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The first popular mechanical alarm watch to hit the market was the Vulcain Cricket. Coming in 1947, the Cricket was the first alarm watch to be simple and robust enough to be enjoyed on the wrist, and it gained much accolade, making its way onto numerous notable individuals including several U.S. Presidents.
In the late 1940s, Jaeger LeCoultre began producing it's own mechanical alarm watch to contend with the popular Cricket. Utilizing a unique twin-crown system (the top crown being winding and setting the alarm, the bottom winding and setting the time) and a different alarm mechanism (the Memovox employs a hammer that strikes against a post that is directly welded to the case back whereas the Cricket uses a resonant dual case back design) JLC set itself apart and in so doing, created one of the most iconic models of post-war watchmaking.
JLC's earliest expressions were largely available in Europe, with American-market models being offered as early as 1951. These models were either cased in steel, or in 14K gold and features an array of dial configurations. This example likely dates to the early 1950s and bears the hallmarks of a U.S. model, the most distinct of which the printing of 'wrist alarm' on the dial, rather than the now well-known 'Memovox' name which didn't become standard in U.S. models until the late 1950s. Another sign, inside the snap case back, is a stamp reading "Cased and Timed in the United States."
These early Memovox models were equipped with a Calibre 489 manually-winding movement, robust and energetic models that kept excellent time and offered potent alarm reporting.
Cased in a gorgeous 32mm 14K Yellow gold case with fancy lugs and a stunning two-tone dial with blue accents, this model is sure to make you smile every time you spy it on your wrist. And we'll guarantee that you'll never tire of the sound of this classic 'wrist alarm.'
14K Yellow Gold Case is approximately 32mm (excluding crowns). Jaeger LeCoultre Calibre 489/1 Manually Winding Alarm Movement. Early 1950s.
Overall Condition: The watch is in very good condition over all, with light wear marks consistent with age and use. No glaring marks or signs of over-polishing. The genuine JLC two-tone dial is very good condition with a small scratch visible near 3:00. Inner indicator disk show some light spotting but original printing is crisp and un-affected. Luminous material on the dial and hands has aged nicely and show coloration consistent with pieces of this era. Alarm function is bright and lasting. Unsigned crowns. Snap case back.
Includes one 18mm analog/shift Speyside Strap with gold-tone buckle.