The large 37mm LeCoultre wristwatch showcased in today's offering is an example of one of JLC's iconic vintage automatic Memovox watches. It is one of a few references they made around 1970 with a very retro vibe.
This special wristwatch featured a fully mechanical alarm system that its owner could use to better organize and govern his most precious possession - his time. To pull off this technological marvel, Jaeger-LeCoultre equipped these watches with significant inner alarm gearing and even an additional stem and crown, making many elements of a second movement that worked seamlessly in conjunction with the normal timing portion.
Not content with simply creating a wrist alarm, Jaeger-LeCoultre then produced the world's first automatic alarm model, a feat that significantly added to the mechanism's complexity. Using the caliber 825 as a starting point, JLC then created the caliber 916, used in this watch, which was the world's first 360 degree automatic alarm. Previous movement always used a bumper mechanism due to the alarm hammer mechanism which, when activated hit a pin protruding from the inside of the back case cover. The bumper rotor swung back and forth without hitting the pin whereas a fully rotating rotor would. JLC ingeniously solved this problem in their design of the cal. 916 by creating the rotor with a hole in the center that the alarm pin could pass through.
It also had high-capabilities, as it ticked 28,800 per hour and provided for greater accuracy in timekeeping .
It has a very cool retro dial and stylish retro hands that complement it.
The monocoque case, which originally gave the watch excellent water-resistance, is steel with a solid 14K gold fluted bezel suggestive of a Rolex.
In vintage times, as lifestyle paces moved faster and faster, top Swiss firms needed a way to enhance the experiences of their now frequently travelling top clients. The renowned engineers at Jaeger-LeCoultre rose to the occasion by creating the company's famed Memovox alarm wristwatch in 1951.
It is in very pleasing original condition.
The case is excellent original condition and has never been polished. Its untouched dial in just short of perfect mint condition. And its movement is keeping exceptionally accurate time.
One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. warranty on the movement and its function, a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity, and a new timing certificate.
Note: Similar alarm watches can be found in Franco Cologni's book, Jaeger-LeCoultre: The Story of the Grande Maison, 2006, pg. 338
The 18K gold version of this same watch has been named the Steve McQueen Memovox, in reference to the fact that he wore this model as the lead character in the original "Thomas Crown Affair" movie. And Robert De Niro wore the steel version in "The Family."
Country of origin: Switzerland, made for the U.S. market
Year built: c. 1970
Serial no.: 2,074,333
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Alarm (Reveil), Automatic, Sweep Seconds, Semi-Quicksetting Date (9pm-3am)
Designed for: Men
Case material: Stainless steel with solid 14K gold bezel
Case markings (outside): Opening instructions, stainless steel and gold cap
Case condition: Excellent honest original condition with only light wear, unpolished
Dimensions: 37mm wide (excluding crowns), 43.5mm long lug tip-to-tip
Dial: Smoky silver, two-piece, soleil silver inner revolving alarm insert, steel applied Roman indexes, luminous hour sections, original and untouched, just short of mint condition
Hands: Original, steel batons filled with luminous material
Movement type: High grade, Cal. 916, self-winding full rotor bi-directional winding automatic, complete second alarm mechanism, rhodium plated, shock protected, 17 jewels, direct sweep seconds, glucydur balance, self-compensating flat balance spring, index regulator. Approximate 45 hour power reserve.
Jewels: 17 rubies
Band: Leather, fully stitched, padded, brand new and unworn, previously equipped with aftermarket buckle done with JL signature
Width between lugs: 20mm
Crystal type: Acrylic, excellent condition
Servicing: Yes, one of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it making it ready for immediate enjoyment. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an experienced team of watchmakers both of whom each have over forty years of experience and a large number of parts.
Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system. It is keeping very accurate time.
Warranty: 1-year international C.O.T. warranty. Please message us for details.
Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity; New timing certificate
Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee
We offer a 100%
satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way
unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime
within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our
client's expectations throughout the buying experience.
All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially
constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All
watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic
shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail,
and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier.
International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.
The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any
required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and
taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.
Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be
guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not
recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed
to be waterproof.