Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Automatic Ref.855 18ct 1968
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Lightly Used And Completely Original Example
Wonderful Jaeger-LeCoultre 18ct Solid Yellow Gold Case
Very High Grade Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal.K825 Bumper Automatic Movement
Oversized 37.5mm, Excluding the Original Pair of Signed Jaeger-LeCoultre Crowns
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Gold Dial in Wonderful Condition
Burgundy Hand-Made Leather 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
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Perhaps the most interesting and adventurous of all the major high-end watchmakers, Jaeger-LeCoultre, founded in 1833, has had an incredibly 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, 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, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the much improved high precision Calibre K825 bumper automatic, an example of which we describe in some detail below.
The 1968 example here in 18ct yellow gold is sometimes referred to as the ‘Jumbo’ due to its very large 37.5mm, two-piece screw-back watch case. The two-tone gold dial is original and unrestored and has simply been gently cleaned to bring it back to the almost ‘as new’ condition you see here. Following some light polishing of the case and a full overhaul of the movement, this 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 two-tone gold dial is sensational. The outer edge of the dial has a powdered gold texture effect, adding a touch of flair to this already immaculate watch. The dial is complete with a date function and centre minutes track and carries original ‘stick’ style hands which are matched with applied black square batons. The deep gold centre rotating disc, used for setting the alarm function, contrasts wonderfully with the textured edge of the dial and again by 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 dial is simply signed ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ at the very top, below 12, with ‘Automatic’ at the bottom, just above 6 and ‘T Swiss Made T’ at the very bottom, below 6.
Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however, we decided in this case to leave it alone, due to its exceptional condition and to retain its originality and charm for the many collectors 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.
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 see here 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.
This wonderful Jaeger-LeCoultre dress watch carries the outstanding Calibre K825, 17 Jewel bumper automatic movement which remains in tip-top condition. The added complication of a date function to this already unique, bumper automatic, waterproof watch, elevates it to something really special.
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 simply wind the alarm crown to a quarter of its fully wound state.
The movement has been fully overhauled and serviced by our vintage JLC specialist watchmaker and after having been on test on our electronic timegrapher, is running arrow straight, within +14 seconds per day with a power reserve of 44 hours when fully wound! This is outstanding for any watch of this age. This movement has been very well maintained and cared for and is in sparkling condition. We therefore have no hesitation in offering our 12-month warranty on the movement of this watch*.
The movement is signed ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ and ‘Swiss’ and carries the calibre number K825 and the serial number 1991946, dating the watch to 1968.
*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 a large 37.5mm, excluding the correct twin Jaeger-LeCoultre signed crowns. It is of a two-piece construction with a heavy screw-down case-back and importantly is of full thickness, having never been engraved. The 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 with no dings or scratches visible to the naked eye.
The inside of the case-back carries the correct Swiss 18ct hallmarks and on the outside of the case-back is found ‘Memovox’ and the correct Jaeger-LeCoultre serial number 1185907.
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 burgundy hand-made leather strap with a gold-plated Jaeger-LeCoultre buckle. We think this contrasts very nicely with the pink 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 of strap 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 1968.
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”.
This watch comes complete with a high quality hardwood presentation box is included in the sale of this watch.
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 deliver 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.
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 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.