A lot of questions I receive are regarding signed or not signed crowns and the JL logo.
To tell the truth, there is no sharp line but there are documents which can guide us…
One of the main reason I collect watch related documents is that from these documents you can learn a lot!
Yes, any question you have you can google in a second to get an answer… But to know if the answer is correct… That is a bigger challenge!
That is why I try to live by rule #5: Do your own homework. By cross reference different sources I try to see a pattern and determine what I believe to be true.
Now, about the JL logo: in my library I have over 500 original Jaeger-LeCoultre catalogues and advertisements in original paper format.
The very first ad showing a watch with the JL logo on the dial is this one from 1960. On the right side of the ad you clearly see the JL logo on the square gold watch. most likely reference 1966.
What might not show very clearly is that there is a second watch with the JL logo as well, the round gold watch to the left. Most likely reference 19020. How ever, what is very obvious is the JL logo on top of the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo.
Now if we go back two years, to 1958 and look at another similar ad – there is no JL logo, neither over the printed ad Jaeger-LeCoultre logo or on the dials of the watches.
If we look at an ad from 1961, then the JL logo is there but not in the position we normally see it. As for the watches, only three out of the six watches have the JL logo.
Side note on this ad – notice the movement used as backdrop? It’s a manual column wheel chronograph movement. At this point in time Jaeger-LeCoultre did not have such movement inhouse. Kind of ironic whit today’s inhouse frenzy that it was used as background in their ads…
Now, these documents align also with watches from the same time.
Example, the Jubilé collection from 1958, no JL logo on the dials and both crowns and buckles are unsigned.
E 855 Memovox from 1960 – no logo but signed crowns. Later the JL logo was introduced on the dial as well.
Yes, there is no hard line but to my understanding, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the JL logo in 1960. From that point most of their watches have the JL on the dial, crowns, buckles and boxes…
Will go into details about all the accessories in a separate post, stay tuned!