Round about 1960, for some reason, Diving Alarm watches became a rage. Two key companies who made iconic watches with alarm for diving were JLC and Vulcain.
We take a look at both these interesting watches, and their re-issues. And go in depth to see what makes them interesting. In Part 1, we look at the JLC Memovox Deep Sea and in Part 2, we examine the Vulcain Nautical Seventies.
Jaeger LeCoultre began its diving alarm watches in 1959, and production continued till about 1961. Some 1061 pieces were made in the early years. The original 1959 watch was the first diving watch to be equipped with an alarm which is usable under water. The original watch carried a movement Caliber 815. This exceptional watch was re-introduced in 2011, and the re-issue is a faithful reproduction of the original.
Now equipped with the updated alarm Caliber 956, the watch is available in a US version (shown here) and an European version. The US version carries the name LeCoultre on the dial, and the European version shows the full name Jaeger LeCoultre on the dial.
The caseback is engraved with a stylized diver exactly the same motif as found in the original, and limited to 359 pieces, the watch is water resistant to 10 atm, or 100m.
The movement is the elegant Caliber 956, beating at 28,800 bph and a power reserve of 45 hours.
To us, this is a beautiful timepiece, just the right size, wears very well, and magnificently made, while totally faithful to the original.
In Part 2 of this article, we examine perhaps the only competitor to the JLC Deep Sea Alarm circa 1960, and its re-ssue.