This is a super elegant art deco Jaeger Le Coultre gentleman’s watch from the late 1930s. The rectangular watch case was very popular during the 1920s and 30s and coupled with the dial design is a wonderfully evocative example of art deco style.
The watch case is made from “staybrite” steel, this was a proprietary alloy produced by Thomas Firth & Sons in England (who were the original creators of a rust-resistant steel alloy, which we now refer to as “stainless” steel). Stainless steel was still quite a new watch case material in the 1930s and shows the progressive forward thinking of this period of modernity.
The watch has sweep seconds (i.e. the seconds hand concentric with the hour and minute hands, rather than in a sub-dial). This gives a more modern look than the traditional watch face and shows how the Swiss manufacturers were starting to modernise in the inter-war years: wrist watch wearing was still a relatively new phenomenon at this time, it only really caught on in the years after the first world war.
Looking in Zaf Basha’s excellent reference work on Jaeger LeCoultre there is a scan of one of the Uniplan catalogues which shows a similar case and dial with sweep seconds, which is the named as a ref 413.
The watch has been fully serviced and adjusted, it’s running very well. The case has been cleaned, but as with all out vintage watches we have left it unpolished, so it has the usual marks of wear and the odd scratch, but nothing serious. The watch has been fitted with a new Hirsch leather strap and comes with our standard 12 month guarantee.
Case width: 22mm
Case material: stainless steel
Strap width: 18mm
Time keeping: grade A