Sweden’s biggest order of JLC watches through history?!

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 27th, 2015-12:24



Some years ago I found this ad from 1957:

As gifts to employees that had been with the company for 25 years or more, the Swedish Metal Association ordered for their 50 years anniversary a total of 1276 Jaeger-LeCoultre gold watches!

What I find interesting with this article is:

Swedish connection to the JLC brand in the 1950’s. As a vintage collector I can only say that Sweden never was a big market for JLC.

- At that time, this must have been considered a very generous gift.

- A company with over 1200 people that had been with the company over 25 years! Today I don’t think it is that common for people to be that loyal to their work.

So, why do I show you this ad now? Well, these watches pop up occasionally here in Sweden for sale. I never got one, but a friend of mine did. And a few weeks ago he showed it to me…


Reference 2953 in 18 K yellow Gold, manual caliber 12 ½.

What is very interesting is that from the looks of it this watch has a special dial. Or the ref 2953 did exist with several different dials?

This is the “normal” look of the 2953. Two tone zone dial.

Would be interesting to know if these dials were special ordered…

This was not a one-time order; I have seen these watches dated all the way to 1961.

This  particular piece is from 1959.

A fun part of watch collecting is to know the history of your watches, don’t you think?!





This message has been edited by blomman on 2015-01-27 12:25:33

Well Blomman

 By: Starman : January 27th, 2015-13:08
Past couple of years I am afraid a lot of companies were not that loyal to their employees either! Hope companies don't start giving away JLC watches; we have to keep it our little big secret.

Still a nice piece of history in general and of JLC history; thanks for sharing. Were these solid gold or plated cases? Any idea why they chose JLC watches to give away? Most people probably didn't recognize the brand anyway.


I have no clue why ....

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 27th, 2015-13:38
They choose JLC... Best deal on 1276 watches..?

These are solid gold.

Yes, the work climate changes...


2953: Two tone or " pie " dial? Superb post, by the way. [nt]

 By: amanico : January 27th, 2015-13:11
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I would say both....

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 27th, 2015-13:40
It is a very small angle on the dial if I don't recall wrong, but it is also different surface/tone on the inner and outer part of the dial.

Thank you, my friend.


Probably... We'll have to investigate! [nt]

 By: amanico : January 27th, 2015-13:53
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Mine seems to be all one color

 By: rdenney : January 27th, 2015-22:36
Blomman, you and I have corresponded about my JLC ref. 2953 that is identical to the lower picture in your 12-1/2''' catalog page. Perhaps you found that page as a result of our correspondence.

I do believe that the change in color is not two-tone, but rather just a change in the way the light reflects from the brushed dial surface. Mine is all one color.

JLC Ref. 2953, ca. 1945

JLC Ref. 2953, ca. 1945, 12-1/2''' P450/4C (lousy iPhone pic, unfortunately)

The seconds hand on this watch is not original--it is the seconds hand for a caliber 820, which uses the same center-seconds pinion as the P450/4C in this watch. Everything else is original. When I received the watch, it was missing the seconds hand, but I have seen these with a variety of seconds hands in both gold and blued steel. The most common is the egg-tail shape in the ad posted up-thread.

The dial is brushed very lightly in a vertical direction, and does not appear to me to have ever been refinished, despite that a couple of the markers have been nudged slightly out of position.

Rick "who has promised Blomman to write about this watch here for several weeks, but has been delayed in making proper photos" Denney

Welcome here, Rick! Nice watch, and very nice movement, too. [nt]

 By: amanico : January 27th, 2015-22:51
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I haven't forgot about your request, Rick!

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 28th, 2015-10:49
Hi Rick and welcome here (officially)!

Yes, your request and the fact that my friend showed me the same reference triggered this post!
And also my question if the Swedish order had special dials...

Your watch from 1945 have the same dial as in the catalog I show in my original post. That catalog is from (I am guessing based on the watches inside) mid 1950's.
So, for about 10 years, the reference has the same dial and then suddenly another dial (that I never saw except on the Swedish once)...

