I have been writing several reports about the Jaeger-LeCoultre and the U.S. market from a LeCoultre perspective.
But there was also a Jaeger perspective of the U.S. market.
I guess the question many of you have asked yourself is why LeCoultre teamed up with Longines, Wittnauer and Vacheron-Constantin in the U.S. market instead of staying under the same label as in the rest of the world, Jaeger-LeCoultre.
I will not claim to have a solid answer to that question, but I will give you my take on this matter…
As already covered in previous reports, LeCoultre was a part of the Longines, Wittnauer, Vacheron-Constantin setup in the U.S..
Watches and movements were imported under the Vacheron-Constantin import code “VXN”. Why would Jaeger-LeCoultre not import under a separate code? For example “JXL”?
My theory is that Jaeger were already established in the U.S. before it became Jaeger-LeCoultre.
As you might know, Jaeger made a lot of clocks and instruments for vehicles such as air plains, ships and like in this ad from 1927- cars: Jaeger instruments for several car brands including the american brand – Ford.
If we follow that trail, here is an ad from 1st of March 1930 – Jaeger Watch Co have a manufacture site at 36, West 47th Street New-Your City!
So Jaeger was already present in the U.S. before it became Jaeger-LeCoultre.
So if Jaeger was already present as a manufacture in the U.S., then I am guessing they didn’t want the extra cost of applying for a import code of their own or even to import anything as they had a local manufacturing site.
Another reason might be that the Vacheron-Constantin and LeCoultre setup in the U.S. was already in place before the Jaeger and LeCoultre merger. I am still hunting documents to identify which year the Vacheron-Constantin and LeCoultre setup started.
If you look at it from a manufacturing point of view – why didn’t Jaeger start to provide movements to LeCoultre watches in the U.S.? – Jaeger mainly made instruments and simpler clocks, while LeCoultre was the main manufacture for wrist watch movements. Even if they wanted to, such change would have been a major change to make.
Let’s move on to the header of this report – Jaeger, the U.S. Navy and the Tachometer Type 43A-6.
Based on documents found in the box of the Tachometer Type 43A-6, I know that there was another manufacture site in the New-Your City at 304 East 45th Street.
And looking closer in my library… I found more – here are T.W.O examples, 12th July 1930 and 3rd January 1931:
And if we zoom in – bingo: 304 East 45th Street, New-Your City!
If Jaeger was manufacturing instruments on both sites or if one was the main office, or if they moved to the second address in 1930 I do not know…
So what is the Tachometer Type 43A-6? – It is a Tachometer manufactured in the U.S.!
The construction is quite basic, but robust and easy to use.
There are three different nozzles which can be attached on the Tachometer depending on what you would like to measure.
Once you push and release the plunger located above the nine and release – the force from that push winds a timer which will allow the stem on which the nozzles is attached to count the number of rotations that are made. Once the timer runs out, the counter stops.
So how do we know this Tachometer is made in the U.S.? It’s stated on the dial – Made in U.S.A. and it measures feet…
On the nozzles and the box it says U.S.A. and New York U.S.A.!
And where do the U.S. Navy come in? – In the box there are T.W.O documents, one is the instruction manual and the other is a test certificate from the 31st of May 1945, referring to the U.S. Navy – BU. of Ships.
So this Tachometer was used by the U.S. Navy back in 1945, just before the end of World War II.
Yes, another lesser known part of the Jaeger history…
Please join me in my journey through the complex history of Jaeger-LeCoultre and the U.S. market!