|Click on Cover to view in e-magazine format|
THE HIGH-PRECISION PATH FROM ICON TO CULT-OBJECT
When César de Trey and Jacques-David LeCoultre presented the Reverso watch in 1931, did they have any idea that they had given birth to one of the very few watch icons? Could they for one moment have imagined that this Art Deco watch specifically born to withstand the hard knocks sustained in a polo match would generate such enthusiasm that rapidly extended beyond its initial function? 80 years later, the Reverso watch is more vibrantly alive than ever. The only reversible watch to have found its way unscathed through watchmaking history, it has not only survived all the upheavals of the past century, but also demonstrated its exceptional versatility throughout its amazing career to date. The extraordinary decorative potential represented by the free surface on its back soon encouraged people to dream of various means of personalising these watches. Engraving, miniature painting, enamelling, gem-setting: the full range of decorative arts and crafts were soon called upon to enrich and personalise this “blank canvas” that was unprecedented in the watch industry. Nonetheless, above and beyond personalisation, exploration of the Reverso’s potential did not stop there. Its built-in swivel case and its dual nature soon provided new options for expressing various technical horological functions. Complications in turn adopted the Reverso, which came to be seen as a perfect showcase for their subtle intricacies. What other watch can show two faces, lending itself for example to the display of two time zones in such a user-friendly way? And what other watch is versatile enough to offer one face by day and another by night? Throughout its long history, the Reverso has steadily broadened its appeal to encompass gentlemen, elegant ladies, athletes, discerning connoisseurs, collectors and travellers alike. Having rapidly acquired iconic status in the watch industry, the Reverso has since then gradually become a genuine cult-object, with an instantly recognisable form that expresses function in truly peerless style. An object of which the use is so intrinsically bound up with its appearance. In this respect, as in so many others, the Reverso is a perfect expression of the exceptional watchmaking expertise cultivated by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Manufacture with the forty professions. This technical and aesthetic know-how is dedicated to a single purpose: precision. Whether the tireless quest for the highest possible timing precision, research into the reliability of the 50 calibres specially developed for the Reverso, their durability and their control, the pursuit of aesthetic precision, the meticulous perfecting of shapes and sizes, or the contribution of artistic crafts, the Reverso symbolises the zealous fervour and high standards that guide Jaeger-LeCoultre in its approach to watchmaking, day after day, hour by hour, and minute by minute.
REVERSO: THE EPIC SWIVEL
The Reverso is often referred to as a watchmaking “icon”. But what exactly does that mean? An “icon” in the initial sense of the term is an “image”, a “holy” image that is not a realistic portrayal, but carries a primarily symbolic meaning. Today, this symbolic meaning has extended to embrace all manner of domains. Nelson Mandela can thus be regarded as an “icon” of Africa and of human rights, and Marilyn Monroe as an “icon” of womanhood. On this basis, the Reverso is indeed a watchmaking icon, because it single-handedly symbolises the cardinal virtues of this art: beauty, sturdiness, precision, high-quality finishing, inventiveness,… And like all icons, it is accompanied by a founding myth which, in the case of the Reverso watch, took shape between British colonial India, the Vallée de Joux and Paris. A founding myth that mingles exotic charm, sportsmanship, technology and design.
Two men – César de Trey and Jacques-David LeCoultre – were to play essential roles in this adventure that began in 1930. César de Trey, a Swiss industrialist whose family made its fortune in dentistry and who built up an excellent international commercial network, had turned his talents to watchmaking since 1926. He had already met Jacques-David LeCoultre and become involved in distributing products from the Manufacture, particularly in British colonial India. While in a polo club there, British officers set him a challenge of creating an elegant watch that could be worn while engaged in this intense and virile sport. Upon returning from his travels, he reported this challenge to his friend and partner Jacques-David LeCoultre, one of the leading figures in the Swiss watch industry at the time. A visionary and a pioneer of precision which was in fact a personal obsession, the latter dreamed of definitively transforming his company, that had hitherto mainly specialised in producing and supplying watch movements, into a full-fledged brand offering its own finished watch models. To achieve this, Jacques-David LeCoultre relied on a special partner: the Jaeger atelier in Paris, a peerless creative design centre and a pioneer in the field of wristwatches. Implementation of the project began. César de Trey brought with him his international distribution networks, while LeCoultre & Cie and Jaeger offered their combined horological expertise, their know-how and their production tools. In 1931, Jacques-David LeCoultre and César de Trey founded the “Spécialités Horlogères” company that would supervise the birth of the Reverso project and handle distribution of the creations signed LeCoultre and Jaeger. In 1937, the company was to be renamed Jaeger-LeCoultre, marking the culmination of the process leading to the creation of the Brand as it is known today. On March 4th 1931, at exactly 1.15 pm, patent no. 712 868 describing “a watch able to slide in its cradle and swivel completely over” was filed in Paris with the Industrial Property Management Bureau of the French Ministry of Trade and Industry by René-Alfred Chauvot, an independent engineer who had been commissioned with this development. This document is the official birth certificate of the “icon” that the Reverso watch was soon to become.
