If you’re inclined to believe, that the watch company inscribed on the face of your wrist watch, is also the company that manufactured your watch’s ‘Ëœmovement’, you might be in for a proverbial surprise. As early as 1902, watchmaker LeCoultre & Co., known today as Jaeger-LeCoultre, has been making watch movements and parts, for watch companies such as Cartier, Patek Philippe, Panerai and most recently, Ralph Lauren and Alfred Dunhill.
In 1907, French watchmaker Cartier, entered into a contractual agreement with Edmond Jaeger, giving Cartier exclusive rights to all of Jaeger’s movement designs for a 15 year period. Even though Cartier’s exclusivity contract with Jaeger ended in 1934, the relationship between the two watch houses still continues to this day. Cartier introduced in 1985, the Pascha de Cartier 42 mm watch, which came equipped with an MC 8000 calibre movement by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Much like the Cartier partnership, Jaeger-LeCoultre also supplied watchmaker, Patek Philippe, with most of its raw movements in 1902. JLC also made an offer to purchase a majority share in Patex Philippe, when the company was experiencing financial straits in 1932. But Jaeger’s proposed offer fell through when the Stern brothers, of the Stern Watch Company, who at the time created the dials for Patex Philippe, made a more desirable counter-offer that Patex couldn’t refuse. The end result was a Stern acquisition of Patek Philippe that year.
Another bid for control of Patex Philippe occurred when Financiere Richemont, a holding company for luxury Swiss watch brands that also includes Jaeger-LeCoultre, teamed up with watchmaker Audemars Piguet in 2000, to purchase the Stern Group. One of Richemont’s most prized acquisitions was that of watchmaker, Officine Panerai, in 1997.
The collectible Panerai Radiomir model 190 wrist-watch, has a Jaeger-LeCoultre 8 day movement. And the caliber OPIII movement of the Panerai Luminor Submercible, seen on the wrist of Dwayne Johnson in the 2011 movie Fast Five, was based on the Jaeger Le Coultre 897 movement. It is also no coincidence, that action star Paul Walker, was filmed wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Automatic Navy Seal watch, in the movie Fast Five as well.
Other watch brands that feature Jaeger Le Coultre ‘Ëœmovements’ include Ralph Lauren and Alfred Dunhill. In the Feb 8th, 2011 issue of Watchtime.com, the Ralph Lauren Sporting Chronograph Black Ceramic was featured with a Jaeger-LeCoultre manufacture movement, bearing the caliber designation RL750. This caliber designation was also used in some of the watch models in Lauren’s Stirrup collection. Alfred Dunhill’s newly designed Facet watch, also features a Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 822 movement. The partnership between Jaeger and Dunhill can be explained by the fact that the Richemont Group is also the parent company of these two highly sought after watch brands.