Although some designer watches appear to be breaking records for getting larger and larger, the Queen’s Diamond jubilee has seen the focus shift to one of the world’s smallest designer ladies’ watches – the Jaeger-LeCoultre 101.
The Calibre 101 was created in 1929 and has the smallest mechanical watch mechanism in the world. Just 4.8mm wide and 3.4mm high, it’s a long way from the 40 to 50mm monsters being worn on many a man’s wrist around the world. Perhaps this watch can boast such a tiny frame because it’s not having to house components to work many of the extra features other designer watches pack into their casings these days – this is a watch as a watch was originally designed to be: a functional timepiece.
So what’s this 1929 watch got to do with the recent jubilee celebrations? The Queen actually wore a diamond-set watch containing the Calibre 101 movement on her Coronation day in 1953, and so Jaeger-LeCoultre have created a new replica version of this bejewelled 101 watch in celebration. The company only make three to five of the Calibre 101 pieces per year on special request, due to the notoriously difficult nature of creating such a small mechanical mechanism.
Jaeger-LeCoultre also produced six each of its extremely slim-line Reverso men’s and ladies’ watches in pink gold. Each watch is engraved on the back with the crest to commemorate this special 60th anniversary, although the limited production line won’t be the only reason you’ll be unlikely to rush to pick one up – the £11,000 price tag is likely to put off many customers too!
Harrods also have another special Jubilee watch for sale, this time made by diamond watch specialists Backes and Strauss. However, although 60 pieces were made of their special jubilee edition Regent watch, these come at an even higher price – up to £90,000 (not including VAT) for the highest quality 7.99 carat diamond versions!
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