1931: we are right in the midst of the Art Deco period. The Reverso is entirely in tune with the spirit of these times, which it interprets in a wonderfully classical manner. Its elegant proportions radiate the simplicity, the force and the timeless nature of the Doric order. Its softened rectangular shape is delineated by three gadroons that underscore and emphasise a restrained dial featuring a minute track. However, its case is completely original and composed of two parts: a fixed cradle or carrier, and a case housing the movement. The case swivels thanks to two tiny lugs that slide along grooves and enable the wearer to turn the watch in a simple and easy gesture, thereby protecting its dial from any direct impacts. Once it is turned over, the back reveals a polished surface that is every bit as elegant as the front. The challenge set by the British officers of combining sturdiness and elegance is thus brilliantly met, but the designers soon realise that they can go much further. By treating a watch to a second face for the very first time, the famous swivel will not only pave the way for all manner of personalisation options, but will also engender the creation of new functions and indications – as will be subsequently evidenced in the Reverso Duo, and more recently in the astonishing Reverso grande complication à triptyque that achieves the incredible feat of uniting civilian time, sidereal time and perpetual time within the same case and on three different faces, all driven by a the same movement. Since its birth, no less than 50 calibres, including Grande Complication movements, have been specifically developed for the Reverso which, over the decades, has been enriched with a power-reserve, a pointer-type calendar, chronograph functions, a tourbillon, a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar…
Behind the apparent simplicity of the elegant and robust solution provided lies an extremely complex construction. The first version of the Reverso watch comprised around 30 parts, but it could only be swivelled at the far end of the cradle. Moreover, this first generation was not water-resistant. The second generation, born in 1984, is not only water-resistant but enables the watch to swivel at any point along the cradle. The even more complex case comprises over 50 parts and is both extremely ergonomic and totally secure.
ARTISTIC CRAFTS DEDICATED TO EXPRESSING INTIMACY
A watch icon that is celebrating this year a full 80 years of an existence in which it has demonstrated its extraordinary versatility, the Reverso watch has gradually acquired cult-object status. Above and beyond the undeniable qualities of its construction and aesthetics, above and beyond the fact that it has become a symbolic object that journeys unscathed through time, the Reverso also elicits the most intimate desires and satisfies the most personal aspirations. A precision object built for action, the Reverso is above all an intimate object conveying intensely personal emotions. In this respect the Reverso quite simply has no equal, and each Reverso can be truly regarded as consistently unique, ever exclusive and always personally addressed to the man or woman for whom it is intended.
