At SIHH Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a modern version of the Master Memovox International, originally created for the brand’s 125th anniversary in 1958 and also known as the Memovox Worldtimer. The alarm disk on this Memovox (“voice of memory”) features different cities and regions. This piece will be produced in two limited editions in 18-carat pink gold and in steel.
These new versions are fitted with the company’s Calibre 956, which is the direct descendant of JLC’s Calibre 815, the first automatic movement with alarm introduced in 1956. This is a rare example of a movement that’s still in production more than 50 years after its creation, though many improvements have been added over the years. In 1959, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 825 added a date aperture at 3 o’clock. In 1970 the Calibre 916 replaced its swinging weight by a 360° winding rotor and increased the balance frequency from 21,600 vph to 28,800 vph, which has become the norm for precision watches. In 1989, the company introduced its first movement featuring an alarm function along with a perpetual calendar: Calibre 919 comprised no fewer than 350 parts, including a bronze gong, which is unique in watchmaking. In 2005, the Master Grand Réveil was fitted with two types of alarm. The wearer could choose between an audible ring, or, when in a meeting, a more discreet vibration. And since 2007, the Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm, powered by Calibre 912, has featured a world time function as well as a digital display of the hour and minute to which the alarm has been set.
The latest model features a large free-sprung balance and a winding rotor on ceramic ball bearings that needs no lubrication or maintenance. Its gear wheels have a new tooth profile that ensures smoother transmission of power. Calibre 956 has a frequency of 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 45 hours. The case, with a solid caseback, measures 40 mm in diameter.
The steel version will be produced in an edition of 750 pieces priced at $11,350. The pink gold model is limited to 250 pieces priced at $22,150. The Master Memovox International should begin arriving in the stores in April.
Additional technical information appears below the images, which may be enlarged with a click.
Master Memovox International: technical characteristics
• mechanical automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956, crafted, assembled and decorated by hand
• 28,800 vibrations per hour
• 45-hour power reserve
• 268 parts
• 23 jewels
• 7.45 mm high
• hours, minutes, seconds
• date, alarm
• black with numerals, hour-markers and transferred city names
• rhodium-plated or gold-plated
• ø 40 mm, thickness: 14 mm
• solid back with new engraved “MASTER CONTROL” logo
• water resistance: 5 atm
• alligator leather with folding clasp
• Q1412471, 18-carat pink gold
• Q1418471, steel