I find myself fascinated and mesmerized by this Jaeger-LeCoultre skeleton dial table clock, which recently found its way in store for servicing.
With its clean, minimalistic design, the iconic baguette or in-line 16 jewel movement appears to be floating in the clock’s transparent glass dial, which makes the piece all the more captivating.
The beauty of the clock really lies with the fact you can see the mechanical movement visibly working and this look is reminiscent of a limited edition Corum watch we repaired recently, which showcased the movement (not in the linear, baguette style), but still with the cogs looking just as striking.
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What Is A Baguette Or In-Line Movement?
The term “baguette” or “In-line” refers to the elongated rectangular shape of the movement, the length of which is far greater than the width (at least 3 times), made famous with Corum’s Golden Bridge watch in the 1980’s (designed by Vincent Calabrese), but the shape was actually developed many decades earlier.
Jaeger-LeCoultre launched its tiny calibre 101 movement (the world’s smallest) in 1929 and then the calibre 210 in-line movement (introduced into most of its table clocks), which re-arranged the component of a round calibre into a straight line for aesthetic appeal.
Many brands subsequently created similar style movements, particularly for ladies watches and pendants, but due to the cost and watchmaking restrictions they didn’t become more mainstream in watchmaking at the time.
Servicing A Jaeger-LeCoultre Table Clock
When servicing a Jaeger-LeCoultre table clock we use around 5 or 6 oils, which are used to grease and lubricate the different wheels and parts.
Every part is cleaned individually and for a clock like this the parts are very hard to source, so we have to be extremely careful during the process not to damage anything.
The in-line movement itself is a custom design and we have to work very precisely on the piece to ensure that it keeps the correct design.