This personalisation, which may involve engraving, miniature painting, enamelling or gem-setting, becomes the point of convergence of the countless skills united within the Manufacture with 40 professions, and particularly of the artistic crafts that are exercised there. Right from its origins, the back of the Reverso watch was seen as a unique field of artistic expression in the watch industry, and hundreds of Reverso watches soon came to be engraved with initials, family crests, royal coats-of-arms, the insignia of sports, aviation or automobile clubs, of universities, or in commemoration of an exceptional sporting feat or a daring exploratory mission. Moreover, the imagination of those ordering such adornments is apparently boundless, and the Reverso has also been personalised by miniature portraits, exotic engravings, erotic scenes… Throughout its history, the back of the Reverso has lent itself to the depiction of all manner of desires.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of what is now an iconic watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre is launching a wide-scale personalisation programme that is unequalled in the sphere of luxury watchmaking. In response to customers’ wishes, it will encompass the entire spectrum of expertise cultivated within the Manufacture in the field of applied arts, jewellery and the art of watchmaking itself. Available to all those tempted to acquire a Reverso, this personalisation programme conducted by the artisans and artists of the Manufacture enables both the creation of exceptional watches, entirely designed according to the client’s aesthetic and technical choices, as well as their personalised decoration based on a keener than ever desire to fulfil all wishes and ideas, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. Future owners may choose to present their identity on the back of the Reverso, either by engraving initials in a chosen script or style, by depicting the map of their country, or having their fingerprint engraved. These symbols can be complemented by a coloured background, or inscribed within a family crest, or in the Art Deco style, and composed within geometrical frames. For a wedding, they may decide to symbolise the enduring nature of the union by having words engraved in a heart shape, or reproducing an interlacing motif or double initials. For the birth of a child, the Reverso may be chosen to carry the imprint of the newborn’s hand, or the date of a birthday or anniversary may be inscribed in a wide variety of scripts and characters. To celebrate life’s magical moments, they may opt for a floral representation engraved above their initials; of if they are sensitive to lucky numbers, or to zodiac signs, these personal preferences can be engraved at will. But personalisation can be taken even further. The engraving of a family crest or an insignia can become extremely elaborate, and involve reproducing the model, however fine and complex, by submitting it to the expert hands of the Manufacture’s master-engravers. Playing on engraving and alternating matt or brilliant polishing, satin-brushed or brushed surface treatments and even colourful options, the only limits are those of the personal imagination of those who order the personalisation, and who may also ask for a motif to be set with precious stones that they have selected (provided the front of the model is already gem-set). Finally, they may even decide to create their very own watch by personalising it right through to the dial, by choosing the strap or bracelet, and above all by adorning the back of their Reverso with a genuine miniature work of art created by the master enamellers working within the Manufacture. These artists can replicate with incredible exactitude all the paintings they are asked to reproduce, and are immensely skilled in the arts of engraving, miniature painting and the timeless secrets of cloisonné, champlevé and grand feu enamelling.
GRANDE REVERSO ULTRA THIN
With the new Grande Reverso Ultra Thin watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre is powerfully reaffirming the timeless and classical style of the Reverso. This model radiating admirable restraint and featuring a new case crafted in pink gold or steel reflects the essential identity codes of the Reverso, the founding principles of its legend. Embodying a return to noble classicism, the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin focuses on the purity of shapes, the finesse of their expression, the discreet elegance of lines, and the correct measurements, all of which have forged the mythical success of the Reverso. With its more generous proportions measuring 46 mm long and 27.5 mm wide, the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin nonetheless corresponds more closely to the dimensions favoured by contemporary connoisseurs. Moreover, its remarkable finesse – at just 7.2 mm thick, compared with the 9.4 mm of the original – endows it with a particularly refined and harmonious presence. Fitted with an alligator leather strap, it displays the hours and minutes on a silvered dial of exemplary purity, clarity and readability, simply marked in the middle with a guilloché pattern surrounded by the Art Deco minute track that has become the inimitable Reverso signature. The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin is driven by a mechanical manually-wound movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822. Entirely assembled and decorated by hand, this extremely reliable and ultra-precise 134-part, 21-jewel movement beats at a cadence of 21,600 vibrations per hour and is endowed with a 45-hour power-reserve.
GRANDE REVERSO ULTRA THIN TRIBUTE TO 1931
In direct tribute to the proud lineage of Reverso watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre is also offering a limited-edition anniversary model, the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931. An authentic re-edition of the first legendary model, this one faithfully reproduces its appearance while adapting it to the new and more generous proportions of the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin. Issued in a steel version with black dial, and a limited edition of 500 for the pink gold and white dial variation, the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 features a dial which, exactly like on the original, bears only the inscription “Reverso”, while the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo is discreetly engraved on the base of the watch cradle. Hours and minutes run along the famous minute track rimming the dial, lending it an unmistakable touch of Art Deco purity.
