With Jaeger-LeCoultre Extract from the Archives confirming manufacture of the present watch in 1958 and its participation in the conquest of Mount Antoine LeCoultre, 6589m, in the Himalayas, on 22 October 2009. Furthermore delivered the very Ostrich leather strap used by the climbers, new spare strap, spare "Verlux" crystal, tags and user instructions. The specially designed "Geophysic Expedition" presentation box contains a metal plaque engraved with the outlines of Mount Antoine LeCoultre and the facsimile signatures of the three team members.
Purchased by its actual owner at Jaeger-LeCoultre's second "World Heritage" online auction in March 2010, the present Geophysic Chronometer vintage 1958 E168 model was tested by professional climber Stéphane Schaffter and his team during their Geophysic Expedition to the Himalayas in 2009 and represents the exceedingly rare opportunity to acquire an iconic and unique timepiece. As a tribute to the successful conquest, the case back of this collector's timepiece bears the engraved inscription Geophysic Expedition: Mt Antoine LeCoultre, 6589M, The Himalayas, October 22, 2009.
The 1958 Geophysic Chronometer must be considered amongst the most important models in the history of Jaeger-LeCoultre, representing the manufacturer's values of precision, robustness and aesthetic purity. Made at a time of fundamental scientific and political developments, it was directly involved in this historical context.
To match the watch model that would resist any type of challenge, especially from the standpoint of water-resistance, antimagnetism, adjustment, etc., the name Geophysic Chronometer was suggested, also as the model perfectly met the criteria and values of the International Geophysical Year (IGY). The International Geophysical Year, a particularly significant scientific event, was organized on the initiative of the United States and took place at the high point of solar activity, from 1 July 1957 to 31 December 1958. It was also the first year of the Space Age, with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, on 4 October 1957.
The models were fitted with Jaeger-LeCoultre's first chronometer movements developed in 1957, new water-resistant cases with soft iron domes to protect the movement from magnetic field influence up to 600 gauss, hence meeting the needs of research scientists who could be working on polar bases, in laboratories or inside submarines. The origin of this watchmaking project was the call for "resistance to any type of challenge". Consequently, the cases were able to withstand magnetic fields, given that magnetism was also one of the scientists' main areas of study. Precision, guaranteed in mechanical watchmaking by the term 'chronometer', is another crucial necessity as every science requires exact measurements.
The precision, robustness and reliability of the Geophysic Chronometer made it a symbol of excellence and the logical choice for Jaeger-LeCoultre's when the firm decided to revive the Geophysic tradition in 2009. Under the patronage of the Grande Maison in the Vallée de Joux, the team of three mountaineers - Swiss guide Stéphane Schaffter, renowned Apa Sherpa and Little Karim Balti - have successfully scaled a virgin summit in Himalaya, christened Antoine LeCoultre's Peak. For the first time, the two living legends of the world of the Sherpas, met. Nepal, Pakistan and the Occident, joined forced in this extreme expedition. Three exceptional Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces have been part of the adventure, including the famous 1958 Geophysic Chronometer offered here for sale.
Despite extremely tough weather conditions including a base camp covered with 40 cm of snow and daily avalanche risks, the adventurers and their watches have accomplished their mission by reaching this 6,589-metre peak that required an extremely delicate technical approach.
Following its return to Le Sentier, the present watch has been thoroughly revised in the workshops of Jaeger-LeCoultre and is now offered in close to new overall condition.