A very fine and extremely rare stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with alarm function, bracelet, guarantee, and presentation boxes

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  • Manufacturer: Jaeger-LeCoultre
    Year: 1959
    Reference No: E857
    Movement No: 1’389’462
    Case No: 775’309
    Model Name: Deep Sea Alarm
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. K815, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel LeCoultre bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel LeCoultre deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by original guarantee, inner and outer box. Further accompanied by Jaeger-LeCoultre Extract from the Archives confirming the production of the present timepiece in 1959 with dial signed "LeCoultre".
    Literature: The reference E857 is discussed in Zaf Basha’s Jaeger-LeCoultre: A Guide for the Collector, p. 138.

  • Catalogue Essay

    There are different categories of vintage dive watches: those that are interesting, different, technical, aesthetic, rare or original and there are those that encompass all these attributes and more, making them grails amongst collectors. The present LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm is undoubtedly a proud member of this exclusive club.

    Historically important in context and technically innovative for the time, the LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm was the first automatic diver’s wristwatch with an alarm function. Introduced in 1959, it was only produced until 1962, leading to a total of 1,061 examples manufactured. The first dive watch from Jaeger-LeCoultre, and hot on the heels of the success of other early 1950s diver’s watches, the Deep Sea Alarm incorporated the "Memovox" alarm complication to set it apart. The alarm would inform the diver when it was time to return to the surface, rather than using a rotating bezel, making it the first diving watch ever with alarm.

    Its extreme rarity and striking aesthetics has led the reference E857 to be highly prized by collectors. In fact, only a handful of Deep Sea Alarms have shown up at public auctions in the past years and even less have survived in such condition due to the harsh underwater environment they were used in. Illustrating the model’s importance, in 2011, Jaeger LeCoultre reintroduced this model in a limited edition dubbed Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm.

    It was produced in two iterations: one signed "LeCoultre" for the American market, and the other with dial signed "Jaeger-LeCoultre" for the European market. Scholarship shows that the LeCoultre version, such as the present lot, is the rarer variant. The present example, from 1959 - the first year of production, is in pristine condition. Its flawless and beautifully aged dial, perfectly preserved case back engravings, and original bracelet attest to the exceptional condition of this watch. Further enhancing its appeal is the presence of its original guarantee and inner and outer presentation boxes. It’s amongst the very finest examples of the Deep Sea Alarm to ever surface, and Phillips is proud to offer it for the very first time at public auction.

  • Maker Bio

    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. E857
A very fine and extremely rare stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with alarm function, bracelet, guarantee, and presentation boxes

1959
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

Estimate
$60,000 - 120,000 
CHF59,800-120,000
€52,100-104,000
HK$471,000-941,000

sold for $68,750

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

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