Jaeger-LeCoultre was founded in 1833 by Mr Antoine LeCoultre, in Le Sentier – a small hillside town in the Vallée de Joux area of Switzerland. By the mid 1860s, LeCoultre (as it was then called – the “Jaeger” part came in the mid-20th century) became known as the “Grande Maison” of Swiss watchmaking by bringing together a wide range of different artisans together in one facility. Today the watchmaker is the Richemont Group’s most esteemed horloger for the same reason: it has well and truly mastered all 180 of the skills required to make a fine watch. Of course, now it calls on cutting-edge computer-controlled milling machinery in its 25,000sq m manufacture. Yet such modern advances work in perfect harmony with the traditional ways of the maison, which still employs the finest artisans.
Known for its mastery of high complications, Jaeger-LeCoultre offers watches that are clean, classically styled and made in true “manufacture” fashion – every element, from movement to case, dial and beyond, is produced in-house.
Taking its name and sporty design cues from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 1968 Polaris Memovox diving alarm watch, the new Polaris collection puts quotidian versatility first and foremost. Boardroom, bar, beach – they’re all covered, whether you go for the time-only, chronograph or worldtimer option.
The Geophysic takes its name from a legendary chronometer created in 1958 as part of the International Geophysical Year. Antimagnetism and precision are key to this horological instrument, with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s steady True Second tick a key feature across the collection.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has produced more than 1,200 calibres in its lifetime. It’s safe to say then, that there’s plenty of history here.
The Birth Of The Reverso
Legend has it that in the 1930s, a group of polo players on the fields of Jaipur ambushed Swiss watch dealer Mr César de Trey after a match and challenged him to make a watch robust enough to withstand the action. Jaeger-LeCoultre took on the challenge, answering with the Reverso of 1931 – literally revolutionary, as it allowed you to flip the case over, facing its metal caseback forwards and preventing yet another smashed dial crystal.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has always been serious when it comes to precision manufacture. Invented by Mr Antoine LeCoultre as early as 1844, the so-called “Millionomètre” was the first instrument capable of measuring down to a micron’s breadth – a micron being a millionth of a metre.
The Everlasting Clock
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Atmos carriage clock has seemingly defied the laws of physics since 1928, perpetually tick-tocking without ever needing a re-wind. It comes down to a bellows-style gas chamber, which expands and contracts with variations in air temperature.
The Classic Alarm
The Polaris Memovox of 1968 was not only an exercise in ice-cool dial design but also the culmination of 18 years of alarm-watch innovation at Jaeger-LeCoultre, all based on a hammer repeatedly striking the inside of the case. This technology was first taken beneath the waves in 1959.
An Audience With Mr Charlie Siem
To celebrate the launch of Jaeger-LeCoultre, we challenged a virtuoso violinist to race through seven concertos. Roll over Beethoven