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Jaeger-LeCoultre: Exquisite Swiss Luxury Watches
Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre is famous the world over for their exquisite watches. They offer timepieces ranging from incredibly thin dress watches to intricate models with minute repeaters, perpetual calendars, or tourbillons.
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Swiss Craftsmanship Perfected
Few Swiss watch manufacturers have created as many watchmaking innovations as Jaeger-LeCoultre. The Swiss company from Le Sentier in the Vallée de Joux has perfected the greatest technological challenges of watchmaking, ranging from a two-level movement, the Duoplan, to the smallest movement in the world, the caliber 101. They're also masters of grand complications like the perpetual calendar and minute repeater,
Jaeger-LeCoultre mainly offers men's and women's dress watches with classic, elegant designs. The rectangular Reverso and flat Master Ultra Thin go particularly well with a business suit. If you're always busy and need appointment reminders to keep you on schedule, the Master Memovox would be a practical choice, as it comes with an alarm function. The Deep Sea and Master Compressor Diving models appeal to fans of diving watches, and the sparkling, diamond-set Rendez-Vous collection was designed with women in mind.
If you're searching for an intricate watch with a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, or minute repeater, the Hybris Mechanica series is your best bet. This collection contains prime examples of haute horlogerie.
In 2018, the manufacturer introduced the Polaris, a sporty collection of three-hand watches and chronographs.
Reasons to Buy a Jaeger-LeCoultre Watch
- Refined in-house Swiss timepieces
- Hand-decorated movement components
- Famous model: Reverso with a reversible case
- Memovox with an alarm function
Prices at a Glance: Jaeger-LeCoultre
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, function|
|Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee, 5036420||518,000 USD||Platinum, tourbillon, moon phase|
|Master Minute Repeater, 164.64.20||100,000 USD||Platinum, minute repeater, power reserve indicator|
|Master Grand Réveil, Q163247A||42,500 USD||Rose gold, moon phase, alarm function, year display, perpetual calendar|
|Reverso Classic Large Duoface Small Seconds, 3842520||20,500 USD||Rose gold, reversible case, small seconds|
|Polaris Mariner Memovox, 9038180||18,500 USD||Stainless steel, alarm function|
|Master Control, Q1542520||12,500 USD||Rose gold, three-hand watch|
|Deep Sea Chronograph, Q2068570||10,500 USD||Stainless steel, chronograph|
|Polaris Chronograph, 9028170||11,000 USD||Stainless steel, chronograph|
|Master Control Calendar, 140.8.87||9,400 USD||Yellow gold, triple calendar, small seconds|
|Atmos Classique, Q5101202||6,500 USD||Yellow gold, hours, minutes|
|Master Compressor Memovox, 146.8.97/1||6,100 USD||Stainless steel, alarm function|
|Reverso Classic Medium Thin, Q2518540||4,700 USD||Stainless steel, reversible case|
|Reverso Lady, 260.8.86||3,900 USD||Stainless steel, reversible case|
How much does a Jaeger-LeCoultre watch cost?
The most affordable Jaeger-LeCoultre watches begin at around 3,500 USD. For this price, you can get a never-worn stainless steel Lady Reverso with a quartz caliber. With a budget of roughly 12,000 USD, your options expand to include stainless steel models from the Polaris and Deep Sea collections. Prices for precious metal Master Control timepieces with three hands start just over 12,000 USD. Watches with more intricate complications demand higher prices. For example, the rose gold Master Grand Réveil with an alarm, moon phase, annual calendar, and year display costs about 42,500 USD. At the very high end of the price range, you'll find timepieces outfitted with gyrotourbillons, a JLC innovation. Rare editions like the Master Grande Tradition cost well over 470,000 USD.
Reverso: An Icon With a Reversible Case
The Reverso is Jaeger-LeCoultre's most iconic watch and celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2021. Its defining feature is its unique rectangular case in the Art Deco style of the 1930s. The Le Sentier-based manufacturer originally developed the wristwatch for polo players, as they often complained of broken crystals on their timepieces after matches. The reversible case was the ideal solution, as it protects the display from heavy impacts. While the case back often features decorative engravings or enamel work, some models have additional displays on the reverse face or display case backs. The modern Reverso collection offers a wide range of options for men and women alike.
You can purchase a mint-condition Reverso Classic Medium Thin ref. Q2518540 with a quartz movement for about 4,700 USD. This stainless steel model measures 40.1 x 24.4 mm. If you prefer larger timepieces with mechanical movements, you should take a closer look at the Reverso Classic Large Duoface Small Seconds ref. 3848422. Its 47 x 28.3-mm stainless steel case contains a manual caliber with a small seconds at 6 o'clock.
In 2021, Jaeger-LeCoultre marked the Reverso's 90th anniversary with several limited editions. One example is the rose gold Reverso Tribute Nonantième with the new manual caliber 826. On the front, this watch displays the hours, minutes, small seconds, date, and moon phase. By flipping the case over, you reveal a fantastical time display with a star-dappled night sky. You'll also find the sun and moon traversing the horizon in a separate window. The manufacturer has limited this timepiece to a run of 190 pieces and lists it for 40,500 USD.
Other highlights from the Reverso series include the Grande Complication models. These watches come in white gold or platinum and feature a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, and sidereal time display. You should be prepared to spend a significant amount on a Grande Complication, as these exceptional Reverso timepieces cost upwards of 350,000 USD.
Master Collection: Exquisite Dress Watches
The Master collection's most popular timepieces belong to the Master Control and Ultra Thin series. Top-selling Master Control models include the Date, Calendar, and Memovox. The collection's technological high point is the rose gold Tourbillon Dualtime.
