Jaeger LeCoultre vintage

A great era for watches of distinction for me is the 1945 to 1955 period when some of the most wonderful dress watches appeared.  Moving away from the rectangular ’30’s and ’40’s styles towards the round case watches that are probably still the most common today.  Here is a beauty – a solid 18ct Rose Gold Jaeger leCoultre from around 1949-1952 era in perfect condition.

Jaeger LeCoultre 18ct Rose Gold vintage dress watch

This watch has an oyster colored dial with applied gold markers, with an inner ring showing Arabic numbers at 3, 9 and 12, with gold dagger hands, sub second dial and an acrylic glass.  The case is hallmarked on the lugs as 18ct gold and the watch is 34mm diameter (35mm with crown), so a most sensible size in amongst the oversize stuff that seems to be around these days and very wearable.

The back is unmarked and pristine and the watch is fitted to an alligator leather strap and is in about as perfect condition as any pre-owned vintage watch I’ve seen and a worthy addition to my vintage collection.  I have two vintage collections actually – the first comprises items I may pick up at local auctions or fairs, hopefully at low prices and mostly are simple vintage pieces and where the maker does not influence me greatly, but for whatever reason they take my fancy, though obviously I look for reasonably good examples.  The second collection however is for more collectable pieces and of higher quality basically, and here Jaeger LeCoultre certainly fits this category.

Additional images –

Clean back – no inscriptions

Classic Jaeger LeCoultre dress vintage

The problem with my second vintage collection is of course – the cost!  Invariably it means that I have to sell some of the lesser ones to afford to stock my more upmarket display, but that’s life I suppose and part of the fun of collecting.  You get what you can afford at the time and at other times you build up the modest collection as a bank – to be used later when the “must have” item comes along –  and it keeps the watches moving on and gives others the chance to enjoy them for a while.
I’ll post as and when – I have the time!

Xemex XE 5000

A new addition to my Modern Collection is this neatly designed Swiss made Xemex XE 5000, which I have been looking at for some time as it meets the most important criteria I require for an everyday watch.

Beautifully simple design, large clear hands with lume infill, day and date with great dial contrast and excellent readability – and with the bonus of articulated lugs can fit my smallish 170mm wrist perfectly.

Xemex XE5000

Designed by Ruedi Kulling, this watch simply shouts “design” and whilst initially looking minimalist, is in fact very practical and to my mind pretty good looking too.  At 40mm diameter and 12mm depth it is not a large watch by any means, though the beautifully polished and satin fished case plus the heavy articulated lugs with the large bracelet screws, makes it look much larger that it actually is.
With the solid stainless steel (316l) crystal screw down back with crystal exhibition window inset it is rated as 50m water resistance, assisted by the side screw down and recessed crown – a neat feature allowing the watch to have a very clean profile indeed.

On the wrist too is manages to fit even a small wrist with the movable lugs contributing to the over all “fit” of this watch very well and coupled with the high quality rubber butterfly bracelet, which is adjustable.  I say adjustable as like many straps of this design it requires cutting to shorten if wrists are small.  Not an issue in itself but if selling the watch on at any time, this is a pity for large wrists as a new strap will have to be acquired.

Perfect fit - automatic Day Date Xemex 5100.03 model

ETA 2836-2 with modified rotor

Note the well proven ETA 2836-2 Swiss movement which has a Xemex modified drilled rotor.  Interestingly the watch is signed by the designer “inside” the exhibition glass back.

The movement appears to keep OK time (perhaps a little fast on first usage I have to say) and generally in keeping with this movement though whether the drilled rotor improves accuracy is rather debatable – and the spring reserve is as expected at about 42 hours.

As to the dial – it is an excellent contrasting arrangement with luminous hands and markers and the typical Xemex trademark red sweep second hand.  The day and date are @3 and highlighted in white and is clear to read.  Over the dial is a curved sapphire crystal glass.

This particular design XE5000 was a winner at the “Golden Balance Wheel” awards in 2006 and is still currently available at a reasonable price inclusive of a 2 year Guarantee.

My final verdict on this watch is that it’s a fairly well priced “mid range” model, a little different from the mainstream, well made within this price bracket and actually quite similar in quality to the Traser model I own.  It is excellent to read, clarity being a strong point of the dial design, the rotor movement is relatively quiet and it’s comfortable to wear.

It’s also not been off my wrist for about the last fortnight, so I must like it. . . .as a daily beater at any rate.