Dunhill Jaeger-Lecoultre Memovox in Yellow Gold
Watch collectors are a community whose interest lives and dies in the finest of details. The Memovox is a model whose history has spawned a handful of very interesting and nuanced variations. I have yet to meet a grizzled collector who does not swoon at a vintage Memovox. The watch you are viewing today may be the rarest yet featured. Not only that, but it is executed in yellow gold with a navy dial and contrasting white Breguet numerals. This is a NSFW category for the true JLC obsessives.
The Memovox needs no introduction. Dunhill however? Dunhill were not a watchmaker first. Dunhill manufactured lighters, belt buckles, pens, and the occasional watch through collaboration. They were highly regarded enough in the mid-century that JLC engraved their own bridges, rotors, and dials with Dunhill. They are not only the watchmaker’s watchmaker, it turns out JLC are the belt buckle manufacture’s watchmaker as well.
This 855 generation Memovox is one of the earlier iterations. It features what collectors call the jumbo 37mm Memovox case, here executed in 18K yellow gold. The calibre K825 is a bumper-based alarm with robust construction. One crown does the usual timey stuff. The other sets an alarm, powered through its own barrel interestingly enough. If Mad Men had a better costume designer (admittedly for a very small audience to recognize), this JLC would have made an appearance. The Dunhill variant is rare, sporting, loud, and discreet all at the same time. In addition, it sports one of the best plexi crystal domes of all time.
The case is in a decently preserved condition without over-polishing. The lugs show bevels and the bezel shows surface wear. Its dial is remarkably even in blue tone, a careful lacquer application if I had to guess. The lume is darkened but its white handset and (beautiful) numerals are pristine. It comes from a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this Dunhill Memovox here from Antiquarius listed as POA.