Collecting watches is often a man’s game and we focus on men’s watches…
We only look at the famous pieces and hunt for our next “grail”…
But to get the whole picture and fully understand a collection, you need to look at all the watches in that collection.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre 125 Years Jubilé Collection is no exception!
Even if not often mentioned, there are T.W.O ladies watches included in the Jaeger-LeCoultre 125 Years Jubilé Collection, the 1629 “Ville” and the E 603 “Sport étanche”.
As the names tells, one for the city and one sportier waterproof model:
At first glance it is hard to tell them apart – both are time only, only hour and minute hands. Both have same dial with the characteristic “12” that we are used to see on the Geophysic and the Memovox of the Jubilé Collection…
Here is the E 603 to the left and the 1629 to the right.
Before we go into details about these watches, I like to reflect a bit –
To see these watches selected to represent Jaeger-LeCoultre for their 125 years anniversary I find a bit surprising – both from a fashion point of view and from a view of what the manufacture was able to create back then.
1958 was the International Geophysical Year (1 July 1957 to 31 December 1958) which brought us the name of the E 168…
This was also reflected in the Jaeger-LeCoultre advertisement from that year:
What can be seen is that the ladies watches advertised are much more extravagant and glamorous looking than the ladies watches included in the Jubilé Collection…
The fact is that the only T.W.O times I have observed the 1629 and the E 603 in documents are 1) photos of the Jubilé Collection display from 1958 and 2) in the French catalogue from the same year:
In other Jubilé Collection documents are often these extravagant and glamorous looking ladies watches included, if any at all…
In general, ladies watches from late 1950’s, many are more jewellery like than plain watches even if not as much as shown below.
Let’s go back to the 1629 and the E 603 – what differs between them? The case, not only that the E 603 is waterproof, but also the profile and lugs.
If we start by looking at the reference 1629 – the case is 19 mm in diameter with a rather thin bezel and almost straight lugs.
The “12” is of the same font as on the Geophysic and the Memovox in the same collection, but on index 3, 6 and 9 is a diamond shaped index instead of numbers.
With the “12” and applied metal index from the Geophysic, the Dauphine hands from the Memovox and the thin bezel, straight lugs and no seconds hand from the reference 2233, you get the feeling that Jaeger-LeCoultre compressed elements from all men’s watches in the collection into the 1629!
Next, a front view of the E 603 – 1 mm larger than the sister, 20 mm in diameter. The extra millimetre is all in the step bezel, dial is the same for both.
Notice the rather large crown, similar to the Geopysic:
From the back, the differences between the 1629 and the E 603 is more evident – here, the E 603 to the left and the 1629 to the right:
Case backs, screw-down on the waterproof E 603 and snap-on on the 1629.
As you can see, the lugs of the 1629 is more straight and “hooked” downwards, very similar to the 2233, while the E 603 have more tapered lugs, similar to the Geophysic.
The “hook” is easier to seen here in this profile shot: E 603 top, 1629 bottom
As you have seen in the photos, both references came in stainless steel, in 18K rose gold and in 18K yellow gold:
Inside both references is the Calibre 490 – beautiful shaped and decorated with Geneva bars.
Here is the movement specification – Calibre 490, based on Calibre 460.
My interpretation of these watches is that – the E 603 is a ladies version of the Geophysic and the 1629 is the ladies version of the 2233!
I have no production numbers, but suspect they are similar as to the Geophysic and the 2233…
They all carry the same DNA, making the the Jubilé Colletion a very thight and special collection which may explain the choice of the 1629 and E 603 to be a part of the Jubilé Collection!
The strong DNA of the Jubilé Collection can be seen in the Jaeger-LeCoultre watches of today!
If you dont recognise the background of my shots – take a look here: Year Book 1958
I will continue to write about this Jubilé Collection, so stay tuned for more!