It stands to reason that many other manufacturers ask Jaeger-LeCoultre to produce movements for them. The brand has made parts for IWC, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe; even the dials in classic Aston Martin cars were produced by the venerable watchmaker. Jaeger-LeCoultre's exquisite range caters for both classic and sporty tastes. Read moreView All
Jaeger-LeCoultre watches are effortlessly stylish, but the beauty is more than skin deep; with almost two centuries of watchmaking experience, this prestigious company presents some of the very best watchmaking to have ever existed.
The brand’s journey began in 1833, when 30-year-old Antoine LeCoultre set up a watchmaking workshop in the small Swiss town of Le Sentier. He focused his efforts on high-quality timepieces, but his suppliers were unable to produce components to a tolerance he found acceptable. To that end, he invented the Millionometer, a device able to measure one micrometre (one-millionth of a metre).
In 1847, using his unparalleled tolerances, the watchmaker designed a push-button system that not only cycled the function of the watch, but also eliminated the need for a key to wind the mainspring. This incredible dedication to innovation was not overlooked: Antoine was awarded a gold medal for his work at the Great Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace in 1851.
Antoine’s son, Elie, exhibited the same desire for perfection when he expanded his father’s workshop to bring manufacturing in-house. The scene was set; from 1870, the family-run factory began to produce its own complicated movements, and by the end of the 19th century had produced over 350 different calibres. Such was the quality of the components that another Swiss brand, Patek Philippe, had LeCoultre produce its movement blanks.
The introduction of Edmond Jaeger, a Parisian watchmaker with a penchant for ultra-thin movements, marked the next milestone in the Jaeger-LeCoultre journey. In 1903, he set Jacques-David LeCoultre—Antoine’s grandson—the ultimate challenge: to produce a movement he’d designed that would be the thinnest in the world. After four years of work, LeCoultre finished it. It was called the calibre 145, and it was a world record breaker at 1.38mm thick. The challenge extended to the construction of the world’s smallest movement, the calibre 101, which weighed less than a gram.
By 1937, the friendship had become a partnership, and the Jaeger-LeCoultre name was christened on a watch dial. Combining groundbreaking designs and manufacturing prowess, the company became one of the world’s greatest watchmakers. So impressive are the movements produced by the brand that many other respected watch manufacturers have used them in their own watches: Audemars Piguet, Panerai and Cartier, to name but three. The brand’s Master Control, Master Compressor, AMVOX, Reverso and Duomètre collections all exhibit the same attention to detail and ingenuity that has come to be expected from Jaeger-LeCoultre watches, and serve to continue the watchmaker’s legacy as one of the very best.
The list of achievements goes on and on, and with a thousand different movements and 350 patents under its belt, it’s easy to see how Jaeger-LeCoultre earned its reputation for being the home of master watchmakers. And as for producing some of the most stylish wristwatches on the market? That just comes naturally.
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