Jaeger-LeCoultre watches aren’t only found on the wrists of A-list stars like Jay-Z—they can also be seen on the wrist of Avenger’s own Iron Man, Robert Downy, Jr. These luxury watches are reserved for the most discerning connoisseur, looking to turn heads and show off their own exquisite tastes. This brand is considered by many to be an iconic celebration of all things holy in the realm of luxury watchmaking, and have held this prestigious position for almost a century. Particularly, JLC is recognized for their sharp Dress Watches, intricate components, notable patents, and artful designs. Whether you’re looking for a simple, ultra thin timepiece from the Reverso collection, or a robust Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Reveilcomplete with a perpetual calendar and alarm, every collector is sure to find a fascinating luxury watch from this captivating brand.
The History of Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches
Humble Beginnings, Impressive Feats
Antoine LeCoultre was the man responsible for founding a small watchmaking workshop after he invented a machine to cut the watch pinions out of steel. At this time, he had no clue he would eventually capture the world’s attention, make history and revolutionize the entire luxury watch industry. In 1884, he made horological history after developing the first instrument capable of measuring a micron. Three years later, after yet another invention, LeCoultre discovered a system to eliminate the need for a key to rewind or set watches. He was the recipient of several awards in London, for his work on lever-winding mechanisms, manufacturing processes and interchangeable parts in watches.
A Lineage of Luxury Watches
Eventually, Antoine’s son, joined the family business, becoming yet another pioneer of watchmaking, and helping to transform his father’s small workshop to help him become one of the most celebrated watchmakers out of Switzerland. By 1903, Antoine’s grandson had taken over the watchmaking business, and it was at this time he began working with a watchmaker from Alsace, Edmond Jaeger. After leaving his home following the Franco-Prussian war, Jaeger setup his own watchmaker shop in Paris, and created complications that were designed to measure speed. He became the French Navy’s official watchmaker and challenged the most well-known Swiss watchmakers of the time to produce an ultra-thin watch movement, which was his own invention. This is when Jacques-David LeCoultre (Antoine’s grandson) accepted the challenge, creating the thinnest pocket watch in the world. In the following years, the sharing of information between LeCoultre and Jaeger continued, and by 1937 the Jaeger-LeCoultre luxury watch brand was born.
Explore Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Collections
Building on their rich history and expertise in creating some of the most impressive luxury watches in the world, JLC has released several collections that range from handsome dress watches to utilitarian water-resistant pieces. Discover their suite of collections and find standout iterations that are sure to impress any collector.
The most iconic Jaeger-LeCoultre collection is undoubtedly the highly-recognizable Reverso. Its elegant rectangular lines were inspired by the Art Deco style, while its reversible case was developed to protect the dial from damage during polo. Today however, this beloved piece is worn by both men and women and now includes versions with tourbillon and minute repeater complications.
A luxury watch with vintage charm, the JLC Memovox collection delivers unrivaled quality and expert design. The original Memovox dates back to the 1960s when it reshaped watchmaking trends of the time, complete with a sleek, modern face design and mechanical alarm function. Since then, the Memovox suite has been revamped several times to include bells and whistles like impressive in-house calibres and unique strap patterns.
Although this collection is no longer in production, the JLC Master Compressor suite is a lesson in remarkable design and innovation. Known for its special patented crown system, this piece is set apart from other watches with a similar function—its compressor system only requires the wearer to complete one half turn for the crown to be fully opened or closed. When it’s closed, the piece is sealed and water-resistant. Learn more about the incredible feature when you read this article about the JLC Compressor Chronograph, or this review of the Master Compressor Extreme Tourbillon.
JLC’s Master collection is divided into three smaller sub-collections including the Control, Ultra Thin, and Grande Tradition. Most of these pieces are everyday dress watches, and simple models like the Master Control Dates feature a sleek dial and simple date function. For those interested in more complicated, compelling pieces, collectors can find Master iterations that boast alarm, world time, and tourbillons as well.
Released in 2018, the sporty and sleek Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris is inspired by the timeless Memovox collection from the 1960s. This newer addition to the brand’s lineup is a casual dress piece that can be worn both in and out of the water. Additionally, these pieces are available in a variety of complications like chronograph, date, and chronograph world timers.