Overview

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Jaeger-LeCoultre. A fine, rare and very attractive stainless steel “Staybrite” reversible wristwatch with cloisonné enamel dial, made for the 1952 Roland Garros Tennis Tournament
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT wil… Read more JAEGER-LECOULTREReverso Roland Garros 1952 Tennis Tournament Cloisonné Enamel Dial
Jaeger-LeCoultre. A fine, rare and very attractive stainless steel “Staybrite” reversible wristwatch with cloisonné enamel dial, made for the 1952 Roland Garros Tennis Tournament

SIGNED JAEGER-LECOULTRE, REVERSO MODEL, CASE NO. 467193, CIRCA 1952

Details
Jaeger-LeCoultre. A fine, rare and very attractive stainless steel “Staybrite” reversible wristwatch with cloisonné enamel dial, made for the 1952 Roland Garros Tennis Tournament
Signed Jaeger-LeCoultre, Reverso model, case no. 467193, circa 1952
Movement: octagonal-shaped gilt-finished, 15 jewels, signed
Dial: polychrome cloisonné enamel, punch-numbered on the top edge with Stern Frères reference 104*014
Case: snap on back, engraved “Roland Garros 1952”, facsimile signature of René Lacoste and crocodile emblem, 23 mm. wide, 38 mm. long, numbered
Special Notice

On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 7.7% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

With very attractive and extremely rare cloisonné enamel “tennis” dial and historically interesting Roland Garros/René Lacoste inscription, the present watch highlights the sporting history of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s iconic Reverso – the first true sports watch.
Originally created for polo players as watch that could withstand the hard knocks of the sport, the idea was crystalized by César de Trey and Jacques-David LeCoultre. The Reverso was designed in Paris by René-Alfred Chauvot and patented on 4th March 1931 under French patent number 159982.

Cloisonné enamel dials are always individual artisan creations, with their unfading brightness and rich lustre the watches with cloisonné dials are amongst the most desirable across all brands. The main supplier of such dials were the celebrated firm of Stern Frères who made dials for all the great brands including Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega. Each dial was individually stamped with a number code, the first digits are the brand code: 93 for Patek Philippe, 103 for Rolex etc, a star symbol between then the remaining digits refer to the particular design. So that for the present dial 104*014 = 104 for Jaeger-LeCoultre and 014 being the “tennis player” design.

Although unsubstantiated, it seems highly probable that this watch was presented by René Lacoste, himself a former tennis ace, to the winner of the 1952 French Open Tennis Tournament (known as Roland Garros). The winner that year was the Czech player Jaroslav Drobny (1921-2001). Drobny was one of the great international players of the 1950s winning, amongst many others, singles titles at the Australian open in 1950, Roland Garros in 1951 and 1952 and Wimbledon in 1954.

Named after Roland Garros, a pioneer aviator and World War I hero, the Roland Garros stadium was constructed in 1928 to host France’s first entry in the Davis Cup. Since then the French Open Grand Slam championship tournament has been played annually and is widely considered to be the most physically demanding tennis tournament in the world.

René Lacoste (1904-1996) was a champion tennis player nicknamed “the crocodile” by fans because of his tenacity on the court. He founded the now world-famous clothing company in 1933 with André Gillier. The highly recognizable company logo of the crocodile originated form Lacoste’s nickname as a tennis player.

The present watch is not only an example one of the most enduring classics, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, but with a rare and beautiful cloisonné enamel dial and inscription linking it to one of the world’s great sporting events it represents an opportunity for both the serious watch collector and tennis enthusiast alike.

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