Jaeger-LeCoultre’s earliest automatic alarm watch is celebrating the 60th birthday of its automatic movement with a very special release of the new Master Memovox Boutique Edition. This is an enduring story that brings pleasure to all Jaeger-LeCoultre devotees, whether they have the soul of a collector or simply a deep appreciation of objects with personality and infused with legend. To mark the occasion, an exclusive edition will be available in Jaeger-LeCoultre Boutiques around the world starting in November 2016. With its top-end watchmaking expertise, its distinct design, and the history associated with it, this gentleman’s watch remains a continuing object of desire. The Memovox line has been a continuous element in the Manufacture’s history since the 1950s, and has a story that resonates with both aficionados and collectors of Jaeger-LeCoultre watches.
Featuring a double crown and a mobile disc with the desired alarm time shown by a triangular indicator, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox watch made its mark on Fine Watchmaking the minute it was released. Its legendary movement, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 815, was the first automatic movement to boast an alarm function and has inspired many others since its introduction in 1956. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956 that drives the new JLC Master Memovox Boutique Edition ref. Q141848J is direct descendant of the original. At the heart of its movement and its design is the alarm function. This eminently audible mechanical memory was invented in the 1950s, infused with post-war optimism that saw men set out to conquer the world in modern global management roles. The distinctive alarm is set to a meeting time or an event, and can be used as well as a wake-up call. Fitted with a stainless steel case measuring 40 mm in diameter and a thickness of 14 mm, the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox Boutique Edition is water resistant to 50 meters and is equipped with a deep blue braided cotton strap —known as 'Tiestre'— with blue contrast stitching and black calfskin lining.
There are two crowns on this watch. The bottom crown is used for winding as well as setting the time. Setting the alarm function is simple: shift the top crown into neutral position. Then, in position 2, turn this crown in anti-clockwise direction until the desired ring time. In doing so, the mobile disc with its little “retro-style” and famous JLC Memovox indicator triangle turns around the dial to the alarm time. Turning the crown clockwise allows you to set the date, displayed in an aperture at 3 o’clock.
When Jaeger-LeCoultre’s designers set out to create this special anniversary edition of the automatic Memovox, they sought inspiration in a watch dating back to the 1970s, the Memovox Snowdrop. This rare model with its tranquil greyish-blue dial has lost none of its allure. Blue is quite emblematic of the Memovox collection and has always been a very popular color for this watch throughout its history.
The dial has kept all the characteristics of the Memovox Snowdrop. Baton hands with a luminescent coating move around a white “railtrack” minute circle, which delineates the outer rim of the sunray finish blue inner disc and the opaline blue outer ring. Additionally, on the new JLC Master Memovox Boutique Edition, the little triangle that acts as a hallmark of the alarm function also glows in the dark.
Moving across an opaline blue surface, the triple-faceted hour-markers are also coated in luminescent material and overlaid by a grey-blue “railtrack” minute circle – just like the original watch. As a crowning touch, the twelfth hour-marker is replaced with a Jaeger-LeCoultre logo. This watch constitutes a fine homage to its ancestor, giving a modern “retro-style” look and feel. As for the stainless steel case, its contemporary design with brushed finishes gives the wrist an unquestionable elegance. Turning it over to see its reverse side, one lights upon an entirely engraved case back, marked as belonging to a limited edition of 500 pieces. The “1000 Hours Control” symbol in the center certifies that the watch has successfully undergone 1000 hours of rigorous tests relating to its functioning and reliability. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956 is a fully in-house automatic movement composed of 268 parts and 23 jewels and which provides a power reserve of 45 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. The new JLC Master Memovox Boutique Edition is available in a limited edition of 500 pieces and exclusively sold throughout the 90 or so JLC Boutiques Worldwide.
Sticker Price $11,700 USD. For more info on Jaeger-LeCoultre click here.