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The Best Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches For Supreme Elegance

The best pieces from "the watchmaker's watchmaker".

The Best Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches For Supreme Elegance

While some watch manufacturers have models that are considered ‘must-haves’ for avid watch collectors – the Rolex Submariner or the OMEGA Speedmaster, for example – few brands come close to the outright exquisiteness presented by luxury Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre.

The company, founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre, has an enormous number of accolades and patents to its name, including the world’s smallest movement, the first keyless watch and the groundbreaking Atmos Clock, which generates its power from temperature and atmospheric pressure changes.

Suffice to say, Jaeger-LeCoultre is an absolute master in the field of horology and one that demands the respect of watch enthusiasts around the world. No wonder they’re called “the watchmaker’s watchmaker”.

Jaeger-LeCoultre was originally known as LeCoultre & Cie from 1866 until 1937. ‘Jaeger’ came along thanks to a partnership with Edmond Jaeger, a Paris-based watchmaker who worked with the French Navy. In 1903, Edmond set Swiss watch manufacturers the task of actually producing ultra-thin movements he had designed and invented. LeCoultre accepted and succeeded with the LeCoultre Calibre 145.

LeCoultre was also – in 1903 – the exclusive movement supplier to Cartier after the famous French jeweller made a fifteen-year agreement with Jaeger (and LeCoultre produced all of Jaeger’s movements). It was this collaboration that eventually spawned the Jaeger-LeCoultre name.

With over 1,200 calibres, 400 patents and hundreds more inventions, picking the very best Jaeger-LeCoultre watches to buy right now isn’t the easiest of tasks. However, just as LeCoultre accepted Edmond Jaeger’s challenge, we have accepted this challenge ourselves and present to you the coolest JLC watches to buy this year.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Large Monoface

Reference Number: 3858522
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Size: 45.6mm x 27.4mm
Price: AU$12,600

The Reverso is an absolute classic; not just as a Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece, but in the entire history of wristwatches. First launched in 1930, the Reverso was designed to be worn by British Army Officers in India, where it also needed to be able to withstand the rigours of polo matches. The dial can be flipped over – or reversed – so that the face would be concealed and therefore protected from mallet strokes. Its square face helps lend it towards being worn in more formal settings, but its Art Deco styling and pure aesthetic suit casual applications as well.

This Reverso Classic Large Monoface is a slightly more restrained take on the Reverso. It has only one face, with clean Arabic numerals, some funky blue second hands and a small seconds display at 6 o’clock. Turn it over and you’ll reveal a clean slate of steel, perfect to engrave a message on.

It’s also mounted on a minimalist leather strap made by luxury Argentine bootmakers Casa Fagliano, which is both comfortable and stylish.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox

Reference Number: 9038670
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Size: 42mm
Price: AU$19,700

The Polaris Memovox is another equally iconic model from the JLC history books. First released in 1968 as part of the Polaris series, the Memovox edition has the extra selling point of a mechanical alarm, or “voice of memory” – JLC first launched a standalone Memovox timepiece in 1950 – which was designed to assist divers to tell them when it was time to resurface.

To set it, you need to use the crown found at 2 o’clock, which rotates the internal bezel upon which there is a small triangle. Simply move this to the time you want the alarm to go off at, and you’re done.

This particular model of the Polaris Memvox was released to commemorate the watch’s 50th anniversary and is limited to 1000 pieces. The coupling of a black dial with off-white hour markers and hands (both of are treated with lume) give it a thoroughly vintage feel that helps it acknowledge its roots. It is, however, a completely modern affair with a rubber strap adding to its sporting credentials.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar

Reference Number: 4148420
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Size: 40mm
Price: AU$20,300

JLC introduced this clever watch in 2020, but the Master Control family of watches has been around since 1992. The ‘Control’ in its name refers to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 1000 Hours Control certification, which JLC debuted with this model range and is now regarded as one of the most gruelling quality control regimes in watchmaking.

Ultra-clean, this calendar model features day and month indicators at 10 and 2 o’clock respectively, a date hand plus a blue moonphase disc framed within a small seconds subdial.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Quantième Lunaire

Reference Number: 6042422
Case Material: Rose Gold
Size: 42mm
Price: AU$78,500

Now for something even more complicated. JLC’s Duomètre models are some of their most refined and complex. They feature a characteristic large double subdial design that evoke observatory instruments – an aesthetic heightened by their classic design language.

This Duomètre features a semi-openworked dial which reveals parts of the model’s fine watchmaking movement, the in-house calibre 381, a manual-winding number with a 50-hour power reserve. Its two larger dials are dedicated to a date display with integrated moonphase as well as a traditional hours and minutes indicator.

The third subdial is actually part of the jumping stop seconds system, which ensures accuracy of up to 1/6th of a second when setting the time piece.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual

Reference Number: 1308470
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Size: 39mm
Price: AU$40,100

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Ultra Thin line of watches has always been revered within the watch community. For JLC to pack in various complications with different models, yet keep the timepieces much thinner than you’d expect, is no easy task. This model complete with perpetual calendar – launched in 2013 – is testament to that, coming in at just 9.2mm thick, which is, quite frankly, insane.

While it can also be had with either a rose or white gold case for those who love their precious metals, the stainless steel option should make a lot of watch fanatics particularly excited, as it makes a perpetual calendar that bit more accessible.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétual

Reference Number: 5253420
Case Material: White Gold
Size: 43mm
Price: On Request

If ever you needed evidence to prove that JLC really is a cut above the rest of the competition, then this mouthful of a watch is it. A monumental feat of engineering, there’s a lot going on with this watch.

Your eyes will no doubt be drawn to the gyrotourbillon, or multi-axis flying tourbillon: this complication was invented by JLC and sees a regular tourbillon cage mounted inside another cage, so that it rotates on both vertical and horizontal axes, thus eliminating the effects of gravitational forces.

Elsewhere there is a minute repeater with a Westminster chime to indicate the quarters between hours and minutes, again, no easy accomplishment. Oh, and then you also have a perpetual calendar, a walk in the park for a manufacturer of JLC’s calibre. In fact, the JLC 184 movement inside has 1056 parts, all in a case that is just 43mm wide and 8.9mm high. Hats off to JLC.

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Best Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches FAQ


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