Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm watch

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm watch

Watch collectors had almost given up hope on the legendary Memovox, which left an incredable mark since 1958. It finally celebrates its comback with two Master Memovox models at the SIHH2010, when Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled them. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm watch showcases exquisite craftsmanship and a timeless design. They are the Master Memovox pink gold watch (Q1412430) and Master Memovox stainless steel watch (ref Q1418430). These versions of the legendary Memovox watch are built with in-house movement calibre 956; the direct descendant of the first self-winding alarm watch movement. The movement has gone through constant improvements, and today, it is still a symbol of accuracy, reliability, and robustness.

A brief history of the legendary Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox

Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox Watch

For those of you not familiar with the legendary Memovox, it has the great glory of being the first timepiece with a self-winding movement with alarm function. The Caliber 815 was equipped with hammer-type winding and unidirectional mechanism. The new Master Memovox uses a bidirectional rotor, but whats similar is it supplies energy only to the main movement. In the early 1950s, the Memovox was produced; a period when citizens were trying to build new societies and recover from the trauma of World War 2. The self-winding alarm watch considered that rapidly changing lifestyles in which success meant wasting no time. Thus, the alarm function made on a mechanical memory was made very reliable. These Memovox watches are also affordable vintage watches for collectors.

From that moment, the pioneers of the modern colonist can be reminded of their schedules just by relying on their watches. Some of the uses include timing their parking meters etc. In 1959, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 825 is upgraded with a date aperture at 3 o’clock. By 1970 the Calibre 916 changed its swinging weight by a 360 degree winding rotor, increasing the balance frequency from 21,600 vph to 28,800 vph. In 1989, JLC presented its first movement showcasing an alarm function along with a perpetual calendar: Calibre 919 contains no fewer than 350 parts, including a bronze gong, which is special in watchmaking.

Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox Watches
Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox Watches

The Master Grand Réveil is equipped with two types of alarm by 2005. The wearer could choose between an audible ring, or, when in a meeting, a more discreet vibration. And since 2007, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm is powered by Calibre 912. This has presented a world time function as well as a digital display of the hour and minute to which the alarm has been set.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm watch Q1412530 and Q1418430

While the movement has kept their pioneer’s mechanical characteristics, the design has remained true to the watchmaking expression of sovereign elegance. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm watch Q1412530 and Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm watch Q1418430; are available in stainless steel or rose gold case – with a very well chosen case size of 40mm; this watch will fit nicely on the wrist.  The silver dial of the Memovox is punctuated by numerals marking the 6, 9 and 12 hours, while the 3 o’clock position gives way to the date.  Note the inner disk of the Master Memovox – the signature of the watch – marked with an arrow symbol to indicate the alarm time.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm - Pink Gold
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm – Pink Gold

Just one regret on the sliver dial version is that the combination of dial / hand does not always allow an instinctive legibility of the time. The luminescent material is not applied enough in order to ease the night-time visibility is another regret.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm - Stainless Steel
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox alarm – Stainless Steel

Overall, the solid case-back, struck with the new Master Control logo, ensures water resistance at a pressure of five atmospheres. Representing watchmaking in its purest form, the two Master Memovox models are available in 18-carat pink gold or steel, with the International version being issued in strictly limited series of 250 and 750 respectively. And if the gold Master Memovox Q1412530 priced around $20,350, is too expensive; the steel  Master Memovox Q1418430 is priced around $9,600.

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