Me and the Jaeger-LeCoultre reference E 855 Memovox have a long and complicated relationship…
It started many years ago – the day I bought my very first vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre… It was a E 855 Memovox with what I later learned a repainted dial…
Yes, I know – Rule #5: Do your own homework…
Long story short, once I knew it was a repaint I hunted down a NOS dial and completed the watch… But I never got over it, so I traded the watch for another E 855 with the same dial version…
Since then I added four more E 855 – all with different dial versions.
So I when I friend asked “are you interested in a E 855?” I didn’t say yes straight away… I looked at the pictures and started to ask questions to verify the watch… It all checked out…
In the meantime, another friend just jumped forward and said “I take it, I need my first Memovox“..!
Now, imagine my situation, trying to explain the logic to these T.W.O friends that this watch belonged with me! A guy with a bag full of Memovox needed this one more than the guy who just said yes to get his first Memovox…
Luckily we all know each other very well, no bloodshed occurred – the watch ended up with me:
Here is a scan from the 1963 Jaeger-LeCoultre catalogue the difference between the gold upper/steel case back. 14K vs. 18K for the full gold version.
Yes, this is the 18K version solid gold, hallmarks also on the back.
Below I like to show a scan from the 1965 Jaeger-LeCoultre catalogue – at start it looks like any other catalogue scan, but I find this one interesting due to it confirms several details.
Compared with the catalogue scan from 1963, there it shows the “12” dial with the “Jaeger-LeCoultre” at 12 and “Automatic” at 6. That is the most common configuration seen in documents for the “12” dial.
Now look at the catalogue scan from 1965 below:
Here is clearly shows the “12” dial with both “Jaeger-LeCoultre” and “Automatic” at 12.
Even if the first version of the “12” dial is most common in documents, the later “12” dial version is the most commonly seen on watches today!
My interpretation is that – the first version of the “12” dial which is the most commonly shown in documents was used in the beginning of the 1960’s. The index at 6 is even shorter to give room to the “Automatic”.
At some point early in the 1960’s, Jaeger-LeCoultre decided to move the “Automatic” up, to have it closer to brand name. Yes, at this point automatic movement was “hot” and a selling point. Even if moving the text, the index at 6 remained shorter that the rest and I also suspect that some later documents used the earlier dial version even if it had been replaced already.
Another point the 1965 scan confirms is the buckle used that year:
Very happy with this new entry, even if it put me at a current count of 6(!) E 855 Memovox.
A big thank you to my T.W.O friends for letting me have this one!
In the process I had to give up one of my E 875 Memovox… So my total number of Memovox remains the same… Even if it still stings a bit to give up a watch, it went to a good home… I just needed to have this E 855!
Just look at the dial in natural light and you will understand:
Stay tuned for a more detailed report on this E 855!