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To discerning collectors, the name Jaeger LeCoultre is synonymous with beautiful designs and marvelously dependable movements. With its fair share of truly iconic pieces - the Reverso, the Deep Sea Alarm, the Memovox, the Geophysic and the Mark XI, to name a few - JLC has managed to have it's finger on both the pulse of the technological and that of the aesthetic, a feat that is rivaled only by a short list of Swiss manufactures.
To make matters more impressive, during WWII, Jaeger LeCoultre was one of only a few Swiss manufactures that was able to continue designing and producing consumer-grade timepieces alongside their substantial military contracts for aviation wristwatches and a wide array of gauges and cockpit timers and clocks. In fact, it was during the war years that JLC developed the Étache, the first square case that offered water resistance comparable to Rolex's Oyster case design.
JLC's square movements were essential for their range of square and tank-cased watches like the Reverso, and found their way into European-only versions like the 'double date' and 'triple-date.' But throughout the 1940s, JLC was also utilizing these movements in circular case designs that were offered in the United States. Because of strict import/export restriction, JLC couldn't easily get fully-built watches to the American market, so they began shipping movements to U.S. in batches and pairing them with cases stateside.
This particular example dates to the mid to late 1940s and is driven by the rare 17-jewel Calibre 806/AW, a manual-winding triple date unit that was common in the European square-cased triple dates. An engraving on the inside of the snap case back reads "Cased and Timed in the U.S.A. by LeCoultre."
As always with JLC, the aesthetics of the piece haven't suffered. The svelte 35mm 10K yellow gold-filled case cradles a lovely matte white dial with applied Breguet numerals. The blue outer date track and red-accented date indicator converse brightly with the moonphase disc, complete with a 'face.'
If you're a fan of triple dates, this gorgeous moonphase should be high up on your list.
10K Yellow Gold-filled case is approximately 35mm (excluding the crown). Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 806/AW Manually-Winding Triple Date Movement. Circa mid-1940s.
Overall Condition: The watch is in excellent condition throughout with only the slightest of marks to the case consistent with use. The matte white dial is in good condition with some light wear. Applied Breguet numerals are in excellent condition and the printing on the outer track it bright and crisp. Moonphase wheel is in excellent condition with no signs of wear or drag. Original handset is in excellent condition. All three micro-pushers function properly. Unsigned crown. Unsigned snap case back.
Includes one 16mm crocodile strap with matching gold-tone buckle.