Jaeger LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm US Edition

Jaeger LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm US Edition

Why We Love It

Design, Provenance, Rarity.

A horological 'triple-threat' is exactly what we have here in the Jaeger LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm. For starters, there are two versions of the 'DSA', with this American market dial being the rarer of the two. Secondly, with less than 950 examples made over its 2 year production run for both US and European market version - these are rare birds. So what you have here is a rare version, of a rare watch. (noticing a trend with 'rare' yet?)

The design, a variation on the 'Tuxedo' dial, with an Art-Deco radial outer track and stylized 'Deep Sea Alarm Automatic' font, is visually striking and instantly draws your eyes. The luminous syringe handset, the fixed black bezel with luminous 12, 3, 6, 9 position markers, add pops of color. Then there is the bracelet. What a bracelet it is! The Longines 'Nautilus' bracelet is a 5-link 'beads-of-rice' with pyramid shaped outer links that showcases both mastery of design and function. The clasp is ratcheting with a built-in divers extension and it is as special and unique as the watch it is on. 

Like many example of purpose-built tool watches, this Automatic Diving Alarm was used, and bears the marks of a watch that served it purpose - the kind of patina that we at Analog/Shift love. Such an icon in the JLC cannon, the DSA was reissued in 2011 and even those have also gone on to be instantly collectable.

At its' core, this is a problem solver watch. In lieu of a rotating dive bezel to time the length of a dive, it uses a mechanical alarm. Don't dive? It times eggs just as well, and with a lot of style.

The Story

The storied Maison of Jaeger LeCoultre dates to 1833, and has no shortages of horological accomplishments and firsts. Known as 'The Watchmaker's Watchmaker' for their technical prowess and innovation, 'JLC' movements power many of the most legendary watches from storied brands throughout history. 

In the late 1950s, brands such as Rolex and Blancpain released some of the first dedicated dive watches: the Submariner and the Fifty Fathoms, respectively. JLC followed suit with the Deep Sea Alarm. The Deep Sea Alarm made waves in that it was the first automatic wrist alarm intended to be worn underwater.

Rated to a depth of 200 meters, the Deep Sea Alarm was unmatched by any other manufacturer until Vulcain released the Cricket Nautical in 1961. Two versions were released of the Deep Sea Alarm: one, for the European market, bore the full name of Jaeger-LeCoultre but lacked "Deep Sea Alarm" on the dial. The U.S. version, however, marketed under the name LeCoultre, bore the model name: "Deep Sea Alarm Automatic." 

Either way you look at it, though, the Deep Sea was rare, with only 950 pieces being produced in its two year run. Existing examples that find their way on the vintage marketplace often suffer from signs of wear, particularly in the bezels. Many a collector dreams of finding one in excellent condition (at a Goodwill, maybe), but those examples are few and far between.


SKU: AS03547

Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crowns). Automatic-winding JLC calibre K815 movement. Circa 1960.

Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic condition overall showing normal wear consistent with age and use. Luminous 'tuxedo' two-piece dial is excellent condition with luminous triangular alarm indicator at '12' on the inner rotating dial. Luminous syringe handset with matching patina. Twin unsigned crowns. Caseback shows light signs of wear featuring the 'diver' supercompressor engraving.

Includes Longines signed 'Nautilus' multi-link bracelet with fitted endlinks.

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