Stylish designs, sophisticated craftsmanship and refined details are how Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) has earned their reputation as being the watchmaker’s watchmaker. With over two centuries of watchmaking expertise, not only do they have their own collections of fine timepieces, but they also produce movements for other brands.
In 1833, Antoine LeCoultre set up a watchmaking workshop in Le Sentier, Switzerland. LeCoultre’s vision was to create high-quality timepieces, but his suppliers were unable to produce components to his exacting standards. This led LeCoultre to invent the Millionmètre, the first instrument capable of measuring the micron to refine the manufacture of watch parts. Then, in 1847, he went on to design a push-button system that both cycled the function of the watch and eliminated the need for a key to wind the mainspring in the watch.
It was in 1903 that Jacques-David LeCoultre, Antoine’s grandson, took up the challenge set by Edmond Jaeger to produce ultra-thin calibres and wristwatches. They continued to build on this challenge; in 1929 the watchmakers miniaturised the Duoplan movement to create the Calibre 101 – a smaller, manually wound calibre, its 98 components barely weigh 1 gramme.
Jaeger and LeCoultre officially marked their partnership in 1937; the first watch with the Jaeger-LeCoultre name on the dial was produced. One of the most popular Jaeger-LeCoultre watches is the Reverso, first created in the 1930s for polo players. They needed a way of protecting the crystal of their watches during energetic games. The Reverso Duo was built with a unique feature, whereby the dial can be flipped to reveal a second dial – these watches are still in production today.
Another of their most famous series is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master collection. The elegant cases and ultra-thin complications are what makes timepieces such as the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control and the Master Compressor stand out.