Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal.885 18ct 1951
Since the founding of Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1833, the company has had a very inventive history, developing over 1,249 mechanical calibres, registering 400+ patents and playing a tremendous role in the development of the industry as a whole. Whether it is the keyless pocket watch, calibre 101 or the iconic Reverso, it would be difficult to imagine a historical account of watchmaking without the mention of Jaeger-LeCoultre. The company has always been a true ‘Manufacturer’ of the finest quality watch movements. This is unusual because more often than not, high-end brands such as Rolex, Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin have bought in their movements for particular needs. For example, in 1967 when Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin needed an ultra-thin automatic movement, it was to Jaeger-LeCoultre they turned, to produce it for them. Furthermore, the exquisite Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal.920, is still in production and in use by both Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet today.
A simply stunning original Jaeger-LeCoultre gentleman’s dress watch in 18ct yellow gold from 1951. As can be seen, the dial is the main feature here, with a totally charming design in two-tone gold and salmon. The dial is original, unrestored and untouched and considering the age of the watch, is in remarkable condition. The case and movement are also in exceptionally good condition, making this watch the perfect addition to any collection.
The original, unrestored two-tone dial carries painted standard Arabic numerals, held in a pink gold chapter ring, surrounded by an otherwise salmon pink dial. The numerals are complemented by the original blued steel ‘leaf’ hands and centre seconds hand. The hands have been restored and filled with safe, soft luminous paint, which mimics the original look of the hands in both a light and a darkened room.
The dial catches the light beautifully and has a slight vertical grain which is faint and subtle. The dial is simply and correctly signed ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’, with ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.
The overall appearance is totally charming, somewhat unique and as ever, as with all vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre, simple elegance.
Normally we restore the dial as part of the restoration of a watch as a whole. This is because watch dials over 50 years old are usually discoloured and damaged due to sunlight and air pollution. This typically takes the form of fading, staining. pitting, speckling etc. Damage is also often caused to a dial during servicing, since anything which touches it can leave a mark. Here however, this dial is in exceptionally good condition so we have left it completely alone, for the sake of originality and because some people simply prefer the charm of an unrestored dial. There is just some fairly even speckling around the outer edges of the dial and one of two very light marks around the centre section.
Jaeger-LeCoultre movements really are of the highest quality and certainly among the top tier of most highly regarded Swiss watch manufacturers. The movement used in this watch is the manual wind Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 885 which is a very rare calibre. It is in sparkling condition having just been fully overhauled and serviced by our Master Watchmaker. This involves complete disassembly of the watch movement to all its component parts, close inspection of all critical parts under high magnification and then replacement where necessary, using only original manufacturer parts. The following stage is lubrication using individually specified lubricants for differing parts of the movement and careful re-assembly before regulating / timing. This watch therefore winds and sets smoothly is keeping accurate time, consistently, to within +7 seconds per day! This is outstanding for any vintage watch of this age and has been confirmed by our electronic timegrapher. We therefore we have no hesitation in offering this watch with our 12 months warranty*.
This movement is signed ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ ‘Fab Suisse’ and ‘Swiss’ with the calibre number 885 and the serial number 213702 which indicates this watch was produced circa 1951.
*Please note, our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
This larger-sized 34mm case is of a superbly made two-piece design for improved dust and moisture protection. It has a thin integral bezel and beautiful swept-back lugs which taper gently around the wrist.
The case is in excellent condition and has simply required a very gentle and sympathetic clean and polish. The watch has obviously been very well cared for as there are no dings, scratches or marks visible to the naked eye.
Inside the case-back, all is correctly marked and as expected with ‘LeCoultre Co Swiss’, Swiss 18ct hallmarks, the case reference number 20007 and the case serial number, 1319430. The exterior of the case-back is neatly left blank. The watch case has not been over-polished and importantly, the case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved.
Please note – vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap and Buckle
The watch is fitted with a new, high quality Hirsch Alligator strap and gold-plated Jaeger-LeCoultre buckle. If a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown burgundy and black straps in stock, in plain, padded leather, alligator, crocodile or lizard skin.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating the watch to circa 1951.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.
The watch comes complete with a high quality hardwood presentation box, as shown in the photographs.
This is a simply wonderful vintage gold Jaeger-LeCoultre watch which is many times more stylish than the modern equivalent. Even though it is around 70 years old, it is still completely fresh, reliable and practical to wear as your everyday watch, should you wish. Most of all it is a thing of beauty – some may say a ‘work of art’ from one of the most prestigious names in Swiss watch-making. However you wish to view it, this time-piece will make an excellent investment and heirloom piece, as well as be something to treasure, use and enjoy. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold watches grows ever larger, the limited supply allied to high demand means prices will climb ever higher!
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by UK bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.
If you have any questions please call on landline 0207 727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.
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- Store Name: Vintage Gold Watches London Ltd
- Vendor: Vintage Gold Watches London Ltd
96 Kensington High Street
United Kingdom (UK)
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