A Few Things To Know About Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Watch of Royals and Presidents
No doubt, when it comes to watches, a timepiece by Jaeger-LeCoultre is among the most wanted. Because of its grand heritage and technical innnovation, a JLC watch lends elegance, power, and respect to its lucky wearers.
This is more than a watch that tells you if you are late. It is the culmination of 185 years of perfecting the art of telling time itself. Here's what you need to know if you're thinking about slapping on a JLC on your wrist soon.
First, this is how to say it. According to watchtime.com, “Jaeger-LeCoultre” is pronounced as “zhey ZHER leh KOOLT.” That can feel funny. You can also say, “JLC,” but this can denote another thing, a certain on-hiatus actor. Pick your poison. Or just point.
The great watch house began in a humble barn. In 1833, Antoine LeCoultre, an avid inventor, transformed his barn on the borders of Swiss Jura into a watchmaking workshop, in which he made timepieces of great accuracy. One of his most important creations was the Millionemetre. Today, this spirit of innovation is seen in the more than 1,200, calibers that the house has created.
The Jaeger part of its name comes from a challenge. In 1903, Jacques-David LeCoultre, grandson of Antoine LeCoultre, took up a challenge by Edmond Jaeger, a Parisian watchmaker, to develop ultra-thin watches. The collaboration has stuck ever since.
They're on top of the heap. Obviously, the Swiss watchmaker belongs to the elite and small circle of luxury watchmakers, of which other hard-to-pronounce houses such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and A. Lange & Söhne belong. The watchmaker has produced magnificent creations such as the Gyrotourbillion, a grand complication. The very first featured a tourbillion, perpetual calendar, and running equation of time. A more recent iteration is harder to explain, so we'll lead you to this page.
Presidents prefer it. Lyndon B. Johnson owned a LeCoultre Memovox World Time, while Bill Clinton added a very special Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Alarm Navy SEALs to his impressive watch collection.
An almost-king almost wore one. A bespoke JLC Reverso Calibre 411 was intended for Edward VIII, but the would-be king abdicated the throne in favor of Wallis Simpson—and then never got around to wearing it. Notably, the watch features, on its reverse, Edward's name and coronation year, both of which are topped by a magnificent crown.
If there is one thing to get... Hands down, it would be that one, the Reverso. The singular watch with dual faces—which allows for the presentation of two time zones or, if you prefer, the time on one side and a personal memento on the other (an engraving of a special date or even an etching of your loved one's face)—is iconic. It is elegant and inventive. You need one.
That rule follows. If you have to ask, you can't afford it. But if you really want to know, a stainless steel Reverso, for example, begins at $4,150 (excluding sales tax). That's around P215K (a steal!). The most complicated Reversos starts at Price Upon Request.