The old-school charm of mechanical alarm clocks will never go out of style.
The sounds of alarms, buzzers, bings, vibrations and noises are the 21 bane of ST-century technology gadgets. Whether it’s a wake-up ringtone, an email received, a Whatsapp message, or a reminder to take a few more steps, we are all bombarded with 24/7 sound signals. For those who desire the simple days of calling a shovel a shovel and don’t have 1,500 contacts in your phone, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Memovox will resonate. In fact, it’s a hammer to be precise. Introduced in 1950, Memovox is a mechanical alarm clock watch that still delights watch lovers today. In June 2020, Jaeger-LeCoultre launched two Master Control Memovox models: limited edition Memovox Timer and Memovox time & date models. Although the nostalgia for the first Memovox watches of the 1950s has always been respected, the aesthetic upgrade on the Master Control case makes the watch more modern. The movement also benefits from a comprehensive modification, and the combination of the sapphire caseback means you can see the action of the hammer when it strikes the gong. Let us take a closer look at the time and date model and the infinite charm of its old-fashioned alarm clock.
With its extensive experience in developing timekeeping movements since 1870, it was only a matter of time before Jaeger-LeCoultre found a way to miniaturize its minute repeater device for installation in a watch. However, the complicated minute repeater mechanism is not practical for daily wear and tear. A bit like the practical Reverso Reverso, its rotating back cover protects the dial from blows during a polo game. Jaeger-LeCoultre modified the ringing mechanism to give it practical daily functions and integrate it into mainstream work and life. The alarm clock watch called Memovox launched by JLC in 1950 will activate the sound signal at the specified time, which can be used as a wake-up call or reminder.
In 1956, Memovox was equipped with JLC’s automatic 815 type self-winding movement, becoming the first automatic alarm clock watch in history, and it was deeply loved by business people. Between 1959 and 1969, Memovox was equipped with a calibre 825 with a date module. Realizing that the alarm function is not only useful on land, Memovox invested in the Memovox Deep Sea waterproof case in 1959 and equipped with the iconic Memovox Polaris in 1968. Its rotating inner bezel can measure the elapsed diving time and the super compressor housing. Amplify the alarm sound.
Consistent with the aesthetic upgrade to the Master Control product line in 2020, the 40mm stainless steel case uses a thinner slanted bezel. This tilt not only provides a more spacious dial view, but also visually weakens the 12.39 mm thickness of the case. Although this watch obviously has the taste of the 1950s, the proportions of the watch are modern, but it is not compact and compact enough for most wrists (Briece’s 16.5 cm wrist appears in the photo). For example, the lugs have a more pronounced curve, allowing the watch to be closer to the wrist.
The contrasting polished and brushed surface of the case emphasizes the styling and more compact appearance of the 2020 upgraded version. The two iconic crowns of the 1950 Memovox-setting the alarm at 2 o’clock and adjusting the time at 4 o’clock-are faithfully copied on the right side of the case.
The simple and clean silver dial has a sun-brushed finish. The elements on the dial are impeccable and perfectly convey the atmosphere of the 1950s. The protagonist of Memovox is the alarm clock function, which is activated by the triangle mark in the center disc of the dial. The outer track allows you to set the hours to the nearest 15-minute interval by moving the triangular hands with the crown at 2 o’clock. Shopping cheap watch
Slender triangular hour markers with sharp facets are applied to the dial together with Arabic numerals at 12 o’clock, 9 o’clock and 6 o’clock. Each hour index is highlighted by a dot that intersects the minute track. Like the automatic Memovox model with a date module released between 1959 and 1969, the date is located in a framed rectangular hole at 3 o’clock with black numbers and a white background. The retro toffee-style hour and minute hands are also treated with fine lines, and the blue central seconds hand provides a very subtle color.
The 956AA self-winding movement that powers the movement has been completely redesigned for the Master Control Memovox and is 15% thinner than before. The previous Memovox model had gongs on the closed back; the new Master Control case has a transparent sapphire back and a new strike system. You can see the hammer hitting the peripheral gong hidden on the side of the case (approximately at 2 o’clock). Even the pink gold oscillating weight has been hollowed out to show as much movement as possible. The oscillating weight is decorated with Côtes de Genève, which complements the finish on the movement plywood, and the screws are blue. The movement composed of 271 parts beats at a frequency of 4Hz (28,800vph) and can store up to 45 hours of energy.
Memovox is a classic in the world of rare alarm clock watches, and it is also a delightful and amazing watch. It is true that the silver dial makes the watch look larger than the dark dial, but nothing captures the mood of the 1950s better than the silver dial. Like other Master Control models, the silver Dauphine-style hands on a silver background can sometimes hinder legibility, but the small luminous stripes can help. With its 50m water resistance and casual Novonappa calfskin strap, this watch is clearly designed for everyday enjoyment. However, the great success of Memovox is the old-school charm of alarm clocks. A lovely voice may take you back to your childhood, or at least arouse nostalgia for the good times when the lithium battery was not running.
Technical specifications-JAEGER-LECOULTRE MASTER CONTROL MEMOVOX
Case: 40mm diameter x 12.38mm high-stainless steel, brushed and polished-50m water resistance-sapphire crystal case back-two crowns (alarm at 2 o’clock, time at 4 o’clock)
Dial: Silver sun pattern-applied hour markers-Memovox alarm function in the center of the dial-Date window at 3 o’clock-Luminous dots above the hour markers and luminous on the hour and minute hands-Blue central seconds hand
Movement: Jaeger-LeCoultre 956 in-house movement-automatic alarm movement-23 jewels-268 parts-28,800 times/hour-45 hours power reserve-hours, minutes, seconds, date, alarm function (Memovox) and chronograph Indicator
Strap: Brown Novonappa calfskin with steel pin buckle