Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Cal.P489/1, 18ct 1950


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed

Lightly Used And Well Cared For Example

Immaculate JLC 18ct Solid Yellow Gold Case

Large Size 34mm, Excluding the Unsigned JL Crowns

Very High Grade JLC Cal.P489/1 Hand-Wound Movement

New Hirsch Regent Alligator 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

Sold 10th Mar '21
VGW Reference: JLC1178
Price £4,250 Sold


Out of stock

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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.


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 silver-white dial has been previously restored 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. Naturally, it comes complete with its original JL signed gold-plated buckle.

The Watch Dial

Simply stunning. Elegant and understated with silver in the centre and furnished with raised numerals and ‘arrowhead’ hour indices matched by the original restored gilt ‘Dauphine’ hands. The dial is simply signed ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ at 12.

The centre rotating disc carries the pointer for setting the alarm function which is set and wound using the upper crown, whereas the time is set and the watch is wound using the lower crown.

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. This is the original dial which has previously been restored to a very high standard and only shows some slight signs of ageing in the form of some very gentle and even fading and some very light freckling.

The Movement

The watch carries its original Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre P489/1, 17 Jewel hand-wound movement which is running perfectly. The alarm function is also working perfectly with quite a loud buzz which lasts for 15 seconds and which can also be felt on the wrist.

This watch has been fully overhauled and serviced by our vintage JLC specialist watchmaker and having had it on test on our electronic timegrapher to check the timing, it is running within +3 seconds per day when fully wound. This is outstanding for any watch of this age. The movement also has a power reserve of 40 hours when fully wound. It has been very well maintained and cared for, evidenced by the movement which is in sparkling condition.

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. The movement on this watch is running and functioning perfectly. We therefore have no hesitation in offering this watch with 12 months’ warranty on the movement*.

The movement is signed ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ and ‘Swiss’, and carries the calibre number P489/1, along with the serial number 774473 which dates this watch to 1950.

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

The Watch Case

The heavy 18ct yellow gold watch case measures 34mm, excluding the unsigned Jaeger-LeCoultre crowns. This is considered quite a large case, as typical Jaeger-LeCoultre watch cases sizes were usually 33mm at the time this watch was made.

The case is of a superbly made two-piece design for increased dust and moisture protection. It has a thin integral bezel and beautiful lugs which add elegance and style to the watch.

The case is in excellent condition and has simply required a very gentle and sympathetic clean and polish. The watch has obviously been very well cared for as there are no dings, scratches or marks visible to the naked eye.

Inside the case-back, all is properly marked and as expected with Swiss 18ct hallmarks and the exterior of the case-back shows the serial number 552034 A. This external case number is clear, indicating the watch case has not been over-polished. Importantly, the case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved.

Please note – vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap & Buckle

A new, high quality Green 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 17.5mm 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 1950.

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

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!

Even though it is over seventy 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.