1960s Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox Alarm Watch
A stainless steel Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox alarm watch. This very handsome and rare piece was part of the brand's continuation to develop more interesting and varied models post World War Two. Models such as "Powerwind", "Futurematic" and "Memovox" were propelling Jaeger LeCoultre to the forefront of watch innovation during this time. These aforementioned models marked the first production watch to include a power reserve. Launched by Jaeger LeCoultre in 1952, it was heralded as the "world's first fully automatic wrist watch".
The wrist alarm was not a new concept, initially launched by Eterna in 1914. However, they did not gain widespread popularity until the introduction of the Vulcan "Cricket" in 1947. It was this well made, loud and fairly inexpensive model that introduced the wrist alarm to the wider public, and presidents, alike! Off the back of this growing segment of the watch market, Jaeger LeCoultre developed their own model to compete in 1949. This initial model was powered by the manually wound caliber 489 movement, and was officially unveiled to the public at the Basel watch show in 1951.
Memovox, from the Latin "voice of memory", came in a large variety of cases and models, and with both manually wound, and automatic movements. In 1956 the caliber 815 included an oscillating weight fixed at the center of the movement, limited by two bumpers, equipped with tiny shock-absorbing springs. Also, the nature in which the sound was created differed from other watches. A hammer struck a post which is welded to the inside of the case back.
Regarding this example, it is a rare version made for the US market and cased by US case maker Star. The case is just over 34mm, but actually wears bigger due to the longer lugs and remains in almost perfect, original, unpolished condition.
The original silver with an underline LeCoultre signature at the 12 o'clock position, sitting beneath the applied JL logo. It is in superb condition throughout. All of the original luminous material is present, and turned a lovely lemon hue. The inner alarm disc is also perfect and features the small luminous filled triangle alarm marker to help pin-point the alarm setting.
The two crowns; one for setting and winding the alarm, and one for setting and winding the time are both original, and signed "JL". This is a US market watch, hence the dial being signed LeCoultre, and not Jaeger LeCoultre. The movement is the manually wound caliber 814, and presented in excellent condition. The watch dates toward the early 1960's and would be a welcome addition to any collection.
Case measurement: 34mm
This item is final sale.