This is a beautiful 1930s gentleman’s dress-chronograph manufactured by the famous firm of Jaeger LeCoultre. The watch is a dress-chronograph meaning it wasn’t principally designed for the professional timing of events (for example by scientists or pilots), but rather it was an expensive, sophisticated watch for a gentleman to wear to exhibit both his good taste and his affluence.
The watch has a gorgeous, unrestored black dial with gilt markings and all gold handset. The watch satisfies the desire in the 1930s for a small watch - at only 30.5mm across it is testament to the ingenuity of the engineering required to miniaturise the chronograph mechanism to make it fit into a small watch. Personally I think a small chronograph is one of the touchstones of top quality watchmaking - after all any fool can make a large chronograph!
The watch has a Jaeger LeCoultre calibre 281, unusually for JLC who prided themselves on making everything in-house, the ebauche, or base movement, was manufactured by the specialist firm of Universal Geneve who manufactured ebauches for many of the top Swiss brands. The movement is signed Jaeger on one of the bridges and at one time the dial was also signed “Jaeger”, however their name has either worn away or deliberately been obscured.
The watch has been fully serviced and regulated and the time keeping is first class. It is supplied with a new Hirsch leather strap. This is a very rare watch, perfect as a watch for the best occasions.
Please see vintage watch care advice here.
Case diameter (excluding winding crown): 30.5mm
Case material: 18 carat gold (hallmarked Glasgow 1936)
Strap width: 16mm
Time keeping: grade A