Jaeger-LeCoultre - The New York Watch Auction: X New York Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Jaeger-LeCoultre
    Year: 1968
    Reference No: E859
    Movement No: 1'996'427
    Case No: 1'132'895; 5-68
    Model Name: Memovox Polaris
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. K285, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, and movement signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The famed Jaeger-LeCoultre “Memovox” (voice of memory) was introduced in 1950, quickly gaining traction as one of the most desirable and reliable alarm wristwatches on the market. A center disc with an arrow is operated by a second crown typically found at 2 o’clock, allowing the alarm function to be quickly and easily set. In an era where sports diving was gaining more and more popularity (indeed, advertisements of the era branded the E859 as “pour l’homme d’action” or “for the man of action”), Jaeger-LeCoultre’s response was to launch a unique, oversized, automatic waterproof divers' wristwatch with an alarm function.

    Their goal was to offer both visual (inner bezel) and auditory (alarm) timers for maximum diver safety. To do so, the firm created a patented case back, which optimized the alarm’s sound transmission under water. The outer case, with its 16 holes, allowed for the alarm tone to be heard and also felt on the wrist, while the inner case sealed and protected the movement. The watch featured three crowns, each with the cross hatch pattern characteristic of Super Compressor watches: the first for time setting, the second to rotate the inner bezel for dive timing, and the third to rotate the inner disc with arrow to set the alarm.

    Known in the United States as the Polaris, and in the European market as the "Skin Diver Memovox", the reference E859 was made in 1714 total examples. The present European E589, signed Jaeger-LeCoultre on the dial, is amongst the finest examples to come to market. Well-preserved with a sharp case that in our opinion has never seen a polishing, its beautifully aged dial is flawless, with all luminous material original and fully intact.. The beauty of the case’s design is enhanced by the presence of the original and rarely seen rounded, domed crystal – most surviving examples are instead fitted with service crystals with a sharp edge.

  • Artist Biography


    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. E859
A well-preserved, rare, and attractive stainless steel diver's wristwatch with center seconds, date and alarm function

42mm Diameter
Case, dial, and movement signed.

$15,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $24,130

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Americas
+1 (212) 940-1293

Isabella Proia
Head of Sale, New York
+1 (212) 940 1285

The New York Watch Auction: X

New York Auction 8 - 9 June 2024