Edmond Jaeger


Edmond Jaeger was a French watchmaker specialised in instruments for measuring speed, chronographs and aircraft counters. His close partnership with Jacques David LeCoultre led to the creation of the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand.

Born in 1858, Edmond Jaeger left his native Alsace, with his family, at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and settled in Paris, where he opened his workshop in 1880. A specialist in instruments for measuring speed, such as tachymeters, cinemometers, chronographs and aircraft counters, he rapidly became watchmaker to the French Navy, to which he supplied his first deck chronometers in 1890. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, in 1900 Jacques-David Le Coultre took over at the head of the company his grandfather had founded, and which already employed more than five hundred people. The LeCoultre company, which for the next thirty years would make most of the ébauches for Patek, Philippe & Cie, already had an impressive track record, having developed 125 simple calibres and 31 of the most complicated calibres. When Jacques-David heard of Edmond Jaeger’s plan to make extra-thin watches, he readily accepted the challenge. The partnership, and soon friendship, between the two men gave rise to some extraordinary creations (and, in 1937, Jaeger-LeCoultre).


The result of this collaboration was presented in 1907 by LeCoultre & Cie: the thinnest stem-winding pocket watch in the world. Its movement, Calibre 145, measured 1.38mm high and 39.54mm in diameter. There would be other complicated movements, all remarkable for their thinness, including a chronograph (2.80mm high) and a minute repeater (3.20mm), followed by wristwatches. Also in 1907, Edmond Jaeger signed a fifteen-year exclusive contract with Cartier, with the result that LeCoultre became the maker of the Jaeger movements that equipped Cartier watches. The two companies combined forces in 1915 to produce dashboard instruments for cars and instruments for Allied aircraft during the First World War. Poor health obliged Edmond Jaeger to gradually step back from the business from 1918. He handed over responsibility for his Parisian workshop to Paul Lebet, who came from the LeCoultre manufacture. Edmond Jaeger died in 1922. His name is forever associated with that of LeCoultre as a company that would write some of the finest pages in watchmaking history.



Edmond Jaeger founded his first workshop in Paris.


First deck chronometers delivered to the French Navy.


Worked with Jacques-David Le Coultre, grandson of Antoine, on simple and complicated ultra-thin movements, then wristwatches.


In collaboration with LeCoultre & Cie, made onboard instruments for Allied aircraft and dashboard instruments for cars.


Gradually retired from business for health reasons. Paul Lebet, from the LeCoultre manufacture, took the helm of the Jaeger workshop in Paris.


Henceforth, the watches that came out of the collaboration between Edmond Jaeger and Jacques-David Le Coultre were signed Jaeger-LeCoultre.