In 1929, Jaeger-LeCoultre created the Calibre 101, specially to fit the diminutive jewellery watches that were all the rage at that time. This tiny rectangular movement has 98 parts, and it measures 14 x 4.8 x 3.4 mm. It weighs a gram, and it is manually-wound, with 33 hours power reserve. Its rectangular shape makes it ideal for inclusion in jewellery pieces, but it has remained very much a collector’s item. Jaeger-LeCoultre still have the capability of making it, but from 1929, only about 2,000 have ever been made. Queen Elizabeth II possesses at least two: she wore one on her Coronation Day, and Jaeger-LeCoultre presented her another, in a diamond bracelet watch similar to that piece, for her Diamond Jubilee. Today their range includes the Joaillerie 101 Résille, reference 2823326, in which the movement is set in a bracelet of blue and pink sapphires.
You can see the Calibre 101 at an exhibition of high jewellery watches, Gems of Time, in London, from 6 to 8 November 2014. The show will comprise pieces by Bulgari, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, De Beers, Backes & Strauss and many others. It takes place at Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY. More details and tickets from www.salonqp.com