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  • Manufacturer: Jaeger-LeCoultre
    Year: 1958
    Reference No: E168
    Movement No: 1'276'029
    Case No: 748'126
    Model Name: Chronomètre Geophysic
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. P478BWSbr, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Jaeger LeCoultre original stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Jaeger LeCoultre fitted box and product literature.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Chronometre Geophysic was created in 1958 during the official International Geophysical Year, an international scientific project that lasted from July 1st, 1957 to December 31st, 1958. 67 nations participated in scientific exploration of our planet’s most inhospitable and unexplored places. It also marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific interchange between the East and West had been seriously interrupted.

    Destined for explorers and scientists, the Geophysic had a pure no-frills dial optimized for the reading of time. Its chronometer movement (something quite rare for the brand at the time) featured a central hacking seconds hand, a special adjustment system for ease of regulation, as well as a Glucydur balance that would not be adversely affected by the changes in temperature. The movement was further protected thanks to a soft iron anti magnetic inner case, and was thus resistant to 600 Gauss – perfect for the research scientists working on polar bases, in laboratories and inside submarines. Accordingly, in the summer of 1958, the citizens of Geneva gifted Geophysics to the captains of the SS Skate (Calvert) and Nautilus (Anderson) to commemorate their accomplishment of traversing the North Pole in their submarines. Scholarship suggests that slightly over 1000 Geophysic models were made.

    The present lot made in 1958 is in excellent condition, with a pure dial, well preserved enamel medallion on the caseback and original Jaeger LeCoultre buckle. It is offered with Jaeger LeCoulte brochure, price list from 1958 as well as super rare and original 'Jaeger LeCoultre Sputnick' presentation case.

    While Jaeger LeCoultre launched a “Tribute to the Geophysic” in 2014, the original Reference E 168 remains one of the most coveted chronometer timepieces for discerning collectors.

  • Artist Biography

    Jaeger-LeCoultre

    Swiss • 1833

    Not all companies in the watchmaking field have been able to stand the test of time quite like Jaeger LeCoultre, also known as the "watchmaker's watchmaker." Founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre and originally named LeCoutre, the firm provided watchmaking's top brands, such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet, the high-grade, unfinished mechanical movements with which they completed their watches.

    In the early 1900s, Cartier's watch supplier Edmond Jaeger sought out LeCoultre's help in creating the world's thinnest watches. The collaboration resulted in the creation of Cartier's earliest Tank and Santos watches, all housed with LeCoultre movements. The duo decided to merge in 1937, and the firm officially became the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand by which collectors know and adore it today. Some of the firm's most significant and important timepieces include the Reverso, the Memovox, the Atmos clock and, among modern watches, their Master Complications.

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Ref. E168
A rare and fine stainless steel chronometer wristwatch with center seconds, accompanied by its original 'Sputnick' presentation box

1958
35mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 30,000 
€18,500-27,800
$19,800-29,700

Sold for CHF47,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017