As you might have noticed, I have a fondness for these 1930’s – 1950’s stainless steel pocket watches. Often with rather thin profile and with clean lines.
One of them is the reference 2051 – a LeCoultre pocket watch with an 8-days power reserve.
An 8-days power reserve for a pocket watch is rather long, especially if you consider the fact that it is a 1930’s pocket watch and the movement is only 5.30 mm thick!
This 2051 took me a long time to find – I “discovered” it many years ago while reading a 1930’s Jaeger-LeCoultre catalogue…
The look and the description made me very curious and the hunt begun…
The LeCoultre 8-day pocket watch represents an important step forward on everything that has been done to date in this regard. The spring is capable of ensuring absolutely regular operation for 12 days, and excellent adjustment for the first 8 days. The case, of rare beauty, in bare “Staybrite” steel, have enough to satisfy the most difficult man.
Models. T.W.O models only, round lépine* and bevelled lépine*, only in “Staybrite” steel.
*Lépine – Jean-Antoine Lépine, a French master horologist who invented an open-faced case in which the second wheel is placed in the axis of the winder shaft and the crown positioned at XII. Please visit Wikipedia to read more about the man.
With help of my French speaking friend, we came to the understanding that in this context lépine must refer to the side or bezel of the case.
Based on that, my pocket watch must be the reference 2051 with bevelled edges – the black dial version in the catalogue scan above. The 2050 have the round lépine.
On the back of the case the bevelled sides are clearly shown.
As mentioned, this is a pocket watch with an 8-days power reserve. On the dial at 6 o’clock there is a small window with the power reserve indicator. When fully wound the indicator shows “8” and the it counts down and after the 8 days have passed it shows red.
On the left hand side is the small seconds. Let’s stop there and have a look at the movement.
Inside is the Calibre 204 which is a 19”, 42.90 mm in diameter and 5.40 mm thick. 15 rubies and beating at a rate of 18000 vph / 2.5 Hz.
The Calibre 204 do not only have an exceptional power reserve – it is exceptional beautiful!
The three quarter main plate with “snail-pattern” polish is almost hypnotic to look at. Maybe this has been an inspiration for other brands to use in modern times…
One detail that I find very pleasing is that in the catalogue, a very special profile of the hands are shown, like skeleton diamonds. While in the movement specification the type of hands on my pocket watch are included which indicates they are correct for this model!
Now, if we go back to the right hand side of the dial – in a circle to balance the small seconds, there is the LeCoultre logo, “Fabrique en Suisse” and “Patents – Brevete”.
You sometimes see wrist watches from Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet with similar circles to balance a small seconds. Often referring to precision or Chronometre Bulletins…
But here LeCoultre refers to a patent…
The patent in question is the162786 Indicateur de développement d’un organe élastique moteur.
Entered on the 1st of June 1932, registered on the 15th of July 1933 and published on the 16th of September 1933 – this aligns very well with my pocket watch which based on the movement number is from 1934-1935.
My French is close to none existing… But when you see the drawing, you understand that this is the patent / brevete that is referred to on the dial!
If still in doubt – let’s have the dial side of the Calibre 204 side by side with the patent sketch:
This is not the only patent Jaeger-LeCoultre have in the field of power reserve indicator as you who read my report on the “Up and Down indicator” member.
The 2051 is 47 mm in diameter and 7.5 mm thick not including crystal – here for size reference beside the original Reverso reference 101:
This is a pocket watch which very much represent why I got interested in Jaeger-LeCoultre watches in the first place, beauty and know-how in a small and elegant package!
A big thank you goes out to my friend who helped me get this one home.
If you like this kind of pocket watches, please have a look here: pocket watch
Stay tuned for more!