Jaeger-LeCoultre is a Swiss manufacturer which produces high-end watches and clocks.
Antoine-LeCoultre (1803-1881) was a pioneering inventor. He had his own workshop in 1833 that made high quality timepieces. He also developed state-of-the-art measuring equipment and, in 1844, was the first person to be able to measure the micron.
In 1847, LeCoultre made a keyless winding watch which used a push-button to activate multi-functions.
At the time, the Swiss Watch industry was basically a collection of small home-based workshops. In 1866 Antoine and his son Elie decided to make watch making a true manufacturing industry and in 1866 opened a large workshop that employed a group of watchmakers, steam-driven machinery and specialist tools. The company was called LeCoultre & Cie.
In 1903, French designer Edmond Jaeger (1858-1922) invented ultra-thin calibres and challenged Swiss watchmakers to manufacture them. Antoine’s grandson Jacques-David LeCoultre (1875-1948) accepted the task and soon formed a friendship with LeCoultre.
By 1907 LeCoultre had made the world’s thinnest calibre pocket watch, only 1.38mm thick. The process of miniaturisation became an ongoing theme for the company.
From 1907 until 1922, of Jaeger’s movement designs were exclusively assigned to French Jewellers Cartier and they were made by LeCoultre.
In 1937 the company was renamed to Jaeger-LeCoultre. Note that in North America watches still just had the name LeCoultre until the mid 1980′s.
Today, besides the high-quality, expensive watches, the company still produces clocks (like its famous Atmos) and measuring instruments (like speedometers and fuel gauges to the automobile industry).