For sale we have an outstanding dress watch, dating to 1960 manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre, one of the most prestigious names in the Swiss watchmaking industry.
The watch is in good original condition, remaining unpolished, with all original parts. It has a well-proportioned 34mm 9ct gold case, with a luxurious yellow gold tone. To the right is the original JL signed crown. The dial is a classic Ivory/cream tone with simple and elegant applied hour baton markers. It has London assay office hallmarking for 9ct gold dating to 1960. Inside is a high-grade automatic calibre K880 movement from JLC which is keeping very good time.
The case has the mark DTE, the makers mark for De Trevars, which means the watch was manufactured for the British market. De Trevars were British importers and case makers for JLC during the 1950s and 60s when gold import tariffs were extraordinarily high.
The dial is simple, classic, and elegant. It is also well balanced with the applied baton hour markers, which also add texture. The 9, 12, 3 and 6 hour markers are excellent with facetted finish which reflects the light. The ivory-cream tone contrasts with the luxurious yellow gold tone of the case, hands and baton markers. It is the perfect dress watch dial which is executed perfectly and in a manner that isn’t achieved today.
The case is 34mm in diameter and is of high quality, which is immediately tangible when you hold the watch and feel the weight of the 9ct gold case. It is constructed of three pieces, with a waterproof screw case back. Despite the weight, the watch is effortlessly comfortable on the wrist due to its neat design, mix of surfaces and the 10mm case depth. The 42.25mm lug to lug measurement adds presence to the watch and the tapering of the lugs means this still wears beautifully. The case has British hallmarking with the makers mark DTE and London assay office marks dating it to 1960. The serial number to the rear of the case back is clearly visible which demonstrates the lack of wear the watch has experienced over the years.
The calibre K880 automatic movement could achieve chronometer grade standard in its day. It is so well designed that it was developed to become the calibre 881G which was fitted in the JLC Geomatic Chronometer watch. An evolution of the calibre, the K888 is still produced today. This shows the quality and staying power of such design.
The K before the calibre refers to the Kif Flector shock proofing which was designed and patented by Jaeger-LeCoultre. It has excellent cosmetic finishing with Geneva waves decorating the bright plates and rotor, whilst the screws are hand polished. With its timekeeping still being within -10 seconds a day, this is a very reliable watch.
Overall this is a wonderful vintage gold Jaeger-LeCoultre watch which has a timeless style to its design. Despite its 63 year of age, it is fresh and in original condition which makes it a practical and stylish watch to wear daily, or for special occasions. Those who wear Jaeger-LeCoultre know its quality and this is one that will appeal to the discerning collector.
Full condition report below. Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
The dial is original and is in very good condition. It has a couple of tiny dirt spots. There is some wear to the exterior on the left-hand side, but this is hard to see. The hour markers are original and have only slight corrosion marks. A good dial for the age.
The hands are original, in a gold one. They are in excellent condition and shine bright with little corrosion.
The acrylic crystal is original and is in good condition with only light marking.
The crown is original and is in good condition with light surface scratching. It is signed JL.
The 9ct gold case is in decent original condition with a polished finish. It has slight surface scratches with some light nicks. The gold tone is bright. The watch remains unpolished and original.
The case back is formed of 9ct gold and is in good condition. It has no denting and only light surface scratching. It has the original lightly brushed finish. There is an oxidisation mark to the centre. The serial number is clear.
The watch comes on a new genuine leather strap.
The movement is a LeCoultre calibre K880. It is an automatic movement, with sweep second hand and shock proofing. It has a jewel count of 17 and a frequency of 19,800 BPH.
The service history is unknown, but the movement is very clean and is has clearly been well kept. It’s keeping time to -10 seconds a day, with an amplitude of 240 degrees and a beat error of 0.2m/s.
Case width: 34mm
Case width with crown: 36mm
Case length: 34.25mm
Case length lug to lug: 42.25mm
Case Depth: 10.25mm
Lug width: 17mm
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