Jaeger-LeCoultre Automatic Cal.K881 18ct 1966


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed

A Beautiful Well Cared for & Lightly Used Example

35mm, 18ct Yellow Gold Case, Excluding the JLC Crown

Legendary Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre K881 Automatic Movement

Previously Restored Silver Cross-Hair Dial with Original ‘Index’ Hands

Screw-down Case-Back and Integral Bezel, all in wonderful Condition

High Quality Brown Alligator Strap & Gold-Plated JLC Buckle

All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

High-Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

Sold 4th Oct '21
VGW Reference: JLC1225
Price £2,950 Sold


Out of stock

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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 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.

It is not so well known that in addition to producing movements for its own watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre has always produced a great many movements for a number of famous watch houses including Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, IWC, and Cartier. Indeed for most of the 20th Century, Jaeger-LeCoultre even supplied bare movements to the great firm of Patek Philippe. 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. The exquisite Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 920, is still in production and in use today by both Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet.


Jaeger-LeCoultre watches are all about the perfection of their movements, wonderful aesthetics and the quality of their watch cases. Also, at a given price point, the absolute confidence that if one purchases a Jaeger-LeCoultre, one is buying one of the finest timepieces available. Here we have a perfect example, with the classic JLC cross-hair dial which just exudes simple style, elegance and pure class.

The Dial

The beautifully elegant silver cross-hair dial carries inlaid gilt ‘baton’ hour indices, matched by the original restored gilt ‘index’ style hands. The cross-hairs are typical of the Jaeger-LeCoultre style and emphasise the symmetry of the dial beautifully. We feel the wonderful addition of a date window adds elegance and style to this dial.

The dial is signed with an applied gilt ‘JL’ brand and ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ just below 12 with ‘Automatic’ below and ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom. The overall look, as with all vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre, is one of elegance. The lens is new, having been replaced with a new original as part of the restoration.

This is the original dial which has been previously restored to a very highest standard and remains in a tip-top condition.

The Movement

Jaeger-LeCoultre movements really are of the highest quality and certainly among the top tier of most highly regarded Swiss watch manufacturers.

The movement used in this watch is the Jaeger LeCoultre calibre K881, part of a family of movements, including Calibres 880, 882, and 883 introduced in 1959. This series was much more advanced than earlier Jaeger-LeCoultre automatic movements. No longer a bumper automatic, this series features a full 360º winding system and unlike many similar movements of the era, can wind in both directions. It beats at 19,800 bph, has a sweep second hand and a date window.

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 watch movement to all its component parts, 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 before regulating / timing. This watch winds and sets smoothly and is keeping accurate time, consistently, to within +20 seconds per day! This is excellent for any vintage watch of this age and has been confirmed by our electronic timegrapher. We therefore we have no hesitation in offering this watch with our 12 months warranty*.

The movement is signed ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ ‘Fab Suisse’ and the Calibre K881. The movement number serial number is 1744869 which dates the watch to 1966.

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

The Case

The large-sized 35mm multi-faceted watch case, excluding the JLC signed crown, is of exceedingly high quality, being constructed in three pieces with a screw-down case-back for extra water and dust protection.

Due to its sophisticated case construction and elegant profile, this 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 with Swiss 18ct hallmarks and the exterior carries the serial number 1015371. The case-back is of full thickness and has never been inscribed.

As ever, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap & Buckle

A new, high quality brown alligator strap has been fitted, which we feel compliments the watch nicely, along with a gold-plated JLC 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 1966.

Detailed particulars will be included with your purchase receipt and 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”.

As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.

The high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.

In Conclusion

Even though it is over fifty years old, this watch is still completely fresh, reliable and highly practical to wear as an everyday watch should you so wish, but mostly, it is a thing of beauty, to wear, use, treasure and enjoy. Should you wish to view it this way, it will also make an excellent investment or heirloom piece, because as each year goes by, and the world market for vintage gold watches grows ever greater, limited supply, linked with particularly high demand from the Far East, means prices will inevitably climb ever higher!

A beautiful example of a timeless classic from one of horology’s most prestigious names, which if treated with care, 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 our 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. If you have a watch or 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.

Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.

Thank you.