That I love the alarm complication on a wrist watch is no big secret… I find it one of the coolest and most useful complications on a wrist watch!
I prefer the alarm over the more popular chronograph complication and that is not limited to Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Memovox…
It also include alarm watches from other brands, like Girard-Perregaux.
In modern time, Girard-Perregaux had the Traveller Alarm model such as the reference 49350, you can read about it over at the GP Chronicles.
Girard-Perregaux also had some alarm watches in the past, not as many as Jaeger-LeCoultre, but some very interesting – like the Girard-Perregaux reference 9490 Alarm:
The colour and cushion shaped case gives a tell – yes, this is a Funky 70’s watch! 35.5 mm across and 40.0 mm lug to lug.
The 9490 was produced in 350 pieces between 1972 to 1976. The watch was only made with stainless steel case and T.W.O dial versions. Blue as you can see here and white.
The alarm is indicated by pointer, operated by the Alarm crown at two o’clock which winds, sets and activates the alarm.
The alarm is activated by having the crown in the pulled out position and you are able to stop the alarm by pushing the crown back in.
With a normal minute track, each minute line is 60/5 = 12 minutes on the alarm. But here you have each minute divide into another 5 which gives you 12/5 = 2.4 minutes which gives you the possibility to set the alarm more precis.
Inside is the Girard-Perregaux Calibre 112 which is based on the manual movement AS Calibre 1931.
What is interesting to see here is the way Girard-Perregaux solved the issue with a off centre alarm pin and screw-down case back. Since the alarm pin have to be in a fixed position it is impossible to have the pin on the inside of the case back and at the same time have a screw-down locking system.
Jaeger-LeCoultre solved it with having a separate locking ring on their Calibre 815/825 cases, that way the case back is in a fixed position even if the case is locked by a screw-down movement. Later on the Calibre 916 Jaeger-LeCoultre solved it by moving the alarm pin to the centre of the case back.
Here, the issue is solved by having the alarm pin on a separate inner case back. That way the alarm pin will stay in the fixed position while the outer case back is screwed down into locked position.
Yes, the 9490 is quite a rare bird and even if it has all the Funky 70’s trade marks – I find it quite elegant!
Stay tuned for more Girard-Perregaux Alarm watches – if you find it hard to wait, there is much more to read about Girard-Perregaux over at the GP Chronicles.