Rick, this is your lucky day! 
After I posted yesterday, I went even further back into my archive and found this...

1945 JLC catalog:

Notice the different hands. 


Our favourite Archivist is here. ;) [nt]

 By: amanico : January 28th, 2015-12:04
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As always! ;) [nt]

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 29th, 2015-12:52
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Mine looks like the slightly later version...

 By: rdenney : January 28th, 2015-12:23
...that is in your 1955 catalog, but it's only a minor variation on the example in the 1945 catalog. I dated the movement, not the watch, so it's possible that the watch was made a year or three later, and perhaps the dial migrated to the later design right after your 1945 catalog.

But I have seen a number of examples (though in pictures of unconfirmed origin) at were the same reference but had raised Arabics instead of painted Arabics. But I rather thought the 2953's all used the 12-1/2''' movement and used an inner minute track to keep the hands the same length as the 33mm watches that used a smaller caliber 820. Those seem to put the minute track around the outer edge. Note that the seconds hand on mine is almost exactly the right length, though it was labeled in the seller's parts bin as being for the caliber 820. Perhaps by the late 50's, they abandoned that bit of possible interchangeability.

Thank you for providing the details--I love having the promotional material for the interesting watches in my collection.

Rick "for whom the research is part of the fun" Denney

The research is a BIG part of the fun! :) [nt]

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 29th, 2015-12:53
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Here are a few data points...

 By: rdenney : January 28th, 2015-13:20
...from past for-sale listings by Zaf Basha:

He believes the dial to have been refinished perfectly. The movement also dates to 1945. The seconds hand is the same shape as mine, though gold, but the minutes and hours hands have the same dauphine shape.

Here's another one:

He believes this dial was also a refinish, but the numerals are closer to the style of your 1945 catalog (though the hands are still the dauphine style). The movement in this one also dates to 1945.

Here's one with a 1946 movement:

The dial is repainted poorly with a dreadful logo, and the seconds hand looks to have been trimmed. But a repaint doesn't replace raised numerals. This had a P450 movement but the lugs are a semi-teardrop design. Is this a 2953? I've seen several examples in teardrop cases, but your 1945 catalog suggests these might be a different reference. Certainly we don't see the long hands or the dot minute markers as on the Swedish example from over a decade later.

Here's a similar dial in original condition, with raised numerals. But the date is unknown (to me):

Given the lack of correlation between date and style, my suspicion is that the watches were made in batches, and each batch reflected a little different set of details.

All of these were discussed in Zaf's forum (and I hope referencing them here doesn't break any unwritten rule), so you all have probably seen them.

As I mentioned before, I've seen similarly designed watches with outer minute tracks that used a caliber 820 in a 33mm case. Do we know the size and caliber of those Swedish watches? Maybe they thought 35.5mm was too big for a watch by the late 50's, and shrank the reference 2953.

Rick "curious" Denney

The Swedish version is 35.5 mm

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 29th, 2015-13:02
I would rule out all watches with other case shapes/lugs and other calibers as other references than 2953...

I can't be 100% sure, but normally if different case shape=different reference. Same goes for movement...

I have asked for my friends movement number, let's see if I get it.
If yes, we can tell more about which year...


I suspect the 2953 had several different dials over the years

 By: rdenney : January 27th, 2015-22:42
I have seen photos of watches that responded to searches on the reference 2953 that had applied Arabics on the cardinal positions as this one does. But the late-50's date is much different than what I suspect is the mid-40's date of the watch in your catalog picture. That picture is identical to mine, and mine has a movement serial number that resolves to 1945.

Do you know the date of that catalog page?

Rick "finding little published about the 2953" Denney

There is one watch which makes me think about the 2953...

 By: amanico : January 27th, 2015-22:49

This one...

P 476.


But which is not...

Best, Rick.

See my reply above [nt]

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 28th, 2015-10:50
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Excellent story Blomman, TFS! [nt]

 By: Asimut : January 28th, 2015-10:54
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Thank you, Asi! :) [nt]

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 28th, 2015-11:04
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