Jaeger-LeCoultre Triple Date Moonphase 18ct 1948 37mm – Immaculate!

£8,950

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed

A Beautiful, Rare, Well Loved, Lightly Used Example

37mm, 18ct Yellow Gold Case, excluding the Original Crown

Beautifully Restored Silver-White Dial with Original ‘Dauphine’ Hands

Superb Hand-Wound JLC, Cal.484/1A Triple Date Moonphase Movement

Immaculate Jaeger-LeCoultre Signed Swiss-Made Watch Case With Teardrop Lugs

All in Absolutely Top Grade, Beautifully Restored, Stunning Condition

High Quality Matching Plain Brown Calf Leather Strap & JLC Buckle

Vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre Presentation Box Included, As Shown

“Jaeger-LeCoultre, A Guide for Collectors” by Zaf Basha Included

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: JLC856
Sold 18th Oct '19
Price £8,950 Sold

£8,950

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Jaeger-LeCoultre

Since its founding in 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has had a highly 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 world’s first keyless watch, its Calibre 101, the Futurematic, the Memovox, or the iconic Reverso, it would be difficult to imagine a historical account of watchmaking without the mention of Jaeger-LeCoultre.

It is not commonly known that Jaeger-LeCoultre, in addition to producing movements for its own watches, has also produced movements for a number of famous watch houses such as Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and IWC. Indeed for most of the 20th Century, Jaeger-LeCoultre even supplied bare movements to the great firm of Patek Philippe. The company has always been a true ‘Manufacturer’ of the finest quality watch movements and Jaeger-LeCoultre has always manufactured all its own movements. This is unusual because very often, high-end brands such as Rolex, Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin would 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.

Why This Watch Is Important

This watch is important because quite simply it is the most fascinating and attractive vintage watch ever made by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Some would suggest it is the prettiest watch of its era. It has remained so popular and long admired, Jaeger-LeCoultre re-released a heritage edition of this watch in 1983. In recent years it has also produced a modern equivalent with an automatic movement, which has also sold exceedingly well.

This watch is also very rare as most of these watches were produced in gold-filled (gold-plated) watch cases and not solid gold such as the example you see here.

The long-time head of JLC, Jacques-David LeCoultre, died in 1948 and in commemoration of his life, JLC produced the 17 Jewel, Cal. 484/1A Triple-Date Moonphase movement in a run of 5,000. These movements were all signed just “LeCoultre” instead of “Jaeger-LeCoultre”. Only 500 of these were cased in gold and distributed only in Europe. These are now very rare. 4,500 were exported to the USA and cased in 10ct gold-filled cases, most were the not so rare rectangular shape, but a number were round. This is an example of the much rarer round-cased European version in solid 18ct gold.

In 1983, JLC celebrated its 150th anniversary in an interesting way. They went back to this same movement, recreating a run of 600 from vintage ‘new old stock’ parts and cased them in round 18ct gold cases like the cases of 1948.

Incidentally, new Triple Date Moonphase watches are becoming popular once more. In the past few years and in addition to JLC, many of the other top watch houses have trawled their back catalogues to re-release similar models based on these 1950s designs. For example, Patek Philippe has recently released a Triple Date Moonphase Annual Calendar in 18ct gold, priced at close to £40,000.

An almost identical watch to the one we have to offer here is featured on the cover of the excellent reference book, named: “Jaeger-LeCoultre, A Guide for Collectors” by Zaf Basha. A copy of which we will be pleased to include with this watch.

The Dial

Just wonderful! Silver-white with applied gilt numerals and triangular pyramid hour indices, matched with the original gold ‘Dauphine’ hands. Here, the classic early subsidiary seconds dial also doubles as a moon phase indicator, making this watch even rarer. The subsidiary seconds-dial watches without a moon phase were much more common. This is the standard Triple Date dial, and an all-time classic design, to which most of the top watch houses adhere. We are great admirers of this dial design as it is so completely symmetrical, neat and attractive, yet it manages to convey so much!

Setting this watch is very simple and straightforward. Setting the day of the week is done first. This is achieved by rotating the hands until the correct day is shown. The month is then set via a small pusher on the edge of the case at 2 o’clock. The date of the month is then set via a pusher at 4 o’clock. Finally, the moon phase is set via a pusher at 8 o’clock.

