Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Automatic 18ct 1969 Perfect Original Unrestored Dial!

£4,950

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed

Lightly Used And Well Cared For Example

Immaculate JLC 18ct Solid Yellow Gold Case

Jumbo Size 37mm, Excluding the Signed JL Crowns

Very High Grade JLC Cal. K825 Automatic Movement

All In Absolute Top Grade, Original & Simply Stunning Condition

New Tan Lizard Skin Strap with Gold Plated JLC Buckle

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Warranty Included*

Hardwood Presentation Box Included

Free UK Next Day Delivery

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

VGW Reference: JLC687
Sold 27th April '19
Price

£4,950

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Jaeger-LeCoultre

Perhaps the most interesting, creative and adventurous of all the major high-end watchmakers, Jaeger-LeCoultre, founded in 1833, 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. Whether it is the keyless watch, Calibre 101, the iconic Reverso or the Memovox alarm, 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 often 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.

Description

The name ‘Memovox’ is composed of the two Latin words ‘memo’ and ‘vox’ which respectively mean ‘remember’ and ‘voice’. By most accounts, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox came to the market in 1950 with the hand-wound Calibre 489 movement. However, in 1956, the Cal. 489 was replaced with the Calibre 815, making the Memovox the first automatically wound alarm wristwatch. The Calibre 825 which you see here, is, in fact, the Cal.815 with the addition of a date function and as such, was another groundbreaking world ‘first’, for Jaeger-LeCoultre. It is even more impressive that Jaeger-LeCoultre is still the only watch company which has managed to produce and make a commercial success of a mechanical automatic movement which features both an alarm and a date function.

The two-tone Gold dial is original and unrestored and has simply been gently cleaned with a dry artist’s paintbrush and blower, to bring it back to the almost ‘as new’ condition you see here.

Following some light restoration of the case and a full overhaul of the movement, this superb Jaeger-LeCoultre automatic, alarm and date watch is now in tip-top condition and running and functioning perfectly. Naturally, it comes complete with its original JL signed winding crowns and JL signed gold plated buckle.

The Watch Dial

The two-tone Gold dial, with date function and centre minutes track, features its original ‘Index’ style hands which are matched with applied gilt black lined batons. The deep gold centre rotating disc, used for setting the alarm function, contrasts with the more yellow outer dial and the gold case. The different gold finishes on the dial catch the light beautifully as we have tried to demonstrate in the photographs. As ever, the watch and dial look much better in real life.

As usual, Jaeger has done an excellent job of keeping the dial very clear and simple, considering the extra alarm function of the watch.

This is the original unrestored dial which has simply been gently cleaned to bring it back to the almost ‘as new’ condition you see here.

The Movement

Jaeger-LeCoultre movements are rightfully regarded as some of the very finest produced by any manufacturer, which is why so many other ‘manufacturers’ have sourced their movements from this extraordinary watchmaking dynasty. The two defining characteristics of the Jaeger LeCoultre Calibre 825 are its “bumper” winding system and the hammer alarm. You can feel both moving back and forth while the watch is on the wrist, but this is charming, rather than annoying and the bumper mechanism soon becomes hardly noticeable.

The watch movement has been fully overhauled and serviced by our vintage JLC specialist watchmaker and after having been on test on our electronic timegrapher, it is running arrow straight, within +2 seconds per day! This is outstanding for any watch of this age. The movement also has a power reserve of 44 hours when fully wound. This movement has been very well maintained and cared for and is in sparkling condition. 

The movement on this watch is running and functioning perfectly. The alarm is wound and set with the crown at 2 o’clock. When the alarm sounds it is perfectly loud enough to hear without being too loud and one can also feel the alarm gently vibrating on the wrist. It will sound for 20 seconds, unless you wish to silence it immediately, by pulling out the same crown at 2 o’clock. This is very convenient since the alarm has its own alarm spring, which takes quite a bit of winding from its fully unwound state. Of course, if you only want the alarm to sound for around 5 seconds and for it not to be so loud, then it may be wound to around a quarter of its fully wound state. We therefore have no hesitation in offering this watch with 12 months’ warranty on the movement*.

The movement is signed Jaeger-LeCoultre, Swiss, and carries the calibre number K825 and the serial number 2016575, which dates this watch to 1969.  

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

The Watch Case

The heavy Swiss made 18ct Yellow Gold watch case measures 37mm, excluding the correct twin Jaeger-LeCoultre signed crowns.

The substantial case is of a two-piece construction with a heavy screw-down case-back. The broad integral bezel, along with the Gold dial makes this watch truly impressive on the wrist. It is perhaps the most ‘classy’ of all the Memovox releases from inception until the present day. The swept back lugs and taper back, lift the watch slightly on the wrist, to help make the alarm a little louder. The screw down case-back has never been engraved and is of full thickness.

This watch has been very well cared for and after cleaning and close inspection has simply required some gentle and careful hand-polishing to bring it back to its almost ‘as new’ condition. It is in immaculate condition with no dings or scratches visible to the naked eye.

The inside of the case-back carries the Jaeger-LeCoultre signature and Swiss 18ct hallmarks. On the outside of the case-back, is found the word “Memovox” and the case serial number 1227586.

Please note – although this watch was specified as waterproof when new, and even though the rubber seals have been replaced on the crowns and case-back, this has not been tested and it is not guaranteed. As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap & Buckle

The watch has been fitted with a high quality Tan Lizard skin strap with a gold plated Jaeger-LeCoultre buckle. We think this contrasts very nicely with the yellow gold case and the dial. 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 and we can obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs.

The 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 1969. Detailed particulars will be included with the receipt, along with our 12 months’ Warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value 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”.

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

In Conclusion

A superb Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox with a landmark movement, in tip-top condition. This is a completely reliable and practical watch to wear as your everyday watch and it will make an excellent investment and heirloom piece, as well as be something to use, treasure and enjoy. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold watches grows ever larger, limited supply allied to high demand means prices will inevitably climb higher and 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 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.

We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. In the meantime, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine Vintage Gold Watches!