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Thread: History of Jacques Lecoultre au Sentier, Switzerland.

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    Historically Inquisitive Martin103's Avatar
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    Default History of Jacques Lecoultre au Sentier, Switzerland.

    The Lecoultre family, originaly from France purchase land in Sentier Switzerland around 1593, Sentier is part of the valley de Joux surronding the Lac du Joux (Lake). It is not until Abraham Joseph I who was born in 1711 that the family got involved in Blacksmitting and forging on the family forge. His son Abraham Joseph II born in 1746 kept the family forge and blacksmitting business going.
    Abraham the second gave birth to a son in 1781 named Jacques David II Lecoultre, he will become the founder of the Lecoultre
    razor business.
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    Jacques pictured above with his wife.


    Jacques with the help of his son Antoinne are said to make razors for the large Lecoultre family and friends. Antoine who spent two years in geneva studying clockmaking and watchmaking returns to Le Sentier to work with his father in both business of watchmaking and razor manufacturing. In 1830 the father and son founded "Jaques Lecoultre et fils."
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    Antoinne Lecoultre

    Antoinne involment as a watchmaker brings the business to many Exhibition in 1829 in Lausanne,Switzerland,in 1848 in Bern Switzerland, in 1851 in London's Great Exhibition, the North American are taking very well to the Lecoultre razors, America is importing Lecoultre razors.
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    Advertising Lecoultre razors 1854.



    Lecoultre razors are now exported to North America, England, Germany and Russia. The popular frameback with interchangable blade that the french stop making but LeCoultre version is said to be superior to any and will hold an edge longer.

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    Also the company offered paddle strops
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    1867 advertising

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    1869
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    1896
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    Last edited by Martin103; 01-02-2013 at 04:42 AM.

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    The company changed name many times but it is now Jaeger/Lecoultre, and after all these years still in the same location in Switzerland.
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    LeCoultre stopped making razors in 1919 to devote the company to watchmaking-clockmaking, witch they hold over 200 patents.
    Last edited by Martin103; 01-02-2013 at 05:12 AM.

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    Martin thanks for this info, I love my lecoultre.
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    Interesting reading, thanks for posting it. I don't have a Jaeger-Lecoultre razor but have had one of their watches (a Master Geographique) for about 13 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weaselsrippedmyflesh View Post
    Interesting reading, thanks for posting it. I don't have a Jaeger-Lecoultre razor but have had one of their watches (a Master Geographique) for about 13 years.
    Greg, thanks for sharing that incredible watch.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Weaselsrippedmyflesh / Greg (thanks Martin - you just beat my post enabling me to edit it!),

    Jaques Le Coultre made razors, strops, musical boxes - and watches. Some razors were advertised as being made from '...steel wire used for watch springs, and consequently of superior temper...' Jaques son, Antoine, set up on his own account in 1833. His company was not called 'Jaques LeCoultre' - rather LeCoultre & Cie and later (c1958) Le Coultre & Cie Borgeaud. He had a number of children, none called Jaques. However it is certain that the firm of "Jaques LeCoultre" survived as a separate business entity with its own mark and official registration data, run alongside LeCoultre & Cie.

    Amongst Antoine's children was Elie (1842 - 1917) who joined the company aged 16 and was a major influence. Elie had a son called David - Antoine's grand-son, who figures in the Jaeger-LeCoultre story.

    Edmond Jaeger (1858 - 1922) was purely a watchmaker, who set up as a watchmaker for the french navy in 1880, in Paris. In 1903 he met the grand-son of Antoine LeCoultre - David, setting him a task to make ultra-thin watch movements that led to a series of pocket watches. Jaeger had already designed the movements, but it took the fine tolerances of a company like LeCoultre & Cie to make them into a reality. The design was owned by Jaeger, who let it exclusively to Cartier for 15 years (from 1907-22), and David LeCoultre made the movements.

    Although some watch and clock sites say that the collaboration involved Antoine LeCoultre, he died in 1881 so was never personally involved. David, son of Elie LeCoultre, was director of LeCoultre & Cie from 1906 - 1948 (when he died). The collaboration between Jaeger and LeCoultre & Cie was not officially finalised - and named Jaeger LeCoultre - until 1937.

    With each step we get further and further away from razors, and although I have seen many and owned several (Jaques) Lecoultre razors, I have never seen a Jaeger-LeCoultre one.

    You never know though - anything is possible!

    Regards,
    Neil
    Last edited by Neil Miller; 01-02-2013 at 03:32 PM. Reason: removing the 'c' in Jacques!

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    I have a book about Jaeger-LeCoultre watches that gives the history of the firm and its innovations. It's rather an awkward size to scan but if there's interest I'll try and scan the first few pages.
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    Greg

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    Another interesting fact is that the brand : "Jaques LeCoultre au Sentier"was registered in Switzerland November 8, 1895, 65 years after its foundation.
    Last edited by Martin103; 01-02-2013 at 03:56 PM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin103 View Post
    Another interesting fact is that the brand : "Jaques LeCoultre au Sentier"was registered in Switzerland November 8, 1895, 65 years after its foundation.
    I suspect that it is something to do with how long company registrations are in Switzerland, and what changes constitute grounds for re-registering an existing company. Like so many of the Sheffield makers, the applicants that recorded the original business info died long before the actual company ceased trading - sometimes after many generations, but still using the same original company name.

    Pre-1900 I expect things in Switzerland were a bit complicated re: comapny registration. As well as the usual 'sole ownership', 'company' and 'limited company' status there could have been more. I'm not an expert on company law, so in the case of a partnership, for instance, I don't know how the addition or removal of a partner alters the status of the initial registration, or going from company to limited company. There are also a number of cantons in Switzerland (26) each of which is a state of the Federal State of Switzerland. Before the Federation of Switzerland (1848) each of these cantons was a fully functioning, self-governing state with its own border controls, etc. So, 'Jaques LeCoultre au Sentier' would have initially been registered in the canton of Vaud (Le Sentier is within the state/canton called Vaud). After Federation and centralised administration I suppose the company records would have to be amended or re-registered.

    Interestingly, Jaques LeCoultre au Sentier advertised that it was to be removed as a company in 1927 with the reason of 'defunct' or 'ceased' (the french is a bit ambiguous - at least to me!) only to be replaced by a company of the same name administered by Charles LeCoultre and others. 'Charles' is probably Charles Antoine LeCoultre. The companies details indicated that they made chisels for watchmakers, tempered steel, razors, strops, cases, etc.

    Regards,
    Neil

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