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Of course, Vulcain might have been the first manufacturer to produce a wrist alarm: the Cricket, in 1947. But JLC took the concept and perfected it with the Memovox, released in 1950. Like the Cricket, the Memovox utilizes a unique twin-crown system (the top crown to wind and set the alarm, the bottom winding and setting the time). But JLC developed a different alarm mechanism: a hammer that strikes against a post that is directly welded to the case back, unlike the Cricket, which uses a resonant dual case back design. In so doing, JLC set itself apart, and created one of the most iconic models of post-war watchmaking.
Such an icon of horology lends itself very well to adaptation for many different purposes. 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. Released in 1959, 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.
Fortunately for us, JLC re-released the Deep Sea in 2011. JLC is no stranger to reissues, with its Reverso Tribute to 1931 or the Geophysic 1958 proving to be great successes among collectors of modern watches and vintage enthusiasts alike. The Tribute to Deep Sea is no different: though the proportions might be slightly bigger (40.5mm in the Tribute versus 39 in the original), otherwise JLC clung closely to the look and feel of the original. Like the Deep Sea, the Tribute was released for the European and American markets, with the same differences in dial as the original. While 959 examples were released in the European market, only 359 were made of the American version, which we are fortunate to offer here.
Coupling superior vintage looks and a high grade in-house automatic movement (the Caliber 956), the Tribute to Deep Sea is a no-brainer for the lover of vintage-inspired modern pieces.
Stainless steel case is approximately 40.5mm (excluding crowns). JLC Caliber 956 automatic alarm movement. Circa 2011.
Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition with signs of minimal wear consistent with handling. Dial is likewise in pristine condition with no signs of use or age. Bezel is in excellent condition with crisp printing. JLC crowns. JLC case back has some signs of light use but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm textured black leather JLC strap and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle
Also includes inner box and papers.