Vintage Watch Blog.
Mechanical watch complications are considered any mechanical functions of a watch other than traditionally laid out time indicators. Some of the more common complications are date, calendar or triple calendar (date, day and month), moon phase, dual time zone, chronograph and power reserve. Uncommon complications, usually due to the fact they are difficult and expensive to produce, include perpetual calendar, tourbillon, minute repeater, equation of time and…alarm? Okay perhaps I am exaggerating. The alarm complication is not quite as rare as some of the other uncommon complications; but, if you look around the modern watch lines of some of the most respected brands, the alarm is often missing.
The history of an alarm clock complication is perhaps one of the oldest and most important clock complications to exist in history. In fact, during WWII, when US manufacturers shut down in support of the war efforts, companies which produced alarm clocks were some of the first companies allowed to resume manufacturing for consumer goods. Why? Because people all around the country were late or never showing up for work due to the lack of available working alarm clocks – a phenomenon that was hurting war-time productivity.
In today’s market for quartz and digital watches, trying to find one without an alarm is difficult at best - a good indicator that demand is high. That said, it’s somewhat surprising that manufacturers of fine mechanical watches haven’t done much in recent years to market and produce alarm complications; a function certainly worthy of practical bragging rights. Let’s face it – most people would use an alarm function more than a chronograph.
So where does one find a fine watch with an alarm complication? Jaeger-LeCoultre is the place to look. JL is on a short list of fine Swiss watch manufacturers with an unblemished history and strong pedigree. It’s important to note that Jaeger-LeCoultre has been a leader in the manufacturing of mechanical alarm watches for quite some time; and a decent selection is available for both vintage and modern watch buyers. The Memovox is perhaps the most iconic of all mechanical alarm watches in history; and, although evolved through the years, is still available today in an automatic as it was in 1956.
Adam J. Dubilo, founder of Adam Vintage
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Mailing: 7 E Circle Dr. E. Longmeadow, MA 01028
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