The Extra Flat Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin
The Master Ultra Thin's design is a bit simpler than that of the Master Control with its narrow hands and indices. The incredibly slim wristwatch is only 7.5 mm thick and modeled after a minimalistic pocket watch from 1907. The Ultra Thin 41 lacks a second hand and date display and is sure to please purists. There are also versions available with a central seconds hand and date window at 6 o'clock. You have the choice of a stainless steel or 18-karat rose gold case.
New timepieces cost at least 6,100 USD. If you want a perpetual calendar, the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual is the right watch for you. You should plan on spending around 20,000 USD for this model.
Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Moon
In late 2020, Jaeger-LeCoultre released the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Moon, a Master model that features a new combination of complications. More specifically, it is the first time the manufacturer has combined a moon phase display and tourbillon in one timepiece. The moon phase display at 12 o'clock shows the lunar cycle as viewed from the Northern Hemisphere and also has scales for the Southern Hemisphere and the moon's age. The caliber 983 powers this stunning timepiece and provides it with a 45-hour power reserve. Jaeger-LeCoultre crafts the watch's 41.5-mm case out of their newly developed proprietary alloy "Le Grand" rose gold.
Since it is so new, it can be difficult to find the Master Thin Tourbillon Moon for sale on the secondary market. At the time of writing, Chrono24 had a single listing for this watch with a price of roughly 67,000 USD. Compared to the official list price of 94,500 USD, that is a significant discount.
Master Compressor With an Innovative Crown System
The models in the Master Compressor series are robust sports watches named for their so-called compression key system. This is an alternative to the usual screw-down crown. A half-turn of the compression key allows you to pull out or push down the crown. With conventional screw-down crowns, you have to turn the crown several times counterclockwise before you can pull it out to set the watch. A further benefit of the compression key system is that it completely seals the case by putting pressure on an internal cone when it's closed.
A new Master Compressor sells for around 9,400 USD in stainless steel. Versions with a ceramic case and stopwatch function change hands for between 8,200 and 12,000 USD.
Atmos: A World-Famous Pocket Watch
The Atmos clock has been part of Jaeger-LeCoultre's catalog since 1928. Invented by Jean-Léon Reutter, this unique atmospheric clock can use even the most minute temperature changes to power itself. A change of just one degree Celsius (1.8 °F) provides enough energy to power the clock for 48 hours. The hermetically sealed clock contains a gas mixture that expands with rising temperatures and contracts with sinking temperatures.
Prices for a mint-condition Atmos begin around 5,300 USD. Top models are limited editions and demand over 165,000 USD.
Polaris: A Sporty All-Arounder
In 2018, Jaeger-LeCoultre launched a decidedly sporty line of watches called the Polaris. Here, the designers' goal was to put a modern spin on the company's impressive heritage. The entire collection takes its inspiration from the Memovox Polaris, which JLC released in 1968.
The current series is home to a selection of three-hand models and chronographs. While the versions with three hands and two crowns are only available in stainless steel, the manufacturer also produces Polaris chronographs in rose gold and titanium. Most versions have a blue or black dial, except for the rose gold chronograph with an anthracite dial.
At roughly 7,700 USD, the three-hand ref. 9008170 is the most affordable Polaris watch. For another 3,500 USD, you can get a stainless steel chronograph like the ref. 9028180 with a blue dial. Titanium chronographs boast a GMT function and change hands for around 14,500 USD. Finally, the top rose gold edition requires an investment of about 24,500 USD.
Geophysic: In Honor of Science
The Geophysic collection has been around for over 60 years. Jaeger-LeCoultre presented it for the first time in 1958 in conjunction with the International Geophysical Year, an international scientific project. Today, the Geophysic is available as a simple three-hand watch with a date display, world time function, or tourbillon. The timepiece comes with your choice of a stainless steel, 18-karat rose gold, or platinum case. One notable feature of this model is its true seconds function. Unlike most mechanical watches, the second hand does not move smoothly, but rather in one-second jumps similar to a quartz watch. Universal Time models have a lacquered sunburst world map on the dial with a rotatable disc on the outer edge featuring 24 city names. Each city represents a different time zone, so you can quickly read the time in other parts of the world.
New stainless steel versions of the Geophysic with a world time function cost at least 12,000 USD, while rose gold editions sell for around 20,000 USD. You can purchase a new rose gold Geophysic Date with three hands and a date display for approximately 16,000 USD. If you'd prefer a stainless steel model, you should be prepared to spend around 9,400 USD.
A History of Innovation
Jaeger-LeCoultre's history began over 180 years ago when brothers Charles-Antoine and François Ulysse LeCoultre founded their workshop in 1833. At first, they only finished gear wheels; however, in 1844, they created a precise measuring instrument for producing wheels. The Millionometer could measure to within one-millionth of a meter, known as a micrometer, and would become a foundation of precision watchmaking. LeCoultre made countless pocket watches and movements. Even other highly respected Swiss watchmakers, such as Patek Philippe, valued the quality of these movements and frequently used them in their own timepieces. LeCoultre also mastered a myriad of complications over the years.
The ébauche manufacturer LeCoultre began working with French watchmaker Edmond Jaeger in the early 20th century. It was the beginning of a partnership that eventually became a merger in 1937. VDO, a German tachometer producer, acquired 60% of Jaeger-LeCoultre SA stock in 1978, while Audemars Piguet acquired the other 40%. The company has been part of the Richemont Group since 2000. Other watch brands in the Richemont Group include A. Lange & Söhne, IWC, Panerai, and Vacheron Constantin.