GRANDE REVERSO LADY ULTRA THIN
In this anniversary year, Jaeger-LeCoultre is offering an exclusive new Reverso line intended for women: the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin. “Pure” and “true” Reverso watches, entirely in tune with the very essence of this Art Deco watch, but reworked and resized with softer lines for enhanced femininity. The case has been finely sculpted, adopting a slight curve that gives a lighter touch to its contours and optimises its ergonomic appeal by ensuring it gently moulds women’s wrists and is even more comfortable to wear. Its cradle has also been given a distinct curve that makes it even easier to swivel. Its lugs are rounded and softened. The subtle rethinking of its lines, volumes and planes creates an overall impression of harmonious sensuality and refinement. Its dial has evolved and now features a rounded central motif forming a stylised evocation of the famous minute track. Hours and minutes are thus simply and clearly displayed on extremely refined dials adorned with a sunburst guilloché specially developed for this new collection. The Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin, thus rejuvenated and more radiantly feminine than ever, is interpreted in a broad collection encompassing steel and gem-set steel models on leather straps or steel bracelets, or pink gold watches set with two rows of round diamonds on leather straps or pink gold bracelets. The steel bracelets have been entirely redesigned. Both supple and structured, they endow this new Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin with an even more dynamic, energetic and youthful appearance.
The Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin model is equipped with Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 846, a mechanical manually-wound model that is crafted, assembled and decorated by hand.
Symbolising the potential afforded by the very principle of the swivel that gave rise to the Reverso watch, the Reverso Duetto has been revisited for this anniversary year.
REVERSO DUETTO DUO
This approach is exemplified in the new Reverso Duetto Duo, of which the dual sides of its nature – destined for daytime on the front and night-time on the back – are distinguished in such elegant style. On the daytime side, the Reverso Duetto Duo displays a limpid, extremely pure face. Its silvered dial swept over by hour and minute hands is admirably restrained, adorned with Art Deco inspired stylised numerals and stamped with a traditional minute track framing the finely decorated central rectangle. Turning over the pink gold case of the Reverso Duetto Duo reveals its nocturnal face graced with two rows of round diamonds accentuating its black dial. Two golden hands glide gently around this sophisticated dial dedicated to the night, free of any numerals and hour-markers but bearing a central gold elliptical shape resembling the contour of a full moon. At 6 o’clock, an exquisite day/night indication is shaped like a moon crescent surrounded by stars. Representing an impressive technical feat, this model with its dual diurnal/nocturnal nature – understated by day and ultra-refined by night – displays two different time zones driven by a single mechanical movement. This unique performance accomplished by a single movement able to indicate two different time zones simultaneously on two different faces is powered by Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 854, a splendid mechanical manually-wound movement crafted, decorated and assembled by hand. Measuring 3.8 mm thick, oscillating at 21,600 vibrations per hour, this 180-part, 21-jewel movement has a 45-hour power-reserve.
REVERSO DUETTO CLASSIQUE
Drawing upon the charms of its mobile nature when playing the various games in which it excels thanks to its dual personality, the Reverso Duetto Classique changes face while displaying a single time on both sides of its reversible 38.7 x 23 mm case made of steel or 18-carat pink gold. Its Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 865 drives a double set of hands turning in opposite directions that enables the Reverso Duetto Classique to constantly play on appearances in step with the changing moods of the woman wearing it. Paying tribute to the 80th anniversary of the Reverso, the new design of the boutique edition displays the letter “R” at 8 o’clock, both as a symbol of the Reverso line and in a nod to the Roman numeral for 80. Its steel version, issued in a 180-piece limited edition, sparkles with 32 full-cut F-G, VVS diamonds (approx. 0.32 carats), while the pink gold version, issued in a 80-piece limited edition, is set with 64 diamonds (approx. 0.64 carats ) and its crown with a delightful cabochon (approx. 0.075 carats).
Like the Reverso Duetto Classique, the pink gold Reverso Duetto offers two contrasting faces, depending on whether it is worn facing front or back. First launched in 2005, it has been redesigned in order to accentuate still further its femininity and the contrast between its “daytime” face on the silvered dial that strictly follows Art Deco aesthetic principles, and its “night-time” face on the black dial, surrounded by two lines of diamonds and featuring a more supple radiating central motif.
GRANDE REVERSO DUO
Introduced in 2009, the Grande Reverso Duo returns to the spotlight, identical and faithful to its identity, but in slightly smaller, timeless dimensions. Its case is subtly reduced from 52 x 31.3 mm to 48.5 x 27.5 mm, and 9.7 mm thick – a classic and perfectly well-proportioned size.
