HowTo – Determine the age of your Jaeger LeCoultre watch

Sometimes you really want to dig into the history of that watch you just found. For some brands you can easily get in contact with the brand and ask for some (free) information from the archive (more on that here). In other cases you just want a quick check on the serialnumber to determine the year that a watch is built. This is especially useful with military watches since these require the watches being built somewhere prior to or during 1914-1918 for the first world war or prior or during 1939 – 1945 for the second world war. I dare to say that most military watches offered on eBay actually are most certainly not.

I recently purchased a copy of Zaf Basha’s “Jaeger LeCoultre”, which is a great resource on JLC as a brand and a rundown of the best movements and watches they made in their rich history. I have quite a few books about watches but this one is by far one of the best and I would like to encourage anyone to find yourself a copy. (ISBN 0615223877)

Below is a table that can be found in the book, with which you can find the approximate year of production when looking up the serial number of the watch movement (not the case number).

YearSerial number (start)
19250
19305.000
193110.000
193220.000
193330.000
193440.000
193550.000
193670.000
193790.000
1938105.000
1939115.000
1940125.000
1941140.000
1942185.000
1943255.000
1944315.000
1945350.000
1946405.000
1947460.000
1948530.000
1949625.000
1950700.000
1951790.000
1952850.000
1953925.000
19541.000.000
19551.050.000
19561.130.000
19571.225.000
19581.300.000
19591.350.000
19601.400.000
19611.450.000
19621.500.000
19631.550.000
19641.630.000
19651.700.000
19661.770.000
19671.850.000
19681.925.000
19692.000.000
19702.050.000

If you open up the case of your Jaeger, Jaeger-LeCoultre or LeCoultre wristwatch you can usually find a serial number like in this example below. The 269.000 serial number points to a production year of somewhere around 1943.

I hope this helps you out, please know that these lists are available for a lot of other brands as well. Success!

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