’ Warranty Included*
Free Overseas FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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It is not commonly known that Jaeger-LeCoultre, in addition to producing movements for its own watches, has also produced movements for a number of other 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 company 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 winding crown, i.e. 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 beautiful example of a gentleman’s classic early Jaeger-LeCoultre dress watch, in superb condition. This watch has a very highly regarded movement, which is very accurate and reliable making the perfect watch for special occasions or with care, everyday use.
The stunning original unrestored two-tone 1 – 12 numeral dial transcribed by the superb original Diamond style hands. All the height of elegance and complementing the watch case beautifully.
This classic early 1950s Jaeger-LeCoultre dial in yellow with a slightly more silver yellow outer section separated by a minutes ‘rail track’. The dial is simply signed ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ and the overall look, as with all vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre, is one of classic, simplicity and elegance.
This is the original unrestored and untouched dial which is in tip-top condition, particularly considering its age.
The watch is complete with its all original, ultra high quality, 17 jewelled, Calibre P478/C hand-wound movement. This movement is very highly regarded as one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s highest quality hand-wound calibres. Indeed, it qualifies as one of the best hand-wound watch movements ever produced.
The movement has been fully overhauled and serviced by our watchmaker. This involves complete dismantling to each of its component parts, ultrasonic cleaning, microscope inspection and replacement of parts as required, only with new JLC originals, then careful reassembly and oiling ready for final testing and careful calibration. As can be seen in the images, the movement is in superb condition.
The movement is signed Jaeger-LeCoultre Co and ‘Fab Suisse’ with the calibre number P478/C and the movement serial number 942275, making the year of manufacture 1953.
The watch is now running perfectly having been calibrated and timed at +7 seconds per day which is truly outstanding for any watch of this age! The watch has a runtime of 40hours from its fully wound state which shows the movement is particularly strong and running well within expected parameters. It is now ready for many more decades of faithful service and we are therefore more than happy to offer this watch with our 12 months’ warranty and to assist with servicing again in around three years time.
*Note – The 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The high-quality LeCoultre Swiss-made three piece watch case comprises of a classic design with a sunken crown and beautifully elongated lugs. The lugs are swept back, and as can be seen in the photographs, slightly lifting the case on the wrist.
The case is the much rarer oversize 33mm in diameter, excluding the correct unsigned JLC crown. This watch has clearly been very well cared for as the case has no dings, scratches or marks visible to the naked eye.
The press-fit case-back is a nice tight fit. It is of full thickness and has never been engraved.
Inside, the case-back is properly signed, as expected. Signe: LeCoultre and Swiss. It also carries the external serial number 555966. The case number is quite distinct, indicating the watch case has not been over polished. Importantly, the case back is of full thickness and has never been engraved.
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, along with a plain buckle. Please note – it is very unlikely this watch would originally have been fitted with a JLC signed buckle. We feel the strap suits the watch very well, 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 17mm straps if you wish here.
Box and Papers
Although there are are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1953. Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt and 12 months’ Warranty*. 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 totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”. As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
A high quality hardwood presentation box is included in the sale as shown.
This is a beautiful example of a classic vintage watch from one of horology’s most famous names and if treated with care, one which will remain an excellent investment as well as be something to use, wear, treasure and enjoy. It will provide excellent reliability as well as a sound financial investment, as long lasting as the watch itself!
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.
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.
If you have any questions, please call us on 0207 727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please note, we welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at sensible prices. Please see here.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.