Jaeger Le-Coultre are undoubtedly one of the World’s most well-respected watch manufacturers, coming with a fascinating history and a prestige to rival that of any other manufacturer.
Founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre, the company now boasts well over a thousand movements, all produced in-house at their factory in the Joux valley in the Swiss Jura. The movements the prestigious company creates are amongst the world’s most complex, with some containing almost 1,000 components.
Records of the LeCoultre family date from the 16th century, when Pierre LeCoultre, a French Huguenot, fled to Geneva, Switzerland from Lisy-sur-Ourcq in France to escape persecution on religious grounds. In the year 1558, Pierre LeCoultre was granted the status of “inhabitant "but did not stay for long and left within the following 12 months. He acquired a plot of land in the Vallee de Joux and - over time - a small community formed. In 1612, Pierre LeCoultre’s son built a church there, where it began to shape the village we now know as Le Sentier, where the company’s manufacture is still based today.
With the ingenious invention of a machine that allowed craftsmen to cut watch pinions from steel, in the year 1833 a small watchmaking workshop was formed by Antoine LeCoultre in the village, where he honed his watchmaking skills and laid the foundations for one of the longest-running ever watch factories.
From this workshop he invented the World’s most precise measuring device - known as the Millionometre in 1844 - and 3 years later he went on to create a system that extinguished the need for a key to wind or to set watches. He was later awarded a gold medal for his work on timepiece precision and mechanisation at the London’s first Universal Exhibition in 1851.
It was not until 1903 when a Paris born watchmaker Edmond Jaeger, challenged Swiss watchmakers to produce an ultra-thin movement that he had invented. Jacques-David LeCoultre accepted the challenge, and thus began one of Jaeger Le-Coultre’s most famous features to this day, ultra-thin movements. The company created the World’s very thinnest watch in 1907, which was equipped with the LeCoultre Calibre 145.
Due to the quality and robustness of their movements, Jaeger-LeCoultre were well sought after as suppliers to other luxury watch manufacturers. It was in the year 1907 that they agreed a deal with the French jeweller Cartier that all Jaeger movements for a period of fifteen years would be exclusive to Cartier.
Following this, it was in 1937 that the company was officially named Jaeger-LeCoultre, however for the first few years, the watches were sold under the name LeCoultre by Vacheron-LeCoultre, with slightly different case designs. After 1985, however, Jaeger-LeCoultre was adopted universally, becoming the brand which we know to this day. However, many of the brand’s most famous watches – such as the Reverso – saw their first editions produced before this point.
Over the years, Jaeger-LeCoultre have created some of the World’s most spectacular and sought after timepieces, each of which is carefully manufactured, creatively designed and tested rigorously. This type of precision and quality distinguishes Jaeger-LeCoultre as a brand, making them the ideal choice for those looking for a prestigious watch with a fascinating heritage.