That Jaeger were early into the vehicle business you already know. Mostly panel clocks and instruments – air-planes, boats and cars…
But did you know Jaeger also made Drivers wrist watches?
I have documents showing that Jaeger made clocks and instruments for cars as early as the mid 1920’s – long before it became Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Here is one example from 1925: Speedometer for race cars
What I didn’t know and learned at my recent trip to the Manufacture is that in the 1930’s, Jaeger made Drivers watches! But I suspect it can’t be many around…
Here is one example from the Heritage gallery: a 1930’s Jaeger Driver
Due to its size, at first thought it was a ladies watch, but then I realised that back in the 1930’s there most likely there weren’t many lady drivers… So I would guess this watch used to belong to a man.
I didn’t measure the case but I guess the strap width is about 23 mm, so yes – not a very big watch.
Neither did I open to see which movement inside, but based on the crown location and the dial proportions, I would say it is the same movement used in the Uniplan – Calibre 404 or Calibre 407.
Just to be clear – I am talking about the ladies version of the Uniplan, not the men’s version!
Look at these scans from the 1930’s Jaeger-LeCoultre catalogue, the dial ratio matches the “modeles pour dames” and not “pour hommes”.
In this postcard from 1936 you can see T.W.O ladies models which have similar case- and bezel shapes if you disregard the lugs.
Looking at the back you can see more clearly that this watch is made to be read while driving – the upper part of the lugs are raised so that the dial of the watch is facing you while wearing it.
One detail that surprised me a bit is that this drivers watch is without a seconds hand…
OK, maybe this was not a race car drivers watch, in that case I think seconds would matter..!
And to be fair – not many wrist watches had a seconds hand at this point in time.
A BIG thank you to Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Heritage Gallery for letting me discover this part of the Jaeger-LeCoultre history!
Stay tuned for more pieces of art and history!