An important point to remember is never to advance any of these functions while the hour hand is anywhere close to the number 12, as this can harm the movement. It is, therefore, safer to set the hands to say 6:30 before operating any of the pushers. Another point to note is that the month does not auto-advance on Triple Date watches at the end of each month. This is done manually, As long as one remembers these points and the watch is treated with the care it deserves, it will perform faithfully and reliably.

The days and months of this watch are, as you can see, shown in Church Latin as this watch was used for non-english speaking markets during this period. This could be changed if required, but we feel it adds character to the watch and retains its originality.

This is the original dial which has been restored to the highest standards by our dial restorers, considered to be the best in the UK.

The Movement

The watch contains its original Jaeger-LeCoultre 17 Jewel, Calibre 484/1A hand-wound, Triple Date Moonphase movement. This movement is the updated 17 Jewel version as the earlier version had 15 Jewels. This watch has in fact, four ‘complications’, in that it indicates the day, the date, the month and the phase of the moon. This was quite a feat when this watch was first produced, yet this movement was completely designed and produced in-house by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Even more remarkably, these watches are accurate and reliable, provided they are regularly serviced and well treated, although because this movement was produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre, servicing and replacement parts are not a problem.

This movement is correctly signed LeCoultre, Swiss, with 17 Jewels and the calibre number 484/1A. The movement serial number is 596037, which along with the calibre number dates this watch to 1948.

Our vintage JLC specialist watchmaker has given this movement a full inspection, overhaul and service and commented he found it to be particularly clean and well maintained. Upon completion, he has carefully calibrated the watch and after our final checks and prior to photography, the watch was found to be keeping time to within +8 seconds per day! This was tested and confirmed by our electronic timegrapher and is truly outstanding for any watch of this age. As can be seen, the movement is in sparkling clean condition.

Please note, at the time of purchase, we were informed that this watch was serviced in mid-2015 by Jaeger-LeCoultre, although there is no supporting invoice to prove this. However, having restored previous examples of this watch, we are inclined to believe this to be the case as each pusher and function operates very smoothly and reliably even after exhaustive testing, both in our workshop and on the wrist.

We are therefore very happy to offer this watch with a 12 month warranty*. With care and with regular servicing around every 3 to 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run quite happily for many more decades to come.

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

The Case

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Triple Date Moonphase wristwatch was produced in two sizes, the 35mm standard size, and the 37mm oversize. The example here measures 37mm in diameter, excluding the signed JLC winding crown, making this an exceptionally large watch by the standards of its day. This is also the very rare 18ct solid yellow gold case, as most were made in steel or gold plated steel. Solid gold examples were made in 14ct and 18ct gold, with 18ct naturally being the rarest.  This significantly adds to the value of this watch, as these make up less than 10% of the production run of 5000 Triple Date Moonphase watches.

The heavy three-piece case is solid, sturdy and robust. The tear-drop lugs, wide bezel and ribbed case look wonderful and enhance the overall 1940s charm of this watch.

This watch has obviously been very well cared for and has seen only very light use. The press-fit case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved. It is a nice tight fit and presses back with a nice and satisfying ‘pop’. Inside, the case back is signed: Jaeger-LeCoultre, Swiss, with Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks. Externally, the case-back is marked with the Jaeger-LeCoultre model number 141 003 1 and the serial number 1579121. The outside of the case also carries a case makers stamp and a further 18ct hallmark.

The case has been professionally inspected, cleaned and very lightly hand-polished. It is in superb condition with only the most minimal signs of wear. There are no scratches, dings, dimples or other damage visible to the naked eye.

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

The Strap & Buckle

A high quality, plain brown calf leather strap is fitted, along with a matching gold-plated Jaeger-LeCoultre buckle. Please note, we feel the strap matches the watch nicely, but 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, however, we can also obtain most types and colours at short notice.

The Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on the watch are correct, dating the watch to 1948. A detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included in the sale, along with our detailed 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 at any time, 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 vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre presentation box, as shown in the photographs is included in the sale.

In Conclusion

This simply amazing vintage gold Jaeger-LeCoultre watch was a particularly significant model in the evolution of Triple Date Moonphase watches and we are very proud to offer such a superb example here in immaculate condition. It is many more times more stylish and individual than a modern equivalent, and even though just over 70 years old, this watch is still completely fresh, reliable and practical to wear on a regular basis should you wish to do so.

However you may view 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 about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest 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 wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.

Please note, we welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.

We will be happy to Service, Repair 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.

We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting, we will also be very happy to hear from you. We await your call!

Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches!

Thank you.