A Perfect Early Jaeger Lecoultre Memovox
Although I struggle to articulate why, the one vintage watch which tugged at my heartstrings most over 2020 was the original Memovox. You may have taken note, I have a fascination with mechanical alarms. But the Memovox is so much more. Although this two-finish silver dial may not be quite as rare as the lapis lazuli I featured a few months ago, I find it more beautiful. There’s an extremely elegance in this vintage dress alarm. One that I’m fighting hard not to buy myself.
The Memovox first debuted with the cal 489, a manually wound dress piece with similar dual crowns to what we see here. A few years later, the cal 815 was introduced. This new caliber made the Memovox the first automatically-wound alarm wristwatch. That said, it was a bumper-auto, not rotor-based. Eventually, the 815 was made into the 825 with an addition of the date wheel.
This is the caliber and generation of watch we see here. These earlier models had two-tone dials, dauphine hands, and an empty triangle alarm arrow. The hands are slightly pointed down at their tips to follow the curvature of the outer dial track, one detail which I adore. Its relatively modern 38mm case retained the dual crown layout and mechanically-wound alarm. It’s a gorgeous dress piece appreciated by those who truly know watches.
This is the best example I can remember seeing for some time. The watch was produced in 1959 and looks to not have aged a day. This is either a safe queen or very gentle owner. The watch is in a condition you only see very, very rarely. I think there’s probably some gentle man in the East who decided to invest in this Memovox in the very early days and found it too beautiful to wear. The watch comes from Vintageye Collector’s Club, a collector out of South Korea who I came across first from Instagram at @vintage_watch.
Find this Memovox here (google itools translated) from Vintageye for ~6200 USD.