Timeline Watch

Jaeger leCoultre Memovox TV screen

Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin both die drug-related deaths at age 27

1970 Jaeger leCoultre Memovox TV screen ref. E871.

The Memovox was first introduced by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1950/51. The two separate crowns allowed you to manually wind and set the alarm and timekeeping parts of the movement separately.

Symbolizing the planned efficiency of the post-war boom period, the Memovox literally meaning voice of memory quickly became the watch of excellence for men-about-town. Its striking mechanism gave a pleasant accent to the schedule of daily life: waking up, appointments, train timetables or parking meters.

When Antoine LeCoultre founded a small watchmaking workshop after inventing a machine that cut watch pinions from steel, little did he know that he would capture the worlds attention, making history while continuing to revolutionize watchmaking as the company grew.

In the heart of an old workshop on the land his ancestor Pierre LeCoultre bought in 1559, Antoine worked day and night honing his skills in an effort to make the most high quality timepieces the small village of Le Sentier, Switzerland had ever seen.

In 1884 Antoine made horological history after creating the first instrument to measure the micron. Just three years later another revolutionary invention came along in his workshop where Antoine LeCoultre discovered a system that would eliminate the need to use a key in order to rewind and set watches. In four short years, he would receive awards at the inaugural Universal Exhibition in London for his breakthrough work on a lever-winding mechanism, interchangeable parts and manufacturing processes, not to mention a gold medal for his exquisitely crafted gold chronometer.

Following Antoines expedition to London and return, his son Elie decided to join his father in the family business and at the age of 16, became a pioneer of watchmaking, developing a plethora of complications and transforming his fathers small workshop into one of Switzerlands most celebrated manufacturers.

By 1866, LeCoultres workshop had risen out of the common home-run manufacturers spread across Switzerland and installed a contemporary steam-driven machine to power the tools of a new office that effectively took all of the watchmakers from their homes and combined them in one, centralized facility. Now named LeCoultre & Cie, the company became the very first manufacturer in the Valle de Joux. Nicknamed the Grande Maison of the Valle de Joux, Antoine and Elie LeCoultre employed more than 500 watchmakers in-house and by 1870, managed to create calibres with complications so small, they again revolutionized the accuracy and dependability capable in a timepiece with their excess of 350 various calibres, 128 of which were chronographs and 99 which contained minute repeaters. For the next thirty years, LeCoultre & Cie would produce almost all of the movement blanks for the king of watchmakers Patek Philippe.

Far across the lands, a man by the name of Edmond Jaeger left his home in Alsace following the Franco-Prussian war. A watchmaker by trade, he set up shop in the bustling city of Paris, France devoting himself exclusively to creating complications that measured speed. In 1903, Edmond Jaeger, now a watchmaker to the French Navy, challenged the well-known Swiss manufacturers to produce an ultrathin movement he had invented. Jacques-David LeCoultre, Elies son who was responsible for production at the time, accepted the challenge and created the worlds thinnest pocket watch, equipped with the LeCoultre 146 calibre, measuring just 1.38 mm thick.

Following years of communication and information sharing between Switzerlands LeCoultre and Parisian watchmaker Jaeger, a friendship was formed and by 1937, the formidable Jaeger-LeCoultre was born.

Founded by Antoine LeCoultre in 1833, the brand has hundreds of inventions, over a thousand calibers to its name and some of the most important watches made in the 20 century, incliuding the Memovox, Reverso and Atmos. The company has been a fully owned subsidiary of the Swiss luxury group Richemont since 2000.