MEET THE NEW JAEGER-LECOULTRE MEMOVOX
Published on 9 October 2020
3 mins read
This year saw the release of two exceptional new watches in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Memovox line, the Master Control Memovox Timer and the Master Control Memovox.
‘Memovox’, which is Latin for ‘Memory Voice’, a name aptly chosen for the alarm watch first introduced by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1950. The original Memovox allowed the wearer to set an alarm right on the wrist, which was powered by a second mainspring barrel and made audible by a miniature hammer hitting the caseback and resonating surprisingly loudly. In an age before smartphones, the mechanical alarm was a useful feature to have.
This new generation of the iconic alarm features a new case and new gong, with a wholly re-engineered movement – the manufacture calibre 956AA. In addition to being 15 per cent slimmer than the previous generation, on this version, the gong no longer strikes the case back. Instead, in this new movement, the hammer hits the side of the case, allowing for a clear case back, which in turn – allows you to enjoy the alarm in action. This is the first time in the model’s long history that the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox has used a clear case back.
Flip the Memovox over, and you’re treated to an 18K pink gold oscillating weight, decorated with Côtes de Genève stripes: fine finishing for a fine watch. With its classic ‘school bell’ chime, the Memovox alarm sounds unchanged. What’s more, the calibre 956AA movement has 45-hours of power reserve.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has also opted to pair the new Memovox models with Novonappa calfskin straps, which look lovely paired with the different dials. Intended to patina over time, these soft new straps have a matt finish, adding a casual air to the watch. They also contain the brands’ Presto’ spring bar attachment, which makes for swift strap changes.
The Master Control Memovox Timer takes things a step further and also includes a countdown function – an entirely new complication for Jaeger-LeCoultre. Both watches are housed in a 40mm case, with two signed crowns on the right-hand side, and elegantly tapered lugs. Let’s take a closer look at each model.
The Master Control Memovox
The Master Control Memovox has been built with functionality front of mind; the silvered grey sunray dial is detailed without being cluttered. In a nod to the original, this watch features the Memovox’s signature markers, with triangular elements tastefully placed throughout the dial. Just look to the dauphine hands, iconic alarm triangle or the hour markers.
The blue seconds hand adds a pop of considered colour to an otherwise monochromatic dial and matches the font used to display the date – which is shown at three o’clock. These thoughtful details come together and present a deliberately reserved timepiece, intended for daily wear.
The Master Control Memovox Timer
A real standout in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 2020 releases, the Master Control Memovox Timer features a distinguishing technical feature – a timer function. This new function means that the alarm can be set to elapsed time, (think of it as a countdown timer) as well as to your desired time. That means you could set the alarm to wake you up at say 7 AM, or – use the countdown timer to wake you up after 8 hours of sleep have elapsed.
Stylistically, the Master Control Memovox Timer has a stunning layered blue sunray dial, with several shades of blue, making the watch look very different from the regular Memovox. This is thanks to the additional countdown function, which is front and centre on the dial and featuring polished numerals. The Memovox Timer has been paired with an elegant dark navy Novonappa leather strap.
The hours until the alarm are indicated with a red-tipped hand, which features the JLC logo. From there, the refreshingly light and rich dark blue circles alternate and add extra depth and contrast to the dial.
The Master Control Memovox Timer is also a limited edition, with just 250 pieces being produced, and is exclusively sold at Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques.
If you’re after a unique yet highly functional watch that combines vintage aesthetics with modern watchmaking, it’s time to check out the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox range. Trust us, Memovox is a watch that needs to be heard to be fully appreciated.
This article is written by our content contributor Felix Scholz and Andy Green