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!

Longines 1982 homage

This is a rather elegant dress Longines Quartz Watch and stamped “Longines 150” on the back of the case.  This model produced in 1982 the year of the 150th centenary of the Company which originated in 1832 and in homage to their earlier range of mechanical watches of the 1940’s and 1950’s.  It features the L976-2 13 jewel quartz movement, one of the 970 caliber series, which were of true in-house manufacture.

Longines Quartz 150 years Centenary Watch

It is one of the thinnest at only 1.95mm depth and I understand the philosophy follows on from their earlier 1979 “gold feather” 1.98mm quartz movement which Longines initially manufactured in partnership with Ebauche ETA/ETA.
It is as I have already noticed an exceptionally accurate and high quality Quartz and quite rare I understand to find one that’s frankly as good as this today early 30 years later.

L976.2 Longines movement (1.95mm depth)

It appears to have a Lavet-type motor and is powered by a 1.55v battery.  Not tested it but looks as if it may be 9ct gold plated on stainless steel case body and is fitted with a high quality Hirsch genuine Lizard strap with the gold plated Longines Logo engraved buckle.

The dial is gold colored with subtle vertical strips in the centre section with black painted Roman numerals and a square inset second sub-dial @6. Hour, minute and second hands are black steel.  Main dial has an outer minute track and the seconds sub-dial has seconds track with numerals at 10 second numerals.

1.95mm movement & slim case

One of the nicest early Longines Quartz watches I’ve had to date, which I picked up recently at an auction for a very reasonable price indeed.  It will sit nicely in my Longines collection which is growing with the odd model every month or so.  With a few celebrations coming up soon and dinners out a few times this one will definitely be a front runner as my dress watch on these occasions.  I love it

Perfect dress watch - Longines

Any downsides to this watch?  Well none as it happens apart from quite a bit of dust and rubbish inside the dial, which I have yet to clean, the watch is in pretty much perfect condition, plating excellent, no bad marks or scratches, just general wear over the last 30 years.  The watch obviously has been worn quite a bit as the back is wonderfully smooth stainless steel, but fortunately the previous owner obviously had great respect for his little Longines and looked after it very well indeed.

As indeed will I. . . .

Raymond Weil retro Quartz

Picked this up at an auction recently simply as I rather liked the retro styling.  I hadn’t seen this one in the current range and for me it evokes an earlier age with the sculpted lugs and the neat checkered dial pattern.

Gold plated retro Raymond Weil in quartz

Gold plated quartz with white dial with checked off white design to the inner, hourly applied Roman numerals, small round date aperture @6, bordered by a minute track.  Round case fitted to an authentic black leather Raymond Weil strap with signed pin buckle. The retro lug design looks really neat and sets of the watch quite nicely. The hour and minute hands are black steel and the seconds hand in gold with painted black pointer end for clarity.

Slim at 6mm and Raymond Weil leather strap

The dial is marked with the Raymond Weil name and Geneve – there is a Swiss mark at the foot of the dial and the back plate is marked Raymond Weil, RW, a case number and water resistant.

RW logo plain back

The case diameter is 31mm (37mm lug to lug) and at only just over 6mm this is a very neat dress watch indeed.  Suits my small wrist just about perfectly and this watch would be very wearable for a lady these days.

With older, old stock and pre-owned watch models it is often very difficult to find out the exact model. Details can be very hard to find, such as date of manufacture, retail price when current and even the question of provenance – is the watch genuine?  Auction houses or dealers in general usually try quite hard to ensure that items they sell are genuine and to that end they often remove the back to check the movement, usually a dead giveaway – but for quartz watches this is often not quite so easy.  The quartz movement may or may not be signed and could be of Chinese or Japanese origin.  However it’s fact that a Swiss watch could well have these as perfectly legitimate quartz movement suppliers, so it’s always a “buyer beware”.

On the wrist

This model is a true Raymond Weil and the watch size in keeping with the retro period it suggests.  The strap is certainly made for Gents wear with holes set for about 170mm minimum wrist size without extras added.  Generally the older the watch, the smaller it will be and this one at 31mm is similar in size to many other Gents watches I have of the same and earlier period.

One thing I do know as a collector who wears all my watches at some time or another is that this one looks pretty good on the wrist – and that’s what it was meant to do.