Let’s have a another look at one of the LeCoultre watches made for the North American market.
This time I like to share the LeCoultre reference 3041 Memovox from the mid 1960’s.
The reference 3041 have the look of a “typical watch of its time and market”. 34,5 mm in diameter, 10K gold plated case and silver dial…
Personally I am not very keen on gold plated cases, but back in the 1960’s this was quite common on the North American market, much more common than in Europe at that time.
That we passed 1960 you can tell from the JL logo on the dial and the signed crowns. You can read about it here – 1960: Introduction of the Jaeger-LeCoultre JL logo
The 3041 is a Memovox without date, during the 1960’s the date function became more and more common but the lower price tier watches were still without the date.
The Memovox construction of this watch was the trigger for me, even if gold plated case…
If we open the screw down case back there is a lot of information to be found regarding LeCoultre watches.
On the inside of the case back its written “cased and timed in USA”. Yes, these movements were assembled in Switzerland and then shipped over the Atlantic Ocean to be cased and adjusted in the USA.
That this is a North American market movement can be seen on the import stamp “VXN”.
Why VXN? Why not LEC? Remember that Vacheron & Constantin and LeCoultre were under that same agency in the North American market? So they shared the same import code.
Inside is the Calibre K814, K as in Kif shock protection of the balance wheel. The Calibre 814 is a manual wind Memovox movement developed from the Calibre 489 and base for the automatic Calibre 815/825.
Now, to the right in the photo above, we see what triggered me to go for this one – the inner case. Often you see watches with a dust cover as a inner case. An extra protection for the movement, but here there are T.W.O round holes and a triangular opening in the inner case, so not a very efficient dust cover…
You also see the spike on the inside of the inner case. That spike is the one the hammer hits to make the sound!
In most Memovox this spike is directly mounted on the inside of the case back which is fixed, screw-down or snap-on…
Here with the spike on the inner case which is “loose”, not fasten by any screws or such, only hold in place by the openings for the crown stems and the case back, the sound, at least in theory should be rounder, fuller and not as sharp as if the hammer hitting something in fixed position.
I say in theory because its really difficult to tell if there is a difference…
The 3041 was one of many Memovox references in the North American market, guess on one really knows how many existed… But as over 45 different references existed according to an ad in this post: 1960’s LeCoultre Memovox World Timer
The background in my photos is this sheet from a mid 1960’s LeCoultre catalogue showing a very similar watch, the “Memodate 1004”.
Now, we all can see that this is not a Memodate since the watch have no date… I am guessing that while making the catalogue they mixed it up with another of these LeCoultre Memovox…
I am a bit curious what “all-proof” includes..
But at least we can get an indication of in which price range this watch was: USD 95 on leather strap and USD 105 on bracelet.
Yes, there is a lot to uncover also on the “other side” of the Atlantic!
Please follow me in my journey while doing so.