In 1833, a man opened a small workshop in the Jura Mountains in Switzerland. Located in Le Sentier, Antoine LeCoultre was then obsessed with creating the most accurate and precise timepiece possible. And he succeeded, as LeCoultre was able to create the first micrometer, a device that is capable of measuring up to a thousandth of a millimeter.
Since then, Jaeger LeCoultre has introduced a number of innovations that have established its legacy as a pioneer in the watchmaking industry. It created the thinnest pocket watch movement in the world at 1.38 millimeters in 1903, a record that still stands to this day. It also pioneered the reverse concept through its Reverso line. First used in 1931, the watch would show the time of one zone on one side and the time in another zone on the reverse side. The company is also credited with the first automatic alarm wristwatch that it invented in 1953.
As a result, the company has kept a steady presence among the leading manufacturers of elegant watches in the world. Quality, however, comes at a price. Here is a list of the top 10 most expensive Jaeger LeCoultre watches ever made.
1. Jaeger LeCoultre Joaillerie 101 Manchette – $xx priceless
This is Jaeger LeCoultre’s gift to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her 60th year of reign. This is a one off version of the company’s iconic 101 jeweler watch. It has been said that the Queen actually wore a similar kind of timepiece at the time of her official coronation in 1953, more than a year after ascending to the throne after the death of her father, King George VI. It is registered in the record books as the watch with the smallest mechanical movement, with 98 tiny parts weighing around one gram each making up the watch. It features 576 diamonds and a sapphire dial. One look at the watch and you would think it was actually a bracelet. There is a winding crown at the back of the watch and the hands look like a black leaf. Those square items on the bracelet are actually white gold that weigh 18 carats.
2. Jaeger LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie – $2.5 million
This is a minute repeater with around 1,300 parts and 26 complications, making it one of the most complicated timepieces in the world today. It is made of white gold that weighs 18 carats. Aside from the minute repeater, the watch also features a tourbillon balance wheel, grande and petit sonnerie and a dial that is partial skeleton. There is also a Westminster chimes and a silent mode. There is also a perpetual calendar with retrograde day, date and month indicator. It even has a leap year indicator. The watch features an easy to read time with an instantaneous jumping hour display. It also has separate power reserve indicators for the mainspring device and the sonnerie.
3. Jaeger LeCoultre Master Grand Tourbillon – $681,000
This is an automatic winding watch that features engraving and enameling. The engraved parts all shine through because of the enamel that is closely bound to the metal support of the watch. It creates a feeling of depth because of the various effects of light. The bezel is set in diamonds and the watch also features a tourbillon cage.
4. Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Complication a Triptyque – $600,000
This watch is quite huge which may be a drawback for some. But with all the complications in this timepiece, it is easy to understand why. One of the most complicated wristwatches ever made, the watch has a perpetual calendar on the third face. It also has a sunrise and sunset indicators and a tourbillon escapement. In addition, it also has a zodiac indicator and a celestial star chart.
5. Jaeger LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon – $404,000
This is a limited edition watch with only 75 made in total. It began production around 2004 and 2005 and even then, the company put a maximum into the number of pieces it would release to around 20 each year. The case is made of platinum and the dial is ruthenium and plated with rhodium. The watch also features a crocodile band and a sapphire crystal. It is also water resistant up to a distance of 50 meters.
6. Jaeger LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater 1833 – $386,270
This is also a limited edition watch with only 175 pieces ever made. The rose gold skeleton watch has a beautiful face and features a minute repeater. The gongs of the minute repeater mechanism are also welded to the back of the sapphire glass, making it one of the most innovative minute repeater ever made.
7. Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Tradition Grande Complication – $365,000
This is a manual winding watch with a case size measuring 44 millimeters in diameter. It features a 24-hour display and tourbillon window. Only 75 pieces of this watch were ever made.
8. Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 – $350,000
This watch is considered as the mother of all Reversos. It features a double-axis tourbillon with cylindrical hairspring. It is made up of 373 parts and 58 jewels that allow the watch to keep on turning for 50 hours. It is encased in one massive barrel to accommodate the spherical tourbillon. The case is measured at around 16 millimeters thick and the movement alone is at 11.1 millimeters thick. A secondary integrated lock slider is located near the crown to ensure that accidental reversing will not occur.
9. Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Tradition Tourbillon Quantieme Perpetual – $138,000
This watch features a tourbillon cage made of ultra light titanium and located at the six o’ clock position. There is also a perpetual calendar complication with the month, day and date located at the 12, 3 and 9 o’ clock positions and the year at the center in the top subdial.
10. Jaeger LeCoultre Duometre a Quantieme Lunaire – $100,000
This watch has a dual wing system and features silver, golden gears and polished pinions set in golden chatons. All parts are hand-finished and the bridges feature exquisite striping.