Jaeger-LeCoultre Chronograph Cal.285 18ct 1952
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Very Carefully Owned And Lightly Used Example
Recently Serviced by our Vintage Chronograph Specialist Watchmaker
Beautiful Calibre 285, 17 Jewel Hand-Wound Chronograph Movement
Large 18ct Yellow Gold Case, 36mm, Excluding Unsigned Crown
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Twin Register White Dial with Original ‘Leaf’ Hands
All in Absolute Top Grade, Original and Simply Stunning Condition
High Quality Brown Leather Strap & Plain Gold-Plated Buckle
All Functioning Perfectly and Keeping Very Accurate Time
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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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 400+ patents and playing a tremendous role in the development of the industry as a whole. Whether it is the keyless pocket 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 have bought in their 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 it for them. Furthermore, the exquisite Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal.920, is still in production and in use by both Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet today.
We have here a wonderful looking gentleman’s dress-chronograph produced in 1952. This was after Jaeger and LeCoultre had entered into a formal partnership, but while nearly all Jaeger-LeCoultre’s chronographs were still marketed with just the Jaeger name signed on the dial and movement. This probably made good sense from a marketing standpoint, since the Jaeger name was not only a highly reputable watch brand, but it had also built a strong reputation and a high degree of public recognition with its dashboard instruments, used for measuring the speed and monitoring the engines of the very best cars and aircraft. However, this beautiful watch was not specifically designed for professional use, but rather as an expensive, sophisticated dress watch for a gentleman to wear and exhibit his good taste and affluence.
This watch is exceptional, not only for is quality, size and condition, but also due to the fact that it is completely original, unrestored and untouched.
Often, chronograph dials can be overly busy and consequently difficult to read, but this is one of the most elegant and simple we have seen on any chronograph. It is beautifully symmetrical, well balanced and well proportioned. The dial itself in ivory cream contrasts wonderfully with the yellow gold case, original gilt ‘leaf’ hands and facetted ‘arrowhead’ hour indices and is signed with the correct period Jaeger signature. In essence, this is a highly sophisticated and highly elegant dial – all the Jaeger brand represents.
The dial carries a blue outer tachymeter scale which can be used to compute speed, based on travel time, or measure distance based on speed and a black seconds scale which is divided into fifths of a second. These give the dial a slightly technical look, but by no means excessively so.
As this dial is original and unrestored, we have elected to leave this untouched by our restoration team. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however we decided in this case to leave it alone, due to its unusually good condition and to retain its originality and charm for those who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored. The hands, likewise, have also been left in their original condition.
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.
As can be seen, the movement is amazingly clean and well cared for. Generally speaking, a watch movement of this age will begin to show some tarnishing on some of its surfaces caused by moisture. However, this movement has been kept in tip-top condition through regular servicing and proper care and attention. Again, along 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 returning to stock, the watch is now running to within +10 seconds per day which 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 can be 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 as 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. The example you see here is in 18ct yellow gold and measures a large 36mm, excluding the unsigned crown*. Most watches of this period were a much smaller 33mm and many were made in 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!
*Watches did not begin to have signed crowns until the late 1950s or early ’60s and this is the reason this crown is unsigned.
The case is of a heavy, sturdy three-piece design and carries pleasing swept-back lugs. Importantly, it is of full thickness, having never been engraved and is also tight-fitting, pressing back with a nice solid and reassuring ‘pop’. Inside the case-back carries 18ct hallmarks and the serial number 38041.
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 high quality brown leather strap and plain gold plated buckle, which we feel suits the watch perfectly. If, however, 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.
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 1952.
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 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 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 hand 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 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 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.