Like its predecessor, it gracefully and elegantly reinterprets the important dual time-zone functions that is so valuable to any frequent travellers. On the front, the main time zone is displayed on a delicately guilloché silvered dial. A broad gently cambered aperture at 12 o’clock shows the date synchronised with the main time zone, while small seconds run over a rectangular subdial at 6 o’clock. The back features “home time”, the reference time of which the full 24 hours are indicated at 6 o’clock by a small hand pointing to the hour of day or night in this time zone from which the traveller departed and to which he will return. This sentimental “home time” is displayed by contrast on a black dial. All these various functions can be adjusted by the same crown controlling Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 986, a mechanical manually-wound miniature marvel that is crafted, assembled and decorated by hand, beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour and endowed with a 48-hour power-reserve.
GRANDE REVERSO 976
Fine understatement, fine classicism and fine watchmaking combine to make this Grande Reverso 976 a timeless symbol housing a watch mechanism in the vanguard of the research conducted by the Manufacture. Inside the 48.5 x 30 mm case in 18-carat pink gold (80-piece limited edition) or steel (180-piece limited edition) and beneath its dial beats Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 976, equipped with a large variable-inertia balance oscillating at the substantial frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This rhythm guarantees exceptional accuracy throughout its 48-hour power-reserve. Moreover, an additional mechanism serves to ensure precise adjustment of the hour hand either forward or backward, without disturbing the minutes and seconds indications and thereby enabling smooth and easy handling of the time zones. This finely decorated, superbly structured and exceptional movement resembling a genuine mechanical sculpture, can be admired on the back of the Grande Reverso 976 watch, protected beneath a luminous sapphire crystal ensuring its perfect water resistance. Paying tribute to the 80th anniversary of the Reverso, the new design of the boutique edition displays the letter “R” at 8 o’clock, both as a symbol of the Reverso line and in a nod to the Roman numeral for 80.
MASTER GRANDE TRADITION À TOURBILLON 43
In this anniversary year of the Reverso watch, the other lines by the Manufacture are also reaffirming the pre-eminence of the cardinal virtues of fine watchmaking: precision, readability, and timelessness. This is certainly true of the new version of its famous Master Tourbillon equipped with the legendary Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 978 which brilliantly won first prize in the Chronométrie 2009 International Timing Competition held in May 2009 by the Watchmaking Museum in Le Locle. Embodying a resolutely traditional expression of horological classicism, this new version is fitted with a new 43 mm case in pink gold or in platinum (a Chronométrie Prize 200-piece commemorative series) that is remarkably slim for such a complex movement. In the same spirit, the lugs are slimmer and the bezel is also thinner so as to provide the largest possible scope for expression on the eggshell white or ruthenium-coloured dial. Endowed with an appearance that immediately conveys the refinement of its technical sophistication, the Master Grande Tradition à Tourbillon 43 is eminently readable and presents a rigorously well ordered arrangement of slender high-precision hour and minute hands pointing to hand-applied hour-markers, a pointer-type jumping date running around the inner bezel ring, a GMT function with 24-hour indicator at 12 o’clock, and a majestic tourbillon at 6 o’clock distinguished by its perfectly mastered finesse, equilibrium and classicism.
MASTER ULTRA THIN MOON
A iming directly for essentials, targeting the greatest possible purity, opting for absolute sobriety: such are the essential rules governing the Master Ultra Thin line introduced by the Manufacture in 2008 with the Master Ultra Thin 38 and Master Grande Ultra Thin models. This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre is enriching the line representing the ultimate in watchmaking refinement with a new Master Ultra Thin Moon 39 mm watch in pink gold or steel. Hours, minutes and seconds run gracefully over the resolutely pure silvered or gilded dial, delicately adorned with a sunburst brushed motif, applied hour-markers and a fine, masculine minute track. A broad moon-phase indication appears at 6 o’clock, surrounded by a pointer-type date display. Nothing more, nothing less than the very essence of the watchmaking art. To give life to this classic timepiece, Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed a new 246-part movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 925, beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour and endowed with a 43-hour power-reserve.
