If you are into Jaeger-LeCoultre and specifically into Memovox like me, you will sooner or later start to look at the E 855 Memovox…
Word of advice, if you start, one E 855 will never be enough!
As I already wrote in my more detailed report about the E 855 Memovox with applied steel index, the E 855 is one of the most common of all Memovox – everybody know it.
But, if you think there are only two or maybe three versions of the E 855 you are missing out…
In fact, you could build a entire collection only on the E 855!
If we limit ourself to only look at the stainless steel case with silver/white dials, there is at least four different versions.
So, this week in my Friday report I like to present three of these versions –
The time period: 1960 – 1974
So far I have found the E 855 included in documentation from 1960 all the way to 1974. Exact year the E 855 was discontinued I do not know.
Style: Classic elegant to “Flower Power”
The first versions of the E 855 are more classic elegant dress watches. Due to the larger size, 37 mm in diameter, it’s quite sporty looking watch. At the end of the production, coloured dials were added to the collection with the Tortoise shell pattern. The case have quite flat bezel, making it difficult to take nice shots without seeing yourself in the reflection.
Movement: Calibre 825
The “Slowbeat” with a rate of 18 000 vph / 2.5 Hz, later to be replaced with the Calibre 916 Speedbeat – the movement we looked at in last week’s Friday report: Jaeger-LeCoultre: Three Blue Memovox Speedbeat
1) Steel – E 855 with applied steel index
The very first version of the E 855 had a applied “12” at the top instead of the JL-logo and applied stainless steel index. Reason for the “12” – the E 855 was launched before or during the same period Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the JL-logo. The “12” dial was used in parallel with the “JL” dial.
The “JL” dial I still miss in my collection, so I will share the “12” dial with you here:
In this scan, this version of the E 855 is illustrated on a Gay Frères bracelet, fun note – the bracelet was factory mounted:
On the wrist it feels like a quite sporty dress watch. Very elegant but can be a bit difficult to read in low light…
Here is a link to a more detailed report of this watch: On the wooden beam: Jaeger-LeCoultre E 855 Memovox
2) Ebony – E 855 with applied Ebony finish steel index
This version I found in documents during the last part of the 1960’s. On this dial version Jaeger-LeCoultre only use the JL-logo.
Maybe a bit less classic but still elegant and for sure easier to read:
As you can see, Jaeger-LeCoultre changed the Dauphine hands to Baton hands. Be aware that within the E 855 family, there are at least two types of Baton hands.
Actually, if you look closely there are several versions here. My watch have a black seconds hand but this dial version also existed with steel seconds hand like in this ad from 1969:
On the wrist, the feeling is the same but the look have changed. The Ebony index gives this dial version more contrast…
3) Short – E 855 with short applied steel index
The short index version I have only found in documents from 1970 and 1971. Most likely this version had a short production run, pun intended.
None of these dial versions are what I would consider rare but this dial with the short index is the less common of the three:
Most rare of all E 855 dial versions, I would say is the dial with the Tortoise shell pattern that I wrote about last week: Jaeger-LeCoultre: “Lapis dial” or “Scale dial” – what is what?
In this scan from the 1970 Jaeger-LeCoultre catalogue it’s illustrated on the same Gay Frères bracelet as we saw earlier:
On the wrist, the feeling is as you already guessed the same as the other two E 855. The look how ever have changed even more. To me, this dial version looks much more sporty than the other two…
Side-by-side it’s easier to see the differences of the dials and how the character changes with each version.
Left – short index, middle – Ebony index, right – steel index:
Looking at these documents, I start to wonder if it’s time to put some of them back on bracelet…
Hope you have enjoyed this Friday report!
A BIG thank you goes out to @jaegerlecoultre_aficionado for posting them on Instagram!