Jaeger-LeCoultre Steel, Black Explorer Dial, 1946
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed
Beautifully Restored Black & Pink Gilt Dial
Mid-Size 32mm Steel Case, Excluding the Crown
Very High Grade, Hand-Wound Calibre P469 Movement
Contrasting Original Pink Gilt lance Hands and Sub Seconds Dial
Bezel, Case Body and Case Back, each in Immaculate Condition
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
High Quality Black Lizard Strap with Plain Buckle
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty*
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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Since its founding in 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has had a highly inventive history, developing over 1,249 mechanical calibres, registering over 400 Patents and playing a tremendous role in the development of the industry as a whole. Whether it is the world’s first keyless watch, its Calibre 101, the Futurematic, the Memovox, or the iconic Reverso, it would be difficult to imagine a historical account of watchmaking without the mention of Jaeger-LeCoultre.
It is not commonly known that Jaeger-LeCoultre, in addition to producing movements for its own watches, the company has also produced movements for a number of famous watch houses such as Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and IWC. Indeed for most of the 20th Century, Jaeger-LeCoultre even supplied bare movements to the great firm of Patek Philippe. The company has always been a true ‘Manufacturer’ of the finest quality watch movements. Indeed Jaeger-LeCoultre has always manufactured all its own movements. This is unusual because very often, high-end brands such as Rolex, Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin would buy in movements for particular needs. For example, in 1967 when Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin needed an ultra-thin automatic movement, it was to Jaeger-LeCoultre they turned, to produce one for them. Furthermore, the exquisite Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 920, is still in production and in use today by both Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet.
Here we have a particularly beautiful example of a gentleman’s classic 1940s, mid-size steel dress watch from Jaeger-LeCoultre in fully restored condition. This watch has a very highly regarded movement which is very accurate and reliable, making the perfect watch for special occasions or with care, everyday use!
The original classic black dial with pink gilt raised numerals and arrowhead hour indices are matched by the original pink gilt Lance hands. This style of dial from this period is often referred to as the Explorer dial due to its similarity with certain Rolex watches which carried a similar dial during the 1950s.
The dial is simply signed Jaeger-LeCoultre and “Swiss Made”, with a subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock, the overall look, as with all vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre, is one of original classic simplicity and elegance. The lens is new, having been replaced as part of the restoration.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the very highest standards by the UK’s foremost dial restorers.
The watch has its all original ultra high quality, 17 jewelled, Calibre P469 hand-wound movement. This movement is very highly regarded as one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most refined calibres and has become a cornerstone for its hand-wound movement development.
As can be seen, the movement here is in spectacular condition. It has just completed a full overhaul and service by our vintage JLC specialist watchmaker. This involves complete dismantling to each of its component parts, ultrasonic cleaning, microscope inspection and replacement of parts as required, only with new JLC originals, then careful assembly and oiling ready for final testing and careful calibration.
The movement is signed Jaeger-LeCoultre Co and ‘Fab Suisse’ with the calibre number P469 and with the movement serial number 420578, making the year of manufacture 1946.
The watch is now running perfectly having been calibrated and timed at +6 seconds per day which is outstanding for any watch of this age. The watch has a runtime of 43 hours from its fully wound state which shows the movement is particularly strong and running and well within expected parameters. It is now ready for many more decades of faithful service and we are therefore more than happy to offer this watch with our 12 months’ warranty and assist with servicing again in around three years time.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The steel watch case is excellent condition, having received a very gentle and sympathetic clean and polish. The watch has obviously been very well cared for as there are no dings, scratches or marks visible to the naked eye. The case is the much rarer oversize 32mm diameter, not including the crown. The beautiful ’40s swept back lugs are also an attractive feature and give the watch a greater presence.
The case-back is properly marked as expected: LeCoultre, and carries the external serial number 359554. This external case number is clear, indicating the watch case has not been over polished. Also, importantly, the case back is of full thickness and has never been engraved.
The Strap & Buckle
A new high quality black lizard strap has been fitted, along with a steel buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin, but can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of 19mm straps if you wish here.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1946. Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt and 12 months warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Watch Centre of London will offer you a full refund at any time”. As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
The hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
This is exactly the kind of watch we love to find, restore and offer for sale. It’s many more times more stylish than the modern equivalent watch and even though it is now more than 70 years old and still completely fresh, reliable and practical to wear as your everyday watch should you wish, mostly it’s a thing of beauty, some would say, ourselves included, a work of art, from one of the most prestigious names in Swiss watchmaking. Should you wish to view it this way, it is also an excellent investment and heirloom piece and as each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold watches grows ever greater, limited supply and high demand from the Far East, means prices will climb ever higher!
This is a beautiful example of a classic vintage watch from one of horology’s most famous names and if treated with care, will remain an excellent investment as well as something to use, wear, treasure and enjoy. It will provide excellent reliability as well as a sound financial investment, as long-lasting as the watch itself!
Please note, all vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by UK bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
If you have any questions please call on our Landline 0207 727 7095. If calling from overseas please call: +44 7515 949250.
Please note, we welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.