When it comes to Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Calibre 916 we all know that the most common and well-known references are in consecutive order from the E 870 Polaris II and all the way through to the E 877 Snowdrop.
What many may not know is that in parallel there were a number of LeCoultre Memovox Calibre 916 existing in the U.S. market during the same period, from 1970 and all the way through the 1970’s!
One of these LeCoultre Memovox Calibre 916 which have been with me for over ten years is the 3072.
The 3072 is one of the more common LeCoultre Memovox with Calibre 916 from the U.S. market. It existed in stainless steel- and gold filled case version.
Here is the inside of the case back, inscription tells us that the case is made in the U.S.A by the Star Watch Company.
The case identifier “Case 3072-916” – 3072 is the case code and 916 is the Calibre the case is made for:
Again, looking into the case code catalogue – the code 3072 is included.
What is even more interesting is that in the catalogue there are several LeCoultre Calibre 916 listed: 3072 is only the first, after that there are four more – 3076, 3077, 3078 and 3089:
Like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Calibre 916, they are grouped rather close to each other in number.
What these five case codes have in common is that the cases are all manufactured by the Star Watch Company – guessing that is one of the reasons why they are so closely grouped together.
There are other LeCoultre Memovox with Calibre 916 but with cases manufactured by other case companies which are not listed in the catalogue, like the case code 9508.
If we look closer on the catalogue which is in the background of my photos, there are four Memovox Calibre 916 models presented –
Left is the 3076 with 10K gold filled round case, 37 mm in diameter. Crowns on the outside of the case.
Second from left is the 3072, here with the stainless steel case and what looks to be a white/red dial. I have observed several different dials – silver, gold, blue fume… The most common version is the blue I have. Size, 37 x 41 mm.
Third is the E 871 which exists both as Jaeger-LeCoultre and LeCoultre. It looks to be the grey/orange dial. Silver/blue dial also exists.
To the right is the 3089 in 14K gold with gold fume dial. Size, 37 x 41 mm.
One interesting detail in this catalogue scan is the H.P.G. “High Precision Guaranteed” which is included on the dials of the 3072 and 3089. As you recall, Jaeger-LeCoultre used the “Speed beat” on their Memovox Calibre 916 instead. A topic to be elaborated in another report…
The 3089 is often confused with the more well-known 3072 as it share the same size and oval shape and according to the case code list they even have the same type of crowns…
Here a photo of the 3089 – picture credit: Sotheby’s Hong Kong:
The only difference I have been able to identify between the T.W.O is the case material – the 3089 is in 14K solid gold. Why LeCoultre chose to have a different case code depending on material I don’t know, but we do see similar behaviour for the Memovox Snowdrop when gold bracelet is included, E 877 if without the bracelet and 73800 if with gold bracelet. OK, in the Snowdrop case it is an integrated bracelet – but this is the only explanation I have been able to come up with so far…
What makes it even more easy to mix up between the 3072 and the 3089 is that the 3072 existed also with gold filled upper case/stainless steel case back.
Case code 3077 listed in the case code catalogue I have not been able to identify.
Maybe the Memovox on the left below is the 3077? In the foot note it is described as #921 but that I doubt is the case code as the 3072 is described as #902 and the E 874 as #940…
The 3079 I do not have in documents, but it is very similar to the 3076 – also round, 37 mm in diameter but with somewhat recessed crowns. What more differs between the 3076 and the 3079 I do not know as of now, but will report if I ever find out more…
With knowledge of these case codes – 3072, 3076, 3077 and 3089 – I am sure you are able to google if you like to see photos of these models, but please be aware that some have listed their watches under wrong numbers and some watches looks to have been converted from stainless steel to gold filled after they left the manufacture…
Another topic to be continued, stay tuned for more!