A classic model in the Master collection, the Master Geographic watch is being treated this year to a complete review and reinterpretation of its lines, focused on enhancing the harmony and balance of their graphic design and ensuring exceptionally readable displays of its technical functions. So as to enable the purest and most understated possible expression of its functions, harmoniously arranged on a subtly curved and sunburst silvered dial, the lines of its 39 mm pink gold or steel case have been slimmed down, its crowns redesigned, its lugs tapered and its bezel thinned out. The power-reserve, pointer-type date, dual time zone combined with a small day/night indication and the aperture revealing the geographic function have also been redesigned, endowing the new Master Geographic, powered by a magnificent automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 937, with a truly horological and timeless appeal.
DUOMÈTRE À QUANTIÈME LUNAIRE
In 2007, Jaeger-LeCoultre launched a new collection based on a revolutionary concept and named the Duomètre line. Its goal was to ensure the best possible timing precision, while including a complication whose operation would not interfere with the movement’s running accuracy. The solution was unique in its kind: two separate barrels supplying energy to two separate mechanisms, one devoted to the indication of the hours and minutes, and the other intended to power a complication – with both synchronised by a single regulating organ. After the Duomètre à Chronographe watch equipped with Calibre 380, which immediately won a number of awards, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire, driven by Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 381, equipped with a single regulating organ – comprising the balance, wheel and lever – and two separate mechanisms. The first of these mechanisms serves exclusively to transmit to the balance the energy provided by a first barrel with a 50-hour power-reserve. The escapement thus has its very own energy source that is independent of that which is supplied to the complication – hours, minutes, seconds, date and moon phase – by a second barrel. The running of the latter, which also has a 50-hour power-reserve, in no way interferes with that of the first barrel, which means the precision of the regulating organ is thus not disturbed or influenced by the operation of the functions. These functions and displays are “piloted” by a jumping seconds hand directly linked to the balance-wheel and in constant rotation. This seconds hand is called “jumping” because it does indeed perform six jumps a second in order to adjust the seconds with superior precision. This 1/6th of a second adjustment is greatly facilitated by the exclusive Jaeger-LeCoultre mechanism which, when the crown is pulled out to the adjustment position, automatically resets the jumping seconds hand as well as the central seconds hand. It thereby guarantees superlative precision that no other watch can offer users in adjusting their timepiece – especially because of another remarkable special feature that means the movement continues running even when the displays have been stopped for adjustment. The dual nature of this watch is perfectly expressed on its dial, which is also clearly divided into two distinct zones. The left bears the moon-phase indication, the pointer-type date display and the escapement barrel power-reserve. The extremely beautiful moon phase, as it appears in the Northern hemisphere, is shown through a window, while the status of the moon as seen from the Southern hemisphere is indicated by a double hand pointing on one side to the day of the lunar cycle, and on the other to the graphic depiction of its phase. The hours and minutes are displayed on the right, while the centre features the seconds hand, as well a smaller subdial at 6 o’clock on which the jumping seconds hand leaps from one 1/6th of a second to the next. It is possible to read the two power-reserve indications on both sides of the dial. The decoration of Calibre 381, representing a rare degree of hand-crafted excellence, may be admired through the sapphire crystal case-back.
MEMOVOX TRIBUTE TO DEEP SEA
In 1959, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the first automatic diver’s watch equipped with an alarm, the Memovox Deep Sea. Three years earlier, in 1956, Commander Cousteau had revealed the splendours of the underwater world with his famous film The World of Silence, arousing unprecedented enthusiasm for the new scuba diving techniques he had developed. The Memovox Deep Sea, water resistant to 10 bar and equipped with an alarm warning the diver it was time to return to the surface, met with astonishing success. Nonetheless, only 1,061 of these watches were created between 1959 and 1962, in two different collections: one intended for the European market, featuring a fixed bezel marked with large luminescent triangles, and a black dial; and another designed for the American market and fitted with a different dial. Today, after the successful re-edition of the famous 1965 Polaris watch under the name Memovox Tribute to Polaris, Jaeger-LeCoultre is re-issuing a model identical to the original that is much prized by collectors and named Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea. The only difference is its diameter that has been slightly broadened from 39 mm to 40.5 mm. It is however equipped with the same automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956 as the original, identical to the one powering the Memovox Tribute to Polaris except it has no date display, whereas its predecessor did. Two steel limited series are available: 959 reproducing the line originally intended for the European market, and 359 of the line designed for the American market (the number 59 is a nod to the birth date of this historical watch).
Source: Europa Star December - January 2011